Photo of Lainey Wilson on stage with her band around her.

LIVE: Lainey Wilson – O2 Kentish Town Forum, London, 24/04/2024

Silhouettes. That’s the first thing that springs to mind when you’re watching Lainey Wilson live. Her stage stances are so iconic and pronounced, you’d be able to tell who it is just from her silhouette. There’s a reason the Louisiana native is one of the fastest-rising stars on the Music City scene, and it’s not just her tradition-laced modern take on country pop. Mainstream country music has a history littered with big-time performers, those who have an impenetrable stage presence, that’s been lost a bit over the last couple of decades with the identikit men of bro-country and its tangents delivering a kind of giant “meh” in live shows.

Lainey is here to change all that though, constantly on the move, interacting with the audience, and karate-kicking her way through most of 2022’s Bell Bottom Country album. The setlist for her second sold-out night in London contains nods to the past (a cover of Deana Carter‘s ‘Strawberry Wine’) and as well as the present (Jelly Roll‘s ‘Save Me’ also gets the cover treatment) but saves its biggest moments her the cowboy-hatted singer; ‘Wildflowers and Wild Horses’ a particular highlight, as well as a full-on ‘WWDD’ and the hard rocking ‘Grease‘. The slower moments also shine with ‘Weak-End’ and ‘These Boots (Deddy’s Song)’ bringing an intimacy to the performance, which also included an interlude where Lainey donated a hat to her longest serving fan – at the front of the Forum, obviously.

Behind the giants of the genre – Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood – there’s been a bit of a dearth of new female singers to break the male monotony of country radio Nashville, but, building on her extremely likeable personality and terrific radio-friendly melodies, delivering shows like this are what’s boosting Lainey into that tier and prepping her to be the next big Nashville breakout star.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.