Country star Brett Eldredge set to delight Cambridge
American country singer-songwriter Brett Eldredge kicks off his UK tour in Cambridge next week.
With the affable, easy-going personality he displays in his interviews and music videos – along with his good looks, powerful stage presence and catchy tunes – Brett Eldredge, a major arena-filling star in the US, is well placed to grow the popularity of country music in the UK.
Although his music falls more into the ‘modern country’ category, incorporating more rock and pop influences (which probably helps to explain his popularity on this side of the pond), it does also display elements of that traditional country sound that many know and love.
When Brett – who describes himself as a “pretty shy guy” who “comes to life” on stage – kicks off his five-date UK tour at The Junction on January 31, it will be his third time performing on these shores.
Previous appearances include last year’s three-day C2C Festival at the O2, where he received second billing on the Friday behind Australian country star and husband of Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban.
A native of Paris, Illinois, Brett’s live shows feature his seven chart-topping singles spanning four albums – the most recent of which is his self-titled 2017 effort.
His most recent single is 2018’s Love Someone and, yes, that really is his dog in the video. Other tunes of note include Beat of the Music and Drunk on Your Love.
Speaking to the Cambridge Independent from Nashville, Tennessee, the star says he’s excited about coming back to the UK and mainland Europe (he also has shows booked in Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands).
“I’m really beginning to connect with myself and with the European crowd on a deeper level,” he says. “I love the inspiration that I get when I’ve gone over there, it’s early in the year, which is great for me because at the start of a year you want to feel inspired.
“Any time I’ve gone over there, the crowds have just been so passionate. It feels like when I went on my first headline tour when I put out my first album.
“You can never replace that excitement of your first big headline tour, but when I flew over to Europe for the first time, I noticed this energy that felt a lot like that.
“It’s just a feeling that is hard to ever get again, so I’ve got a major craving to get that back – and I’m about to. We’re going to give everything we’ve got as well.”
Brett, 33, continues: “I’ve learned that there is a deep appreciation for songwriting in the UK, and I love that because that’s pretty much the core of who and what I am – a songwriter and a singer and somebody who likes to tell these stories.”
While some American country artists are advised to come over here and perform by their contemporaries who have done so – often when they are quite a long way into their careers – it was always Brett’s intention to make visiting Europe a priority.
“Since I was a little kid, I thought it would be cool if I could have songs that people know, that they’re listening to when they’re walking down the street or in the car,” he explains.
“I always dreamt of that, but then to take it step further, I thought, ‘What would it be like to go somewhere else?’ So I’ve always wanted to do this, but I just didn’t know how to make it happen.”
Brett, who is working on a new album – he says it will have a more traditional feel – adds: “Each time, the first shows in Europe have been so well attended and every time it’s grown a lot...
“We’ve kept going and I just can’t believe that I’m playing in different countries and people know the words to my songs – that’s an absolutely incredible feeling. Any excuse to get over there, I’m there.”
Where else in the world would Brett, a keen fisherman, like to do his thing? “I’ve played in a lot of Canada, I went to Australia last year and that was something that was big on my list,” he says.
“I’d like to go to South America, to South Africa, so many places... Once you get that feeling of going somewhere new to play, it makes you want more of that.
“I’m always looking for that next stage.”
Brett Eldredge will be appearing at J1 at The Junction on Friday, January 31. Doors: 7pm.
Tickets: £25 adv. Box office: 01223 511511 or junction.co.uk.