Kirk Fletcher and Friends turn The Tunnels Blue
Sunday night in Bristol. Kirk Fletcher and Friends turn The Tunnels Blue. The Sunday night buzz was full of warmth as friends and lovers of live music came together. This was our Sunday experience of light, music and being uplifted.
With Ruzz Guitar’s Blues Revue opening the night there was a real feeling of Déjà vu. Why? They opened for Kirk Fletcher at The Tunnels last year. The difference was that I was in the audience. Last year a series of road chaos and other unplanned issues meant we never got to see the show! This year we left in plenty of time. Curse of roadworks around Newport struck again. The minutes ticking by with no progress would we fail for the second year running? After an hour of stop/very slow-moving the road cleared. We arrived with minutes to spare. Result!
Tonight Ruzz Guitar’s Blues Revue, the trio that delights their many fans in Bristol, were joined by Phil Quinn on keys adding another dimension. Ruzz, Zachery and Joe managed to find space on the stage ready and waiting for Kirk. The crowded stage did nothing to curtail the steaming tempo from the band that plays foot tapping rock n’ roll the interest is maintained with Texas Blues, with some slower numbers mixed in. The guitar in Ruzz’s hand was on fire with the energy that was warming the audience with the love of live music and building the anticipation of Kirk Fletcher later in the evening. Closing out the accomplished, crowd-pleasing set making rocking fun the order of the day this Sunday evening.
Now for the Kirk Fletcher moment. His surname takes us back to an age when arrows were made by the fletcher. Tonight the arrow sharpness and direction took us deep into the Blues. Fletcher maker of arrow flights tonight Kirk took us on a flight of blues delight. What an evening it was full of glorious live music that moved you. Kirk has surrounded himself with some of the UK’s best. With Westley Johnstone on drums, Jonny Henderson in complete control of his Hammond and Dudley Ross adding to the guitar sound. Kirk plugged his guitar straight into the 633 amp. The sound was clean and bright. The tone that defines Kirk Fletcher. The set flowed with a freedom as he and the band hit the ground running with Hip Hugger through to the last notes of the encore Rock With Me. Kirk’s riffs and licks purr as he makes the music shimmer. When you go to Kirk Fletcher a night of blues quality is assured. Tonight he stepped up the tone, tempo and energy he was inspired. The instrumental version of I’d Rather Go Blind was simply sublime. What a beautiful interpretation. His guitar wept and Jonny’s Hammond delivered the anguish which was pulled together by Dudley’s guitar shaping the melody.
As Dudley took some time out we were treated to a jam full of jazz chords and blues licks as Denny Ilett stepped onto the stage. The interaction between Denny & Jonny was magical as Kirk filled in the spaces with licks of glorious definition and tone. Breath-taking live music.
Interspersed with funk and shuffles we were taken on a journey through the tonal textures and sonics that pulled the band together and the audience stepped on board with enthusiasm. Live music doesn’t get much better. Tonight was a night that will remain etched in the memory. Glad you were there never to be repeated solid gold performance. A real privilege to have been in the audience. Kirk Fletcher just gets better and better every time I see him live I am left amazed. Blown away by the quality of the guitar. Kirk is still on tour I thoroughly recommend catch him before he returns to the USA.
Tonight, was a celebration of the power of the guitar flexing its vocal depths as the six-strings celebrated the blues full of the complexity of tone, mood and emotional connection the audience tonight as Kirk Fletcher and Friends turn The Tunnels Blue.