The Double Grammy Award nominated American country music band Midland. Featured image credit: Harper Smith

Kingston Upon Thames gets a little bit country

Midland, the Double Grammy Award nominated American country music band whose soulful ballads have taken the US and UK by storm, treated their fans this side of the pond to a special performance last month.

The intimate performance, located in the unique setting of St. Johns Church on Grove Road Kingston on Friday 20 May 2022, was part of the band’s much-anticipated international tour entitled, The Last Resort: Greetings From.

The trio are made up of lead singer and guitarist Mark Wystrach, bassist and vocalist Cameron Duddy and guitarist and vocalist Jess Carson.

In an exclusive interview with the band following this special performance, which included huge applause for the songs ‘The Last Resort’ and ‘Burn Out’, I found out what has driven their success.

Asked about the band’s style, Duddy said: “Midland’s perspective is that of the American man. It’s not in a misogynistic way and a lot of it is about flaws really. That’s the beauty of country music.”

Wystrach added: “There’s no typical Midland fan, that’s part of the magic.” He said they have fans from across the spectrum, adding: “I think we really like seeing that diversity in the audience.

“You know men and women, people from all different backgrounds. We are talking about shared universal human experiences that occur no matter what your background or sexual orientation.”

Midland have more than 304,000 followers on their Facebook page and over 62,000 followers on Twitter. Although the band has a large amount of female fans, at their gig in Kingston the audience included a large number of men, nodding slowly and thoughtfully in time with the music, clearly very affected. 

The band have played at American music’s most hallowed venue, the Ryman, a former church in Nashville where music icon Elvis Presley performed. 

Asked about the band’s process, Duddy said: “I think it’s impossible to create unless you are spiritually connected.”

After being asked what advice they would give to youngsters in Kingston wanting to follow in their footsteps, Duddy replied: “I always believed in us. I knew that if we stuck together doing something, that it would work out.”

He added that he was not very good at anything except art: “I had no choice but to succeed.”

Wystrach agreed, saying: “Plenty of naturally talented people I grew up with never made it for one reason or another. Maybe character deficiencies such as drugs, alcohol. There’s a lot of distractions along the way.

“We see ourselves as being friends and dads and bandmates. You can’t think of yourself as being famous, that’s a really dangerous falsity to get trapped in, people who think they are famous and can’t see the differences.

“Our fans out here have been waiting for two years, we’ve been through two years of the pandemic together.

“To see how much these shows have meant to these fans it’s just validated our efforts, spending so much time away from our families and friends, that is hard, those interactions with fans just lifts you up. That’s the right reason as opposed to feeding the ego.”

Find out more at https://www.midlandofficial.com/.

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