Rainbreakers broke the ice with glorious live music when they returned to Cardiff playing The Globe for the first time. Once again they delivered a stylish opening set that left the audience wanting more. Rainbreakers create a sound that is uniquely their’s and accessible to all. Pleasing the ear with the skilful blending of blues, soul and rock with a twist of funk when needed. Opening with Heavy Soul the band was on fire from the first note. The musicianship is top-notch glued together by Ben’s vocals a mix of Brit-pop meets soul curling around Charlie’s magical guitar playing and Sam on drums pulling in the beat. Delighted that they included into the short but very sweet set Lay It On Me from their latest album Face To Face, one of my favourites when played live with that extra special ingredient that the stage performance brings to many songs. Another strong set and performance form a band that is growing in confidence and stature every time I hear them play. A true testament to how regular gigging can really pay dividends in this really difficult business. They are skilled at opening warming the stage for the main act they didn’t waste any time and played with determination so we could hear the full range of songs from the latest album back to earlier EPs.
There is always a mix in tones and textures as the songs bring an ebb and flow in emotions and tempo. With a love song that filled the Globe as personal feelings connected with many listening to the pure love song Lost With You. The last two songs closing out the opening set tonight a cover that always brings a smile to your face, Rainbreakers take on Gary Clarke Jnr’s When My Train Pulls In, leaving the audience with an unforgettable lead break from Charlie’s guitar speaking to the audience and then stepping back in time with Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On from their first EP Blood Not Brass. I know the audience want you to come back a play a longer set next time with a new album under your belt; new songs and new delicious Charlie lead breaks.
Tonight was the second time the band played Cardiff and first at this venue, and for many who arrived early waiting to hear their favourite band were delighted when they came Face To Face with a band they appreciated the music and will want to hear them again.
Short break before the main event as Buck & Evans returned to Cardiff to a delighted home crowd. Up front, Chris Buck and Sally Ann Evans deliver stamping their authority on the rock they want to play and the audience want to hear. They may have started as a duo four years ago as Chris’s guitar joining Sally Ann’s warm vocals for a one offset opening for Sandie Thom. This pairing was too special to be left and quickly a band was formed as a rhythm section of Dominic Hill on bass and Bob Richards (AC/DC’s stand-in drummer) completed the Buck & Evans sound.
Tonight the band entertained the fans with a live version of their album Write a Better Day, interspersed with old favourites, and we could all join in and a Welsh crowd never turn down the opportunity to join in. Opening with Slow Train, this rock band infused with soul combining the fireworks for Chris’ guitar and the delectable soulfulness of Sally Ann’s vocals that soared out across The Globe. The band as a whole is tight providing the perfect combination to excite the crowds. We were on Common Ground as another track from the album was heard live, demonstrating why the album is receiving glowing reviews and fans asking if it is possible to wear out downloads when the album is on a continuously playing loop. With songs like Trail of Tears and Ain’t No Moonlight you can understand why. The music has a dimension that ensures Buck and Evans a strong future with their own brand of Rock, melodic, soulful and blending emotions we can all connect too.
Highlights were many with Impossible from earlier EP Live @Rockfield a stand out followed by the ballad Change and the fans demanded those that were talking to quieten down as Sally Ann delivered Change. Demonstrating the depth of skills as textures and tones excited the crowds this was never monochrome rock. In between the numbers we were entertained with quips and comments this is a band that know how to deliver a show.