Monday, 17 June 2013

Daniel Bachman / Phil Tyler / Chuck Johnson - Live at The Northumberland Arms, Newcastle [17th June 2013]

[2013.06.17] Tom Hollingworth, for NARC Magazine.

As part of a tour around Europe before returning to his home in San Francisco, Chuck Johnson starts proceedings with his solemn Last Moments At Chittor. In amongst the revolving arpeggiated chords of his instrumentals sing mysteries to match the stories in his face. With whispers of audience conversations glistening the set, the Northumberland Arms is transformed into a Mid-West bar, with souls listening a while before moving on.

The evening's curator Phil Tyler follows with his banjo melodies; first with a new composition, then a medieval carol, both showcasing tunes from his latest record, released... today! Warm applause welcomes Cath Tyler to join him on stage and together they joke and duet, starting with an adaptation of You Are My Sunshine.

Daniel Bachman, like a freak-wave rolls into his set, rumbling the strings of his guitar with aggressive, muscular strength. At first I thought he was fighting for the conversationalists in the pub unaware his performance had begun, but soon I realised he was rebelling against a much higher power. With dexterity and roar juxtaposed, his weather devastated the hearts in the bar. At the apex, he turns briefly to a Hawaiian-style guitar, and he gifts us a softer song called Sarah; a carefully constructed highlight of the night.

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