Duane Eddy “Twangs” his way through his extensive back catalogue for our pleasure, bringing with him one of New Yorks finest.

Nell Bryden has the pedigree, the voice and the guitar to share a stage with Duane Eddy. Coming all the way from New York City she tells her stories though music and a mighty fine job of it she does. Tonight’s performance is full of emotion her powerful, soulful voice resonates around The Anvil and gently wraps itself around every shoulder in the crowd. She’s got it, that’s for sure and she talks to the crowd when not singing, making us feel like we belong with her. Nell has quite an extensive back catalogue of songs and she chooses them well for tonight’s performance, also playing a few songs from her eagerly anticipated album “Shake the Tree” which is released on 18th June.  Pick of the bunch are “Sirens” (all about the one of the most famous days in recent history 9/11) and the title track of her new album “Shake the Tree” which she credits to her father for reminding her that she has never been one to sit around waiting for the apples to fall from the tree, she is the one who would walk up to the tree and shake it. With her new single “Buildings and Treetops” making itself onto the Radio 2 play list we will all be hearing a lot more of Nell Bryden.

Duane Eddy is the original “guitar man”; he has been playing his guitar since the mid-fifties and he doesn’t look like he is going to hang up his plectrums anytime soon. Tonight’s show is a master class in all things “Twang”, his ability to make his guitar sound the way it does is extraordinary. With his backing band (borrowed from Richard Hawley) Duane Eddy takes us through a musical journey from the late 50’s to the present. Hits such as “Moovin ‘N’ Groovin”, “Yep”, “Shazam!” and “Because they’re Young” Make for a really happy crowd, we are also treated to anecdotes between songs, giving tonight’s performance a real special feel. We are taken to a “smoke filled bar” in New Orleans for “Three-30-Blues” and then on an uncompromising Arizona road for “Forty Miles of Bad Road”. Taking time to talk through his songs is a real pleasure for Duane and us, it’s not often you can say you have been in a room with a legend and feel he wanted to be there as much as you. Playing some of his newer material it’s clear that the musicianship he and his band possess doesn’t solely involve his trademark twanging guitar “Road Trip” and “The Attack of the Duck Billed Platypus” are testament to this. “Bleaklow Air” and “Mexborough Ferry Boat Halt” further enhance the trust he puts in his band to write strikingly good songs. Taking us back to the 60’s with the ultimate cool catz theme tune “Peter Gunn” it is a fitting climax to a wonderful show, with the crowd demanding more Duane and the band return for 2 more songs before he and his band are treated to a standing ovation. 

Basingstoke Anvil, May 2012

Article by Andy Jamieson