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.
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.
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.