Duanne Eddy & Nell Bryden at Sage Gateshead (2012)

Duane Eddy & Nell Bryden    
Sage Music Centre Gateshead
27th May 2012

Nights like these are what Rock & Roll are all about for me.

The evening began with a spellbinding set by NYC singer Nell Bryden who captivated the capacity crowd from her first song; What Does it Take? Which is the title track from her debut album; through to the last Buildings and Treetopswhich has just been released as a single.

Ever smiling and very comfortable on stage Nell just oozes class with every song and the story behind them; making each one sound like you’ve known it for years.

Nell’s expressive voice and the strumming on her 1946 Gibson guitar were a perfect match for her tale of the 9/11 aftermathSirens but she also raised the stakes and the atmosphere with the powerful Shake the Tree.

After being stranded in the wilderness for far too many years; Duane Eddy was recently re-discovered by Richard Hawley and released a brand new album last year called ROAD TRIP which was heavily featured tonight.

Apart from Surfing; which the rather dapper looking Duane claimed to be the forerunner of Surf Music, everything else tonight was a variation on a Western theme and more or less just what the public wanted.

Of the less well known tracks tonight, Yep heavily featured Eddy’s trademark Twang sound and the long haired sax player and had all of the feet around me tapping in time. The ballad (without actual words) the Lonely Ones was a delight as was 3.30 Blues and Shazam sounded much more rootsier than I remembered.

In this cynical day and age I was pleasantly surprise to see that Duane Eddy was still doing all of the twiddly bits on his signature Cherry Red Gretsch guitar without the aid of a safety net; as the other guitarist ‘Shez’ Sherrington appeared more than happy to stay in the background playing rhythm and looking cool.

The tracks from the latest album ROAD TRIP divided opinion, as they were longer and bleaker than Eddy’s Greatest Hits that the majority of the audience had come to hear but were still warmly received.

With nods to British DJ’s Johnnie Walker and John Peel who had championed his music for 50 years, Duane brought the Masterclass to an end with Rebel Rouser and Peter Gunn which had the crowd on their feet screaming for more.

When the band returned for an encore, the audience called for at least a dozen different songs but for some reason Duane decided to play the hauntingMexborough Ferry Boat Halt from ROAD TRIP and then Hard Times before promising to come back next year.


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