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Thursday, 29 March 2018

A View From The Back Of The Room: Buffalo Summer

Buffalo Summer, Pearler & The Ginger Lizards, Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff

Finally a gig after recent cancellations due to extreme weather it was great to get out of the house to see some fine Welsh rock and roll. As we went into Fuel Rock Club the guys at Big Day Productions were making all the last minute adjustments for the nights show and the after a quick (hilarious) chat with the opening band the first few punters came in and it was time to go. The Ginger Lizards (7) are a three piece blues rock band that play dirty, crunchy blues with a dirty biker ethos country twang playing a bit like Pig Iron. They were a very polished act despite only being a band for a year, their music got the crowd rocking with their rollicking blues rocking, splitting the vocals between the bassist Martin Daniels and guitarist Martin Thomas, it was all gutsy roots music with a rock n roll snarl. They had some some supreme Cigar box guitar playing for On The Highway, while the rest of the set was bolstered by Snakes And Ladders, Burning Desire a Hank III cover and a turbocharged version of Folsom Prison Blues. On first viewing they are a tight unit with a plethora of tracks that brought in an audience. The name by the way is derived from the guitarist being ginger, having their studio in a lounge and there already being a band called The Lounge Lizards. So now you know.

Next up were Swansea based Pearler (7) who brought sleazy stoneresque riffs and some anthemic choruses. The band themselves were a real mismatch of visuals with a guitarist and bassist looking like they've come off the Sunset Strip and the singer is a big broad bearded brethren, likely to be seen in the swamps of NOLA. The riffs were a major part of their sound the grooves were thick and syrupy but they also had melodic hooks as mentioned before, they weren't really my thing but the crowd lapped them up like they were playing an arena, if you like your sleazy riffs with a stoner groove you might want to check out Pearler the next time they're around

Finally then as the room filled out properly it was time for the headliners. Now I'm into the multiples of 10 for seeing Buffalo Summer (8) and everytime they bring something a little different to the table, having added more soul and swagger to their classic hard rock stylings on their second album it means their live show is now a slick well oiled machine. On this time round they displayed a lot of bravery by opening the the set with an as yet unreleased song, but it's atmospheric sound made it a slow burning, excitement building beginning. In fact the entire set was punctuated with new tracks meaning that the assembled throng got a bit of treat to hear where Buffalo Summer are going next. I'll say overall that they seem to be adding a little bit of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains to their already established blues driven hard rock stylings.

From the new opener it was straight into the strutting Little Charles. Which was followed by a more traditionally hard rocking new song called Everybody's Out For Number One. The funky rock grooves were permeating with the usual touches of Zep and Free the obvious reference points, they even dabble with proper bluesing as things slowed down but the thump of the band remained even in their more sedate offerings. The thick bass riffs of Darren King driving Blame It On The Money, with Gareth Hunt locking it down behind the kit. His brother Andrew has a cracking proper rock voice and works in tandem with the explosive guitar playing of Jonny Williams.

Buffalo Summer got the crowd rocking good and proper, with a partisan audience shaking their tail feathers from the first note. They used the evening to showcase some songs that are on their new album due for release later this year, but it was numbers such as Heartbreakin Floorshakin that got the best reception. The tracks that featured lots of crowd participation were gamely received invoking many Saturday night shout alongs to High As The Pine, Rolls On Through and A Horse Called Freedom. A band that keep getting better and under their own steam, they garner a stream of support with every gig, with a third album in the offing surely it's about time Buffalo Summer rise to that next level?

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