The Cardiff rock band venture over the bridge from Wales for their first ever Bristol gig. And what a gig it was.

26-June-2016: Opening up the night was the Swansea band, Bigfeat, keeping the Welsh connection going. They are a tight band playing rock with a hint of blues and country. Bigfeat is Rhys John (guitar and vocals), Ross Bullitt (guitar and vocals), Dai C. Thomas (bass), Pete Thomas (keys), and Jamie Williams (drums).

The band starts off strong with “Til the Sunrise,” a 70s rocker with funky bass; also the title track of their upcoming EP. Rhys switched to acoustic for the slow, atmospheric “Medicine Man.” Pete belts out some amazing harmonies in this number. A great guitar riff punctuates the middle of the song and builds to a driving finish.

The 70s sound continues with “Hustle 101,” before “Let Me Know,” their new funk rock song. “Coming Home” closes the set, to great applause from the crowd. Bigfeat is a great new find, who hopefully will make a return to Bristol soon.

Buck & Evans have gone from one extreme to another in the last couple of weeks. This gig is to a capacity crowd of 120. In comparison, their last gig was at Download in front of thousands! That doesn’t mean they have taken their foot off the pedal, though; this is a band who deliver at every opportunity.

Chris Buck (guitar), Sally Ann Evans (vocals and keys), Dominic Hill (bass), and Bob Richards (drums) have built a strong following who turned out in large numbers for the first ever Buck & Evans gig in Bristol.

They band opens with a new song, “One Four,” giving Chris the chance to wow fans with some superb playing and demonstrate why fans admire him as a guitarist. “Trail of Tears” is followed by fan favourite, “Impossible,” a great chance for Sally to shine with her amazing vocal talents. “Common Ground” is another new song, slow and mellow and featuring lovely backing vocals from Chris and Bob, along with superb drum work.

The first song Chris and Sally wrote together is “Going Home,” which holds a special place for both artist and fans. Buck & Evans dedicated this song to a fan who travels the country to see the band play.

“Run Cold,” as featured on the latest EP, has some great vocals from Sally again, and also sees the whole band playing at the top of their game. Subtle drums build with solid bass to a crescendo of great guitar work in “Slow Train.” The number, reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, has all the elements to become a classic.

Digressing to play a cover, Buck & Evans crank out their superb version of Otis Redding’s “Dreams To Remember.” It features a great solo from Chris, which he carried off despite breaking a string!

“Sinking” features magical vocals over a Floyd-esque guitar and drum, before “Aint No Moonlight” closes the set. With the small stage not affording the room for the band to leave and return to for an encore, the band continues with “Going Down,” before finishing with “Screaming,” named after Sally’s extraordinary reach on this song.

Buck & Evans has shown they can master the small stage as in the show in Bristol. They have also played a set worthy of any Donnington crowd. With the band’s fan base growing and more gigs to be announced, the horizon looks broad and welcoming for these blues rockers from Wales.

Photos by Becky O’Grady.

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