Brad Paisley to play London in July 2016 (SHOW CANCELLED)
Singer, songwriter, guitar hero and country megastar to headline at the O2
**UPDATE: SHOW CANCELLED**
Statement from promoter: 'Due to a scheduling conflict in the US Brad Paisley’s show at London’s The O2 on 23rd July 2016 has unfortunately been cancelled. For full refunds please return to your point of purchase.'
Singer-songwriter Brad Paisley, possibly the most fearsomely gifted guitarist in country music, is to play the O2 next year. The lantern-jawed West Virginian has been making records for 16 years and has been praised for his combination of cheery good humour and emotional directness, not to mention his frankly alarming skills with a guitar.
Paisley is a fine songwriter, ranging from old-fashioned country weepies like the mega-hit 'When I Get Where I'm Going' (a duet with Dolly Parton; no prizes for guessing what that one's about) to a righteous jab at hellfire-spouting preachers ('A Man Don't Have To Die'), appreciations of strong, complex women ('She's Her Own Woman', 'Perfect Storm'), and a straightforward celebration of the joy of partying outdoors ('Outstanding In Our Field'.)
Unlike some country singers, such as the perpetually angry Hank Williams Jr, Paisley has a goofy sense of humour: 'Alcohol' is a tribute to the eponymous intoxicant as if sung by alcohol itself ('You'll have some of the best times you'll never remember with me'.) He's also what passes in Nashville for a liberal; 'Welcome to the Future' pays tribute to both Martin Luther King and Barack Obama, and the eco-friendly 'Gone Green' might have been calculated to raise the blood pressure of climate change deniers. In 2013, Paisley had a rare misstep with 'Accidental Racist', a well-intentioned but hideously unsubtle collaboration with veteran rapper LL Cool J, which attempted to call for a rapprochement between Confederate flag-waving good ol' boys and black people. To put it mildly, it didn't work, one reviewer commenting 'this is exactly how not to write a song about the Confederate flag.'
Paisley's affable grin remains undimmed; 2014's Moonshine in the Trunk was warmly received, not to mention made in sometimes bizarre circumstances. The album's final track 'Me and Jesus' is the only song ever to have been mixed on Air Force One, after Paisley had travelled to Afghanistan with President Obama to perform for the troops.