Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Monday night in November heats up in Bristol as Simon McBride triumphantly ends this tour at The Tunnels. With the week full of quality live music, combined with a Monday night the turnout was respectable. That does not disguise the fact when a guitarist of this quality comes to town with his band it should be a sell-out every time, whatever the night whatever the weather. If you love guitar driven blues fused rock then and you haven’t seen Simon McBride you have missed a musician at the top of his game. He demonstrated this tonight with every chord, note, lick and riff as the music filled the venue. With Marty McCloskey behind the drums and bassist Dave Marks to kick up the fireworks, this is a trio that has power, attitude and control shaping the tempo and textures to create a wall of sound full of depth and interest.

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels Tonight, The Tunnels reverberated with stunning blues- rock that captured the classics, Simon’s back catalogue and a glimpse of the new on the long and patiently awaited next album. Tentatively promised tonight as next year-end of 2018 it will be a Christmas Album Simon quipped. As would often happen the rhythm section picked up the words as they played jingle bells with the band laughing. Last night of a six-month tour there was a mix of end-of-term party and the delight of playing live music to an appreciative audience.

The covers were special including Free’s, The Stealer with a great key change halfway through and wonderfully controlled powerful lead breaks. This was a foot-tapping joy. His version of Hendrix’s Little Wing was sublime the re-working made you listen to this oft-heard and covered classic. The timing was immense and when combined with the super tone of his signature PRS Guitar was sublime.

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels The new music was punchy with the formidable tone and guitar textures with strings bent and the vocals pulling the song along.  Change gave the rhythm section the opportunity to come to the fore with a bass display from Dave Marks that was full of rhythmic punch. As the bass was slapped, the bass guitar now dominated as we heard jazz, rock and blues melded in a reprise of delight. Then we had the duel between guitar and bass the energy flowed from the stage across the venue. Live music quality and fun.  A definite keeper and as the audience was quick to tell Simon a single from the next album, Show Me How To Love. What a cracking number live full of emotional integrity and up-lifting playing from all three musicians.

Every number played was special, go hear Simon McBride play live when he is next in town. The other numbers that stood out were So Much Love, with glimpses of Prog and more in this brilliant instrumental interlude. The real highlight of the night for many including myself was So Much Love and One More Try. These display the virtuosity of McBride’s guitar mastery. Don’t Be  A fool was a rousing finale with audience participation. This was party-time and fun with the band losing control of the audience as we repeated the lines to the beat of Marty’s drum.

Tonight Simon McBride conquered The Tunnels with the power of live music.

 

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

 

The Tunnels Turning up the Volume with Simon McBride

The Tunnels Turning up the Volume with Simon McBride

The Tunnels Turning up the Volume with Simon McBride

 

What better way to turn a mid-week night it to the pathway for the weekend than live music. The Tunnels Bristol delivered that tonight with Simon McBride opening his long overdue visit and far too short tour of Britain, next time remember Wales and Scotland! With a new line-up and some classy looking PRS Amps the stage was set for a rocking bluesy good time. The venue slowly filled and the crowd were enthusiastic, we had clapping singing and dancing.  Opening with Heartbreaker, from Crossing The Line Album we were off with the classy guitar we expect from the Irish guitar wizard. Tonight the new rhythm section kicked the blocks away giving Simon the room to make the six strings soar away with a range of emotions, angry, despair and the delights of the chords played with ease and a dexterous touch.  On drums Marty McCloskey drove the beat that stung with force in answer to the guitar and pulling the trio together was stylish bass from Dave Marks. Simon’s new custom-built PRS guitar purred with a tone with a clarity displaying all the magic tricks Simon unfurled for us tonight in Bristol.

The set list was a selection of tracks from his previous albums Crossing The Line and Rich Man Falling which pleased everyone who play these albums loud and often. His timing was thrilling the little flicks of notes sweet and pure, the manipulation of the fret board and the instant of silence before he kicks out a lick that sends blues shivers rocking through your music soul.  Into the mix we had a Stevie Ray Vaughan Medley of Scuttle Buttin’ / Mary Had A Little Lamb this was Simon’s own take on Stevie’s guitar and added layers of Irish charm. Lots of favourites from his back catalogues including Down To The Wire, Fat Pockets and the tender So Much Love To Give. Jimi joined the party with Little Wing where Simon’s lead breaks mesmerized as we all watched with intense concentration his fingers dancing an Irish jig up and down the frets effortlessly.  Also part of the Hendrix fest tonight was Fire and the much requested from the crowd and delightedly received Spanish Castle. The time flew in a musical haze and all too soon it was drawing to the close, we were not going to escape without some singing and Don’t Be A fool from Crossing the Line was perfect. The encore Power of Soul is ever popular and what a way to bring a rocking night at the Tunnels to a close. Tonight we heard and saw Simon McBride at his guitar playing best, come back soon with a new album and new material for us all to get to know.

 

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Simon McBride Rocking the Blues – MAY 2016 Tour Dates

Fast becoming the next Irish blues guitar hero in the footsteps of Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore, the Belfast-born guitarist has gained a pile of accolades. “Hugely accomplished.” MOJO. “McBride is among the best blues-rock players anywhere in the world.” GUITARIST MAGAZINE

19 May: BILSTON – The Robin 2, Mount Pleasant Rd, WV14 7LJ

20 May: STROUD – The Convent, Convent Lane, South Woodchester, GL5 5HS – Streaming Live HERE Checkout all about Netgig

21 May: DEVIZES – Long St Blues Club, Long St, SN10 1NW

22 May: LONDON – The Borderline, Manette St, W1D 4JB