Reeves Gabrels & His Imaginary Friends / In Tyler We Trust / Bypolar [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 6/10/14]

reeves gabrelsAlthough Bypolar and In Tyler We Trust gave decent showings and played their hearts out, this show was definitively all about Reeves Gabrels & His Imaginary Friends. Bypolar have improved significantly since their support slot under DZ Deathrays, and In Tyler We Trust offered a ton of hard-rocking energy twinned with the occasional flamboyant display – but it was clear from each support’s tentative and uncertain experimentations that both acts are still testing the water and building their confidence. Reeves and his über-solid band, on the other hand, are old pros at this sort of thing – and, as you’d expect, it really showed here.

The biography accompanying this gig’s online announcement described Reeves Gabrels as “one of the most daring rock-guitar improvisers since Jimi Hendrix” – and it was right on the money. Meaty grooves; effortless harmonics-meet-feedback explorations; guttural volume swells; otherworldly wang bar work; slinky extended shred runs…I could go on until I ran out of adjectives and guitar techniques, but just listing things that happened doesn’t really do the things that happened justice. Reeves Gabrels isn’t a feel-lacking guitar wanker – there were great songs in this set, old and new, that just happened to segue into freaky and hyper-emotional alien-blues moments more often than not. And even when things did take a turn for the far-out, every note was handled with class, panache, and good taste.

Admittedly, those who jump on the “God, that’s a lot of notes!” bandwagon the moment a solo spot starts will find much to whine about if faced with a Reeves Gabrels set – but those who get their kicks from watching a master musician do what the fuck he likes will absolutely love it. Personally, I fall into the latter camp – so I’d more than recommend checking Reeves Gabrels and his band out while you have the chance.


For tour dates and other info, see Reeves Gabrels’ official website.

In Tyler We Trust official website.

Bypolar on Facebook and Twitter.

The Boileroom official website.

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Posted on 07 October 2014

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