Guitar virtuoso Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal kicks off his UK tour in support of his new solo album with a unique headline show in Newcastle.

Opening the evening were local indie outfit, Two Limbed Doll, and high energy pop/rock band Twister, who unbeknownst to the crowd had a pivotal part to play later in the evening. Each band brought with them quite a following and left the audience suitably warmed-up for the mighty Bumblefoot.

Having earlier given a master class to budding musicians at Newcastle College, Thal took to the stage at the O2 Academy for a show the likes of which has never been seen before. For one night only, Bumblefoot is backed by the North East’s own Twister. Thal asked the local boys if they would do him the honor of being his band for the evening when the show was first announced. Over recent months, they have been learning his material and talking with Ron on Skype. However, they only got to meet and rehearse with him in person at sound check on the afternoon of the show. This may seem a little unconventional to some, but the band were tight and looked comfortable together, as if Thal and Twister had been playing together for years.

Bumblefoot, armed with his trusty double neck axe and sporting a Newcastle United shirt much to the pleasure of the local audience, bursts into the opening riff to Mark Knopfler’s “Local Hero,” a song close to the heart of Newcastle’s football fans of the Toon Army.

Thal took the audience through an incredible career spanning set, with old favorites played alongside rock classics and material from Bumblefoot’s latest offering, Little Brother Is Watching which was just released at the end of February. The band were joined on stage throughout the performance by leather clad dancing girls, just to give the show an extra touch of rock n’ roll.

The audience were treated to fan favorites like “Real” from the 2005 album Normal, the stunning “Don’t Know Who To Pray To Anymore” from Bumblefoot’s new album, and “The Colour of Justice.” Thal also played his trademark cover of the “Pink Panther Theme.” Interspersed throughout the set were some fun riffs from the likes of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling,” The Animals “House of the Rising Sun,” and Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast.”

Ron took the opportunity to get up close and personal with the audience as he marched through the crowd during “Dash” from his album, Abnormal, somehow managing to take pictures with fans as he rocked his way through the venue without missing a single note.

The evening would not be completed without the Guns N Roses axe man giving us spell binding renditions of “Knocking on Heavens Door” and “Sweet Child of Mine.” Thal was joined on stage by guest vocalist Aurora Dawn from Alabama 3. This may have been Bumblefoot’s first solo show in the region, but it most certainly won’t be his last.

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Two Limbed Doll
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Alabama 3
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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