After a one-year break, One More Shot finally took place again this past weekend, April 20 – 22, in Birmingham, UK. For those of you who aren’t aware, OMS is an annual non-profit music festival that raises funds for cancer research. Actually, it is more than that. People come together to have the most amazing time, meet old friends and make new ones and listen to some awesome music by insanely talented and wonderful artists. Many attendees have been around since day one and also the artists keep coming back. That just shows how unique this event has become.
Once again, this year’s festivities started off with a warm-up show in London on Thursday. All OMS artists performed a couple of songs at the O2 Academy in Islington and gave everyone a little glimpse of what to expect that weekend. So we were already treated to a surprise cover of Staind’s “It’s Been Awhile” by Christian Kane and a few collaborations like him joining The Life Of Riley for “She Got A Move” and Riley Smith jamming along to Kane’s “The House Rules”.
On Friday, it was time to get the big party started in Birmingham. The evening kicked off with the opening ceremony that was followed by the meet & greet. This is always a great opportunity to get to know some of your fellow attendees and also meet the artists in a pretty relaxed setting. There is time for some chatting and usually lots of laughter.
And OMS would not be OMS without the impromptu bar sessions after the official activities. It is something our OMS veteran Gary Quinn started back at OMS 1 and a tradition he definitely makes sure to keep going. So it was no surprise that he was the first one to pick up the guitar Friday night at the bar and sing some of his tunes as well as some covers.
On Saturday morning, photo ops took place. They’ve got a great team of professional photographers at OMS who do an excellent job of taking pictures of the attendees with the artists without rushing you too much like at most conventions.
In the evening, it was finally time for the first concert of the weekend. Matt Lande got on stage and also introduced us to some of his new songs. Next up was Gary Quinn who once again treated us to his country tunes we have all come to love. Stewart Mac and Dean Roberts defended their unofficial title as “The Chuckle Brothers”, their whole fun attitude always adding that little extra touch to their music. Jenn Bostic was joined by Belinda Webb and probably made everyone cry with her beautiful performance of “Jealous Of The Angels”. In 2016, we only got The Life Without Riley as Riley Smith had to cancel his appearance because of a pilot he was shooting at the time so it was all the more special that this year, we got the whole band again featuring him, Henri O’Connor and Jonah Dolan.
Last but not least, Christian Kane hit the stage, together with Henri O’Connor. The first song was the slow version of “Happy Man”, followed by “Different Kind Of Knight” and Kane’s personal favorite cover “Jolene”. Up next was another cover, “The One I Love”, and then “Dusty Rose” before Jonah Dolan joined them for the rest of the set, which consisted of yet another amazing version of “It’s Been A While”, “Track 29”, “Wash”, “Whiskey In Mind”, “Let Me Go”, “Sever” and “Thinking Of You”. Then it was, of course, time for the finale – “The House Rules” featuring all artists on stage together.
By the way, that night it was Stewart Mac and Dean Roberts who absolutely tore down the bar afterwards with some great renditions of their own songs as well as covers by Bon Jovi and others that had the whole bar singing along.
Sunday began with several Q&A sessions. Matt Lande and Jenn Bostic were up first, answering questions and telling us about their music. Then it was Stewart Mac’s, Dean Roberts’ and Gary Quinn’s turn – and they had everyone in stitches. I think I can say without a doubt that every year this is the one panel you would not want to miss. Nobody can make you laugh like these guys.
Last were Christian Kane, Riley Smith, Henri O’Connor and Jonah Dolan. Among others things, Christian mentioned how some songs like “Rattlesnake Smile” and “Sever” came about. He and Riley also talked about the sacrifices you make if you want to work in the music/acting business but at the same time pointed out how rewarding it is and Christian also emphasized later that it is overwhelming that people come to OMS, an event based on a couple of people playing music. There were also some fun questions like what superheroes or mythical creatures they were all most like.
After that it was time for the autograph session to take place. All attendees had a chance to get their program signed as well as other items before the closing ceremony would start in the afternoon. During the latter, all artists spoke a little about the event and said their thank yous.
Then it was time for the final concert. Apart from their usual sets, we were surprised with a few collaborations. So Gary Quinn was joined by Jenn Bostic for “Love And Lose” and later even did a beautiful rendition of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance” together with Christian Kane. Dean Roberts blew everyone away with yet another touching version of “Takes You” and also later joined Jenn Bostic’s performance for a bit. The Life Of Riley also brought Christian Kane on stage again for “She Got A Move”.
Christian started his set with “Dusty Rose” and also played “Happy Man” again, as well as “Jolene” and “It’s Been Awhile”. And as in past years, the final two songs at OMS were “The House Rules” and “One More Shot” with all artists on stage.
Many celebrated at the bar after the concert and it didn’t take long for Stewart Mac and Dean Roberts as well as Gary Quinn to pick up their guitars again. Jenn Bostic, Jonah Dolan and Henri O’Connor weren’t far behind and for the very first time, even Christian Kane joined the bar session for a little while. It was definitely memorable to have everyone sing songs like “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Friends In Low Places”, “Livin’ On A Prayer”, “Wanted Dead Or Alive” and even “Fast Car” together. A very special wrap-up of a magical weekend, that’s for sure.
On that note, I’d like to say thank you to Rachel for her vision to create such an event that definitely is one of a kind and brings our Shotter Family together each year. Also thank you to her amazing team that always makes sure that everything runs smoothly. And last but not least thank you to all the wonderful, wonderful artists that share their music and time on and off stage with all of us for a few days.
I’d also like to point out that it’s been announced that including the funds raised from Christian Kane’s London gig, £ 4000 were raised for charity. The money will benefit the cancer unit at McMillan as well as the one at another hospital. Well done, everyone!
A date for OMS 5 hasn’t been set yet, but mark your calendars for April 2019. Tickets are already available on the website. Also make sure to check out One More Shot on Facebook and Twitter and join the official Facebook group.
For articles, photos and videos from previous OMS, take a peek here.