Rated 5 out of
Stormin show by Red Butler
So, was quite looking forward to catching Red Butler again, almost 2 years since their exciting performance at Durham Blues festival. The anticipation given more edge by the changes that have been gong on in the band in the intervening time; new album, 2nd guitar brought in, then the departure of vocalist Jane.
With the band now back to being a 4 piece, were they going to be more of a “boy-band” or, McFly wannabes? I’m happy to report that those notions went straight out the window as soon as they kicked into opener Say Hello. Immediately it was clear what a good move a second guitar has been, freed from having to play several parts, Alex was now soloing like Typhoon fighter with afterburners blazing; and as for vocals, Dan has more of a bluesier edge than Jane’s rocking voice, so there’s a noticeable shift though he can also make Shakin’ All Over sound very lewd…. Overall impression of the new guy - he’s got that Steve Marriott Artful Dodger twinkle. Can’t not mention Mike & Charlie, the great backline, perfect foil for Alex’s fret fireworks. Highlight of the 1st half set though, had to be their re-working of Old Love; different arrangement to King King’s, but worked so well - Dan proving he’s an old soul, and Alex working some real magic. Though to be fair to the guys, t wasn’t just the covers that were winning the audience over, their own Last Page of The Blues was a goose bump moment.
If they had any nerves in the first set, playing a new-to-the-band venue, they were certainly dispelled in the 2nd set, and they were really tearing up the Forum stage.even with an acoustic start which saw a very sensitive SRV number between Alex & Dan with Charlie joining in on box and Mike on bass for their own Calm Before The Storm and finally dipping in to current chart music with their cover of Rag’n'Bone Man’s Human as a nod to Ukfield’s other music superstar, Rory Garham. From then on, it was party time, and the guy really kicked some covers about including the Bobby Blue Bland - Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City, for a bit sin-a-long with Darlington. Going Down, Show Me The Money had Alex, Dan & Mike running round the audience with their guitars before doing their “human centipede” trick - Mike centre playing rhythm on the top of Alex’s guitar while Aex plays lead on the bottom strings while Dan takes on the bass still round Mike..
The encore was a great romping medley of Hit The Road Jack, leading into Purple Haze and back, but even after more than 2hrs stage time, the guys were still running hot. Absolutely cracking stuff.
After the show, Alex asked, “do you think they liked it?” “Yes, we b****y loved it.”
Date published: 2017-04-12