Review: Willie and the Bandits – The Continental, Preston: 17.11.13
Posted on: Sunday, Nov 24, 2013
Getting to a venue early has its advantages … first in the queue and a chat with the band! Great venue, hidden away in back streets of ‘down town’ Preston .. and it’s by the river. Good lighting and sound too. It’s deffo’ a ‘listen to the music’ place, with a nice atmosphere.
A local Preston band, Möbius Loop, were supporting this evening. They were a six piece with an ‘alternative folk rock’ flavour … and with such a variety of instruments this made a very interesting set.
But now the highlight of the evening Wille and the Bandits. Music that is difficult to categorize, as they have their own take on ‘rock’ music with ‘blues’ overtones and a ‘new view’ to songwriting.
Based in Cornwall, they have been hitting the road running on their ‘Grow’ tour with Wille Edwards on slide guitar and vocals, Matthew Brooks on six string and upright bass and Andrew Naumann on drums. With the use of a variety of instrumentation, they certainly create a huge sound which puts them in a class of their own for a three piece band.
Airing songs from their current CD, ‘Grow’, they had the crowd spellbound. Some of the songs have a strong message, but the vocals were sung with passion and the slide guitar, and guitar playing were superb as were the tight drum work and solid bass playing especially the bowed upright bass, just epic!
The use of the lap slide by Wille on ‘Under The Grove’ definitely drew my attention. They also did a Wille and the Bandits version of the Peter Green number ‘Black Magic Woman’. Andrew substituted the snare drum for an African drum and again with the use of lap slide by Wille, probably one of the best versions I have heard of that track.
Matt as a bass player, was in a class of his own, proven by the amazing six string bass solo he performed and the versatility with the upright electric bass. Andrews style of drumming, that so suits the music, was not unlike a jazz drummer, but at higher velocity. Willie’s voice and superb guitar playing puts him a notch above the norm. I think this is why they were such a crowd pleaser as you could not describe their music as from one genre and ‘variety is the spice of life’
The set finished with an amazing encore when they returned to the stage to play a Dire Straits track, which I think blew everyone away. An awesome performance by three extremely talented guys. Having listened to their album GROW many times, to see them live was a surreal experience, this is where these guys win hands down!!!!
ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive