Martin Harley Band / Andy Ruddy [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 27/2/2015]
I love seeing musicians progress in leaps and bounds – and Andy Ruddy has done exactly that. The last time I saw him live, Andy Ruddy seemed reserved and nervous – but both qualities have now been completely eliminated, replaced by a confident and strong yet still warm and approachable presence. With a strong stage show, great songs in the singer-songwriter vein, and an album on the way, 2015 is looking very good indeed for Andy Ruddy.
Martin Harley is a local legend, and it’s almost criminal that I’d never seen the guy play live before this show. Harley has a serious reputation, and lived up to it effortlessly in front of a packed-solid crowd. Whether Martin Harley pulls out his lap steel guitar or a standard six-string, that instrument is set to stun every time, fuelling intense bluesy tunes such as Mojo Fix, Blues at My Window, and Nobody’s Fault but Mine. Even a totally unplugged version of Spotify favourite Winter Coat was filled with feeling in a manner for which many of Harley’s contemporaries would gladly sell their souls.
In short, Martin Harley’s show is worth every penny paid in advance. This show may have only featured two acts, but together Martin Harley and Andy Ruddy provided more value than some six-band bills do. One you can’t afford to miss, and one you need to watch.
Big love as always to the Boileroom crew for an epic night, and James Dewar for a wicked sound job.
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