google5fdb2843fc4f1b5b.html Rock Chic: Philip Sayce, Bristol Tunnels 27/7/11

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Philip Sayce, Bristol Tunnels 27/7/11

Like caged animals, the crowd were roaring and ready for new blues- rock sensation Philip Sayce to stride the stage tonight at the Bristol Tunnels.

In this compact, tubular venue, Philip instantly engages with the small but mighty crowd, and also the low ceiling to the left of the stage. Getting stuck straight in with an uncontrollable fret frenzy gives instant pleasure for the guitar hungry revellers. ‘Powerful Thing’, as featured on his latest album Ruby Electric, is a pleasing start and sets the tone nicely for the evening. It’s soulful, bluesy, sassy and exudes raw, rock dominance.

It’s within Sayce’s facial expressions that you see the intensity and passion he feels for his music. At times he looks ghost like - staring into space and as if in the room physically, but in spirit he is inside the mind of his strapped on Fender.

The first three rows are alive with the lightening flashes of cameras, seemingly not capturing images of Sayce himself, but the magic of what’s happening finger to string. Brains are dripping from the ceiling as they witness this mind blowing spectacle of guitar glory, mastery and ultimate control that seems to come with such ease.

Later in the set ‘Alchemy’, an instrumental track from the same album, slows things down a bit, but not one drop of passion is lost. This really allows Sayce to show off what he does best: a pure 5 minutes of organic talent, allowing his guitar to tell its own melodic story. The look of pride and enjoyment he displays when sharing this beautiful compilation is obvious and the excitement and adoration of those watching is awarded right back. A look between two friends or a wide smile and head nod from a fan is proof of how much this song is already in people’s hearts.

Later came a warm and sincere rendition of ‘Dream Away’from his earlier release 'Peace Machine', followed up by something more intemperate. Philip dashes towards the crowd, guitar in hand and cord following behind; standing mid throng, being observed and adored like a hero, everyone gathering eagerly to catch one glimpse or get a photo of the animalistic lashing and intricate dance of fingers on frets. The moment seems to last forever.

When jaws are lifted and Sayce is back on stage, he and the band deliver a perfect version of ‘Cinnamon Girl’, which sees the place jumping from the foundations. No-one wants this evening to end, but the perfect finish was honoured when during the final encore in the ultimate moment of rapture, the intensity gets too much to bear and climaxes with Philip ripping the strings from his already battered Fender and keeps rocking just as hard with the two left in tact.

Seeing Philip in the flesh is a must for any guitar fan. Here we are getting a taste of what once was thought unimaginable - a live and unrestrained taste of Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Ray Vaughan, laid bare, sexed up and absolutely unmissable.

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