Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th May 2017
Organisers of Isle of Man Cyclefest presented by Isle of Man Bank are delighted to have secured one of UK Country’s brightest rising stars. Named once again as the Female Vocalist of the Year by the British Country Music Association, Laura Oakes is firmly at the forefront of the blossoming UK Country scene.
Call it country pop, call it modern country, whatever, this is the scene everyone is talking about. And in a year that has seen Ward Thomas hit the number 1 album spot with Cartwheels, and with The Shires’ Hallelujah blasting out from car radios everywhere, it is perhaps Laura Oakes who best bends the genre to her own will, crafting neat and thoughtful pop songs that one of her heroes, Elton John, would surely be proud.
CMA FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR, 2015 & 2016
Its no wonder then, that Laura and her band do a brilliant reading of Elton’s Rocket Man, reminding us that the great man too could effortlessly slip in and out of the country genre. And what of Laura’s band? One can only be reminded of Kasey Musgraves, as Laura too is able to lean on a brilliantly understated group of musicians, who marry finesse and skill with the need to let their girls take centre stage.
Nashville clearly runs deep in the 24 year-old, and it’s a love that took root when Laura visited the great city as a teenager. It also steeled the young singer to follow her own path and simply wait for everyone else to catch up. And catching up they are!
Since recording her first singles, Laura has enjoyed live dates at some of the UK’s most prestigious festivals and stages including Country-2-Country at the 02 Arena as well as this year’s Bluesfest, joining the likes of Van Morrison, Mary J Blige and Bill Wyman on a star-studded bill. Between writing and recording, Laura has also enjoyed support slots for some of the most notable country artists including US star Andrew Combs and the aforementioned UK acts; The Shires and Ward Thomas.
“Just standing there, fiddling with her guitar before she’d even started playing, it felt like the night belonged to her. All Rita Hayworth hair and honky-tonk glamour…”
Laura, however, has taken her sweet time with her writing and it shows in the quality of her output. She released her debut Self-Titled EP in the summer of 2015, receiving great support from BBC radio right across the UK. Legendary DJ and presenter, Bob Harris, also included it in his Best of 2015 retrospective on BBC Radio 2.
Shortly after, ‘Whispering Bob’ invited Laura to record some live tunes as part of his popular ‘Under the Apple Tree’ Sessions and, with a second EP in her back pocket, Laura topped off a brilliant few months as she was again named The British Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year. In the words of her single, Laura has been ‘Dreamin’ of this moment, and it feels very much like that moment has arrived.
Wristband tickets are on sale now with prices starting from just £10 for adults with discounts available across weekend tickets and family bundles.