London can at times be like a bag of pick’n’mix where you can choose the best bits of different gigs in one night. Tonight’s support act of choice was Welsh band Buffalo Summer, who have not only appeared at Download Festival this year, but who also have the likes of music legend Duff McKagan photographed wearing their band logo t-shirt and have adorned the pages of Classic Rock Magazine.
Gareth (drums), Jonny (guitar) and Darren (bass) cut through the intro track like a train exiting a musical tunnel as it rolls on through into town, as singer Andrew took to the stage, tambourine in hand wearing a tasselled, brown suede jacket and breaking into the opening lines of ‘She’s All Natural’.
Andrew may well have arrived on ‘A Horse Called Freedom’ for all I know, as he seemed to be fuelled by an adrenalin rush, cavorting around the stage and sharing his microphone in the chorus interchangeably with Darren and Jonny, showing a good interrelationship between the band members.
‘Truth from Fable’ provided Jonny with an opportunity to deliver some bars of proficient guitar solo into the ears of those already assembled, with an alcoholic beverage in hand.
Additional solos appeared later on in the set, which were underpinned by some solid bass lines from Darren. Gareth kept a good beat, covered his kit with his sticks and even threw in some drumming standing up, truly getting involved in the moment, arms moving in a manner of controlled flailing.
The sound levels were well mixed tonight; Andrew held some good notes and whilst maybe the vocal levels could have done with a little more oomph (technical term meaning increase of volume), overall it was very clear.
Earlier in the night when I interviewed them, they said that a mutual smirk is a sign that there has been a little mistake by someone during a gig, but there was not a single one in sight tonight. As Buffalo Summer worked through their set, there was a steady stream of people flowing down the stairs of The Borderline and by the time they got to the penultimate song and latest single ‘Down to the River’, for which they recently released a video, the venue had filled nicely with a convivial audience.
This song was very well received and as it concluded, the music stopped and the band stood clapping their hands over their heads, getting the audience involved and seeing the song out with a cappella harmonies.
As the pace picked up, cries of “MARY, MARY” emanated through the PA system for final song ‘Typhoid Mary’. A fittingly upbeat conclusion to their thirty minute set, which was met with rapturous applause and cheers. A job well done tonight lads.
Set List – She’s All Natural, A Horse Called Freedom, Truth from Fable, Rolls on Through, March of the Buffalo, Down To the River, Typhoid Mary
Buffalo Summer are heading out in Europe with the Quireboys this month and will be playing Planetrockstock in December. For more information, please visit www.buffalosummer.net.
Photos courtesy of HelsBels Photography