The plastic glasses couldn’t even be blamed on football fans. Inexcusable. Then there’s the issue of exorbitant pricing. Paying £3.40 for a pint of lemonade would drive you to drink. In the end, though, no great whining came from those who saw The Wilders thrill a deserving audience in the Classic Grand.
Though barely given time to itch between songs, the Dirty Beggars went some way to put Peebles on the map. Homing in on an excellent bluegrass sound, this family-focused quintet wasted no time in working their audience with a wholesome offering of roots music that stood to remind listeners of the debt that American music owes to the Celtic nations – and vice-versa. It would not be unwise to speculate that the Dirty Beggars may soon be going places. You read it here first. They’ll get my vote.
Comparisons to fine wine don’t seem to suffice in the case of The Wilders. More suitable, perhaps, is the likening to a vintage single malt or bourbon. In what wound up as a two-set assault, the Kansas City-based bluegrass outfit were in fine form as they played in support of their new, self-titled album. Hi-octane wasn’t always the byword (though here were a few “shitkickers”), but their performance never dropped below excellent. “Get Up Kid” was early evidence of the intensity of their act while their unplugged wingding with the Dirty Beggars at the end drew rapturous applause.
Now, I had been warned. Having been absolutely wonderful in both sets, it seems that The Wilders will continue to tear up venues across the land. Is there any stopping them? I hope not. Go and see.