I arrive at The Deaf Institute, Manchester and make my way upstairs to the gig, to hear blues-rock sounds belting from the closed doors! This is the Troy Redfern Band, who I wanted to catch as I have heard some of his music and like it very much. I liked it even more when I opened the doors and were welcomed with strong rock riffs and a husky raw bluesy rock voice. Troy leads this powerful trio with style, it’s entertaining, energetic and engaging. I think he changed guitars 3 times in the short set, each he plays with such style and confidence. Supporting their new album ‘This Raging Heart’ the band are on tour all over the UK until April. The set sadly lasted only 30 minutes, and I think they are worthy of longer. I head straight to the merch stand to say hi to friendly Troy and buy his album. I definitely recommend going to see these guys.
Headliners of the night were Wille & The Bandits. Now this is my first times seeing this band also, and having listened to them a bit and watched a couple of their cool music videos shot by the sea, I knew I was in for a treat. As I waited at the front for them to take to the stage, there was a chilled ambience with some joss sticks burning tucked at the side of the drumkit.
They came on stage to some chilled vibes and cheers from the crowd. Willie got the set off to a start after a quick hello, with his fabulous strong bluesy soul voice, I felt this band certainly have a 70’s Jimi Hendrix-esque feel to it right from the off. Each song was introduced with meaning behind most of them, ‘Angel’ was one which he paid tribute to his late mother, and one was introduced for ‘those living in a van under the stars’ From blues to folk and even some techno is thrown in, these guys proved their talent tonight and had the crowd dancing throughout the night. The band are versatile musicians and mixed it up using a wide variety of instruments to prove more of their musical prowess. Drummer Finn smashes it with his energetic playing, bass bashing was Harry with his laid back approach and also takes on the backing vocals, then Matthew on keys and percussion. Along with Wille’s brilliant slide guitar playing together with the lap guitar which originated from his busking days, the band took the crowd into another world. They got the crowd joining in a few songs, and the dancing carried on down the front. One of my favourites ‘Make Love’ from the acclaimed Paths album was well received and the slide guitar stood out heavily in this one, following closely by ‘1970’ which also is clearly a big hit.
What a fantastic gig, I hope this band with its new line-up continues to grow and capture the interest of music lovers across the globe.