Country 2 Country Festival (C2C)

Country 2 Country- C2C Festival 2023: Jillian Jacqueline was Honestly Magic on The BBC Radio 2 Stage!

Photo Credit: Ruby Gaunt

It was at Country Music Week back in 2017 at The Borderline that we, the UK fans first fell in love with Jillian Jacqueline as an artist and that love was returned as she has been back several times since.

Jillian’s first EP Side A was our favourite album of that year and since then she has released Side B, the epic If I Were You with Keith Urban, various singles and her album Honestly!

Seeing Jillian’s name on the C2C line up was very much a ‘squeal with excitement’ moment. We were very happy! So we had to make sure we penciled her in to our schedule.

We caught Jillian’s set on Saturday at The Indigo O2 on the BBC Radio 2 Stage.

Almost a full house, Jillian took to the stage to a crowd who had clearly missed her.

Mostly playing songs from album Honestly, Jillian sang flawlessly throughout and her guitarist James Fox was exceptional.

Photo Credit: Ruby Gaunt

Starting her set with the stunning and emotive When It Rains she then went into what she described as her only “bitchy” song on the album and played Bandwagon. She wrote this song with Trevor Rosen from Old Dominion and her brother in law Topher Brown.

The Ocean was perfection live, truly beautiful and the whole venue seemed attentively silent.

Side A song Hate Me gave us a nice nostalgic feel! Hearing it reminded me of why I fell in love with her music in the first place. Continuing the Side A streak she played God Bless This Mess. Jillian explained that she performed this on the Spotlight Stage last time she was at C2C and how she was crying when she was playing it! The reception she received on that Spotlight stage was so warm and full of fans who knew every word that it is no wonder she uses that moment to keep her going! Now she has a reimagined version of the song with Lucius. It is one of the most stunning songs we have heard. We remember talking to Jillian about her writing this song with one of her favourite writers Lori McKenna.

Photo Credit: Ruby Gaunt

Next up was Better With a Broken Heart that she released with T J Osborne. She was also meant to play Hurt Somebody Else but she had ran over her time slot. Not realising this at the time it was James, her guitarist that broke the news. Shocked and apologetic, blaming it on the fact she was nattering too much, Jillian gave the audience the choice of When It Hurts Somebody or Better With a Broken Heart and of course they chose the latter. Both songs are equally qualified for the end of the set but it was a great way to close.

Jillian’s set was wonderful, nostalgic and simply breathtaking. I could watch her play music for hours. Her voice is so sweet yet strong with a unique tone that is no wonder Breland invited her up on stage at the After Party to perform Cross Country which was exceptional by the way and we are so glad we were there for that!

Come back soon Jillian, we don’t get to see you enough!

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