Duff McKagan – Islington Assembly Hall, London – 29th August 2019

First up tonight was Shooter Jennings and his band. Previously I’d only seen a few minutes of his set at Ramblin Man, so was looking forward to hearing more from him tonight. He plays guitar and keyboards, spending some songs sitting at the keyboard while for others he stands and plays guitar. He’s got a great band behind him too, and it’s a great set, an enjoyable mix of Southern Rock and Outlaw Country. An excellent start to the night.


After the interval, Duff McKagan took to the stage alongside Shooter Jennings and his band (who are acting as Duff’s band on this tour). If you hadn’t heard Duff’s latest album then tonight’s set might have come as a surprise – this is no hard rock or metal set despite that being the type of music we generally associated with Duff McKagan thanks to Guns’n’Roses or Duff McKagan’s Loaded. Instead this is a more laid back Americana sound. The album (Tenderness) is an absolute masterpiece and was recorded with Shooter Jennings.

Tonight’s set features no less than seven songs from the album including his emotional song about school shootings, “Parkland”. Alongside these songs we also get some of the more obscure Guns’n’Roses songs that were almost unrecognisable as they were reworked. Hearing “You ain’t the first”, “Dead Horse” and “Dust n’bones” tonight was a treat as were the covers from The Clash and Mark Lanegan, but for me it was the songs from Duff’s “Tenderness” album that were the real highlight tonight – “Chip away” and “Parkland” in particular.

Tonight we got to see a different side of Duff McKagan, not the hard rocking man we’re used to, but a softer more thoughtful Duff. I hope he’ll make more albums like “Tenderness” as I think it’s some of the best music he’s ever done.

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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