Fear of the coming week can be harmful to one’s behaviour. In full acceptance of this, I decided that the only place to be was The Ferry. Even if I couldn’t sail it down the Clyde, there was still some great music to be heard with the Billy Walton Band and the Pat McManus Band both promising a great night ahead. Guinness is never a bad idea, either.
In the same regard as doctors have accreditations accompanying their names, I believe that Pat McManus could be decorated with a musical equivalent. Along with his bassist and drummer - both rhythmically pinpoint - the Fermanagh man tore through a set of hard rockin’ blues in a way that would severely blister the hands of a lesser man. Equally dexterous at both violin and Irish bouzouki, it seemed that Pat could’ve played all night if he had enough instruments at his disposal. Indeed, if audience reaction was anything to go by, Pat was fortunate to escape the stage. A set of utter brilliance from one of Ireland’s great blues guitarists.
A tough act to follow, but, thankfully, the Billy Walton Band are bombproof. Having reached the end of their UK tour, the Billy Walton Band were in party mood. The incorporation of a saxophonist into their set only put further emphasis on their New Jersey origins. The fact that Billy is now a fully-fledged member of the Asbury Jukes speaks measures about how highly he is thought of and, on this showing, it’s hardly a surprise. Drawing largely from their latest release, “Live at the Stone Pony,” the band were jovial in character, while maintaining that redoubtable performance level that has seen them become regular visitors to the UK.
Billy’s guitar work was jaw-dropping at times, while bassist William and Simon (the affable touring drummer from Norwich) kept the beat with apparent ease. Despite not taking themselves too seriously, this act know and have what it takes to put on a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll show. Charisma is a helpful trait in any performance and this act knows it all too well.
Time to go home? No, it can’t be. Are you sure? I’ve barely even got my trousers off.