Grainne Duffy and her band are on a perpetual tour but tonight was a continuation of their ‘Reason To Be’ Tour; starting off in Wales then dates in England, Wales and Scotland before heading off to Europe from 6th October which, with an expectant crowd, created an atmosphere which got this leg of the tour off to a cracking start.
As ever Grainne hit the ground running with a powerful opening number from her latest album Test Of Time; ‘Let Me In‘; this band knows how to make a statement with a combination of talent, style and a fluidity in the music created that can only be achieved with a band in which all the members are delighted to be once again on stage and playing the music they love. This is a band that have played together for several years and it shows in the almost telepathic understanding they have between them creating that smooth rhythm and layers of sound that mesh and meld together giving the music an edge and timing that is immaculate. It is Grainne though, with her distinctive voice and guitar style, that is the Royal Icing that makes this a harmonious band a mixture of sweet and sour, lyrical and rocking. It is so easy to compare Grainne with Bonnie Raitt and it easy to see why but this does not portray the real Grainne who has her own style and take on every track she does and no more demonstrated in her rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind which she has made into her own song as a signature offering every attendee at a live show wants to hear. We were treated to a music overload of one quality track after another as the set list below shows with a selection of tracks from her début album Out Of The Dark and her latest acclaimed offering Test Of Time. Her empathy on stage is sublime with all the band members especially for tonight her right-hand man Paul Sherry on lead guitar is simply awe-inspiring and mesmerising to watch and hear; Grainne’s Les Paul and his Strat complementing each other chord for chord this is no competition but two fabulous musicians getting the best out of each other’s performance.
There is no doubt that this is a band that just keeps getting better as they set the bar higher and higher with every performance and crack the challenge they set themselves every-time. After a short break they leaped back on stage full of vim and vigour and Grainne’s guitar playing was firing on all six-strings. Highlight if there can be one of this set was ‘Sweet Sweet Baby’, with its fusion of blues and reggae, a really great delivery of bleggae led from the back by some pin sharp cracking reggae drum bits delivered by Eamann Ferras and complimented by some bass from Davy Watson, this was bass and drums Grainne’s way.
All to soon they were leaving the stage, but quickly they returned to meet the genuine demand for an Encore and they willingly obliged. With the fading of the last notes from the title track of her latest album Test of Time the whole audience including the self-proclaimed “Duffettes” – dancing at the back of the ballroom were more than satisfied tonight; they would have liked the band to have played on.
Lead Vocals & Guitar – Grainne Duffy
Drums & Backing Vocals – Eamann Ferras
Guitar & Backing Vocals – Paul Sherry
Bass & Backing Vocals – Davy Watson
Let Me In
What Am I Supposed To Do
Each and Everytime
Drivin Me Crazy
Be Just Fine
Don’t Know Why
Reason To Be
Fallin’ For You
Love Me Like A Man
Times Not Enough
Sweet Sweet Baby
Rockin’ Rollin’ Stone
I’d Rather Go Blind
Bad To Worse
Waiting For You
Test Of Time