Predicted to be the next Irish blues guitar hero in the footsteps of Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore, former Young Guitarist of the Year McBride has undeniable guitar artistry combined with a fine voice and a real knack for creating memorable hooks and great melodies.
Simon comes to Gloucester with his band as part of a tour to promote his new CD Crossing The Line (release Sept 24), a fiery amalgam of guitar skills, songcraft and character-soaked vocals, spinning tales of girls, gambling and corporate avarice. Recorded in Northern Ireland and The USA, mixing of the album was placed in the experienced hands of New York-based Peter Denenberg, the veteran producer and engineer whose CV takes in everyone from Deep Purple to the Spin Doctors and Robert Cray). Industry critics reckon this is the album that truly delivers on McBride’s potential.
And what potential. Rewind to the early-’90s, and you didn’t have to squint to spot future greatness in the unassuming kid from Belfast, who picked up his first guitar at ten and eschewed formal lessons to bend his fingers around the music of Free, Jeff Beck and Hendrix. Aged 15, Simon won Guitarist’s hotly-contested Young Guitarist of the Year competition in a Wembley Conference Centre showdown, and at 16, he turned pro, leaving education behind to wow the world as a hired gun in projects than ranged from metal with 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 when he released his debut album Rich Man Falling in 2008, it was clear this musician was nobody’s heir, but rather his own artist.
A UK tour opening for guitar wizard Joe Satriani gave Simon’s profile a boost, while he proved his appeal reached far beyond guitar nuts with a set at Glastonbury 2011, and Don Airey’s Soul & Blues Festival. He has also supported Jeff Beck and Joe Bonamassa.
It’s all been building up to the international release of Crossing The Line: the album that will recruit more followers to Simon’s fanbase, raise the bar for blues-rock, and kick out a chair at the top table of the genre. This is the sound of a world-class talent.
“Hugely accomplished.” MOJO
"Ireland has a knack of throwing up diamonds, of which McBride most definitely is one... this boy's going places." HIFI+
“McBride is now among the best blues-rock players anywhere in the world.” GUITARIST MAGAZINE
Tickets: £10 Adv. £12 Door
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012
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