Country stars of the future all set to wow the O2

From left: Ben Gurney, Andy Sammons and Andrew Jones
From left: Ben Gurney, Andy Sammons and Andrew Jones
  • Band got together two years ago
  • Went to the festival last year as fans
  • Aim to be a ‘unique acoustic experience’
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A country band who only formed two years ago are set to perform at one of the biggest music venues on the planet.

Acoustic Journey started out as a duo and only played their first gig to fill a gap in the running order at The Greyhound Inn, Brackley.

But having brought in a third member in 2013, the boys have gone from strength to strength and are set to play for up to 50,000 people at The O2.

They join some of the biggest names in the game as part of the Country 2 Country Festival on Saturday, March 7.

Last year, they went to the same gig as fans. But this year, they will share the spotlight with the likes of Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan.

Guitarist and lead singer Andrew Jones, 28, who lives in Keble Road with his girlfriend Ruth, said: “It’s the pinnacle in the UK, the biggest outside of the US.

“Eight of the top 10 acts in the UK will be performing.

“There are some massive names there so to be gracing the stage with the same acts is obviously quite a positive for us.

“We went to the same festival last year, just as fans so it’s quite a big step for us.”

IT manager Andrew, played a set as a soloist at the Brackley pub in 2009 but when a couple of acts pulled out, he roped in his Magdalen College School mate Ben Gurney, 27, to play some songs as a duo.

Acoustic Journey started out as a duo and only played their first gig to fill a gap in the running order at The Greyhound Inn, Brackley

Acoustic Journey started out as a duo and only played their first gig to fill a gap in the running order at The Greyhound Inn, Brackley

They performed Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy by Big and Rich, which left the audience in awe.

The pair impressed the pub landlord enough to have their own gig just two weeks later but they needed a name.

Combining their surnames, they came up with Journey and tacked on Acoustic because there was already a Journey in the US.

Percussionist Andy Sammons, 27, joined the band in 2013 when the pair were looking for a third member to spice things up.

Acoustic Journey started out as a duo and only played their first gig to fill a gap in the running order at The Greyhound Inn, Brackley. But having brought in a third member in 2013, the boys have gone from strength to strength and are set to play for up to 50,000 people at The O2

Acoustic Journey started out as a duo and only played their first gig to fill a gap in the running order at The Greyhound Inn, Brackley. But having brought in a third member in 2013, the boys have gone from strength to strength and are set to play for up to 50,000 people at The O2

Andy went out and bought a Lion Cajon - a smaller drum kit - and brought it along to the next practice but he now sings the third part harmony on a number of tracks.

Andrew said: “We bring quite a unique acoustic experience. It’s beers and barbecues kind of music.

“Brackley is quite a small town so we’d go to lakes and woods and just play, with barbecues and beers.

“Even our slower ones are quite upbeat.”

Andrew, who taught himself how to play the guitar, thinks any musicians can break into the UK circuit if they have enough drive and have a passion for music.

He said: “Only over the last couple of years, did we think we can go somewhere.

“There was never a long term goal, it was just because we enjoyed it that we kept going.

“You need to build up a local fan base and get your music out there and follow your dreams.

“Apply for all of the festivals and become friends with some of the acts that are already well established and just crack on really.”

Acoustic Journey play on the Big Entrance Stage at The O2 on Saturday March 7 from 15.40pm.

The band play at The Red Lion in Banbury on Good Friday.