Preview: Simon McBride

The Arches 11/12

World class Irish guitarist Simon McBride returns to Glasgow on December 11th following a storming debut in the City in March to promote his latest album, Crossing The Line.

The Belfast-born guitarist has gained a pile of accolades for the album including “best of 2012” picks in several UK music magazines and a 2013 nomination for best blues-rock album in the Chicago-based Blues Blast Awards.

The album was well received across the Atlantic, prompting the American magazine ‘Performer’ to say “The Holy Trinity of Belfast rock ‘ roll – Van Morrison, Rory Gallagher & Gary Moore – might just be on the verge of becoming a four-leaf clover.”

Simon picked up his first guitar at ten and eschewed formal lessons to bend his fingers around the music of Free, Jeff Beck and Hendrix. At 16, he turned pro, leaving education behind to wow the world as a hired gun in projects that ranged from filling Vivian Campbell’s shoes in Sweet Savage, to R&B and soul with ex-Commitments vocalist Andrew Strong.

Even by the lofty standards of Northern Ireland, where drinkers still raise a toast to the audacious talent of the late Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore, this young maestro’s name was soon starting to be dropped in the same reverential breath. Certainly, Simon is a fan, and the energy and aggression of his live show recalls those much-missed Irish masters, but McBride’s sound is his own. He has supported such great names as Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck and and Joe Bonamassa. Now it’s his turn. Step-forward a new world-class talent.

[Lorna Stallard]

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