(PHOTO CREDITS: MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY)
The weather can be unpredictable in the Welsh Valleys, and none more so in December. As I drove to the venue the snow that had threatened all day made a full appearance. I was looking forward to seeing the three bands on the bill - I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Beth and Buffalo Summer always draw a crowd. The middle band, though, were new to me. I know the drummer, of course, as Pearler is Gareth Hunt’s other band. I arrived in good time - I had no idea what the stage times were. I asked Beth what time they were due on “When we are ready – it’s pretty fluid” she told me, “We’ll go on when we are ready and play for as long as we want to”. Pretty relaxed, informal and like playing in someone’s house.
The Dragonffli is a lovely little venue. The stage is tiny, but the sound is great. Everyone who comes in is a friend. If a stranger walks in, they are a friend in about 3 minutes. By the time Buffalo Summer and Pearler had done some sound checking, Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters took to the tiny stage. Fresh off a tour with the Electric Boys, they performed a finely honed set. The concentrated tour time and revamped stage image has worked wonders for them. It’s probably the best I’ve seen them in the 2 years since I first saw them live. With a well rehearsed set, Beth’s powerful voice was in fine form, and not even a broken string put her off. It being local, most of the audience were known to the band and really enjoyed the show.
Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters are:
Beth Blade- Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Songwriter.
Luke Strickland- Lead Guitar.
Nick Goodwin- Bass Guitar.
Sam Brain- Drums.
Check them out at:
The relaxed and informal atmosphere continued as Pearler took their places. They are clearly a band who enjoy each others’ company and the banter that had been evident in the bar earlier continued as they took their places and played their set. Pearler have a much heavier vibe and they really get into the groove with their guitar focused music. On occasions Freaky, (Bass) took lead vocals and his voice really reminded me of Dave Grohl - with the American accent, obviously! Musically, they are hugely talented and the sizeable audience was treated to their first performance of a new track ‘Untouchable’. I’d like to see this band again!
Wendel Kingpin - Guitar & Vox
Evs - Guitar
Freaky - Bass & B Vox
Gareth Hunt - Drums
Check them out at
Finally, Buffalo Summer were on stage. Andrew Hunt (Vocals) is normally quite active on stage but tonight seemed very constrained on the tiny stage. As normal, he chats to the audience with his engaging manner and entertained us with his honey laden voice. Darren King (Bass) and Gareth Hunt (Drums) are a rhythm section that can deliver and flawlessly performed the familiar Buffalo Summer songs with the guitar solos giving the whole set a fantastic bluesy feel. They played several new songs which we will see on a new album that is in production. They have a good vibe to them and they are a pleasure to watch and listen to. Unsurprisingly, at the end of their set, the crowded room refused to let the band leave, demanding some more of their fabulous music. Ready, willing and able to oblige, the South Wales based foursome continued to play, appeasing their local fans.
Buffalo Summer are:
Guitar - Jonny Williams
Vocals - Andrew Hunt
Bass - Darren King
Drums - Gareth Hunt
Check them out at:
Finally, with the music over we discovered that the snow had fallen, but the treacherous weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of those who had enjoyed such a wonderful night of South Wales rock.
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