Tonight, The Cluny in Newcastle braces itself for a Welsh invasion of sorts, as blues rock outfit Buck and Evans head north, bringing fellow countrymen Bigfeat along in tow.
Both Buck and Evans and opening act Bigfeat have made an almost nine-hour drive from Cardiff and Swansea respectively to be here tonight.
Bigfeat kick off the proceedings and the five-piece immediately grab the attention of the Geordie crowd with their brand of mighty Welsh rhythm and blues. The band are getting ready to release their new EP, from which their set includes all three tracks. These include the southern inspired, slide guitar wielding title track “Till The Sunrise” through to the much mellower set closer “Coming Home.” The band most certainly, made a big impression, no pun intended.
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s been worth the wait, as Buck and Evans take to the stage and make their debut performance in the North East of England. Sally Ann Evans seems fascinated by the local accent and reminisces about TV comedian Harry Enfield’s Geordie skits back in the 80s, before trying it out herself much to both her and the audiences amusement.
The band have written new material of late, and as such, they take the opportunity to road test some of those songs on the unsuspecting crowd. These include set opener “One Four” and “Common Ground,” the latter of which features some beautiful harmonies between Chris and Sally Ann.
These new numbers are interspersed between two of the earliest songs the group wrote together “Going Home” and “Trail of Tears” from their self-titled 2014 EP. The band deliver a jazzy rendition of “Impossible” before changing gear with their groove heavy latest single “Run Cold” with Evans demonstrating her powerful vocal range; she puts her heart and soul into her performance.
Tracks like the sublime “Slow Train” and their take on Otis Redding’s “Dream’s To Remember” really highlight Chris Buck’s phenomenal playing, his solo during the latter of which leaves the room speechless.
The band are so tight; Dominic Hill (bass), and Bob Richards (drums), who stood in for Phil Rudd in AC/DC back in 2014, are the perfect foil to Buck and Evans blistering fret work and smouldering vocals respectively. The pair compliment each other so well.
Buck and Evans finish their main set with the incredibly funky blues number “Ain’t No Moonlight” from their Live at Rockfield EP, but they aren’t done yet. The night comes to a close with the hard rocking “Screaming,” which raises the roof off The Cluny.
This may well have been Buck and Evans first show in Newcastle, but judging by the strength of their performance and the response they have received this evening, we highly doubt it will be their last.