Once more to the Conservative Club in Long Street for another offering from Long Street Blues Club. On Saturday night it was Ryan McGarvey.
Support act Phil Cooper was first up. This local singer/ songwriter gave us a number of self-penned songs, very much based on his own experience and feelings. Phil writes some good songs, is a fine guitarist and a strong vocalist. But his inter-song banter is what probably lets him down a little – he comes across as a little desperate and needy at times. I mean it’s okay to mention the fact that you have CDs for sale perhaps once, towards the end of your set, but not between every song! Still, the crowd seemed to appreciate what he did. And, musically, the guy done well!
Then on to the main man, Ryan McGarvey, described in the media as “a star on the rise”. Ryan is said to tour constantly, and it was obvious from the very start that his power trio were a well-drilled, well-practised unit. His dynamic guitar playing style, screaming and wailing at times, lyrical and crooning at others, was a joy to listen to. With drummer and bass laying down some supportive bluesy, occasionally heavy, grooves the band built up the numbers in layers of sound.
But Ryan was not afraid to take the stage alone either. Whilst his two mates sloped off for a quick cuppa, Ryan provided some laid-back, haunting stuff that captivated the audience. This simpler, more stripped-back material demonstrated that Ryan is not just a one-trick pony, and these were a few of my favourite moments of the evening.
But then we were back to the power trio for the run in to the end of the set and the encore. Bits of virtuoso playing, bits of self-indulgence, together with some old-fashioned show-boating with the guitar seemingly playing itself on the floor. And it all went down a storm with the packed audience.
Another great night at Long Street Blues Club. Next up on 3rd November is the Malone Sibun Band – another one not to miss!