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.
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
21 May: DEVIZES – Long St Blues Club, Long St, SN10 1NW
22 May: LONDON – The Borderline, Manette St, W1D 4JB