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  • Writer's picturePaul Gainey

Willie and Bandits, Thekla Bristol

I have seen Willie and Bandits live before mostly recently supporting Samantha Fish in Cardiff and they were great and last nights intimate set aboard the Thekla in Bristol was going to be hard to pull off but they pulled off an amazing performance.

What an outstanding set, showcasing the new album. With a smattering of old favourites thrown in. Great sound in high grade venue.

Individuality is a rare and beautiful thing in music, a lot of artists seemingly happy to cut and paste from well-worn and successful paths created by those who came before. Not so, Wille and the Bandits, their own blend of hard rock and blues spiked with other elements at once familiar but also overwhelmingly fresh.

It’s an odd juxtaposition but it works, the band standing out like beacons in a crowded market.

Caught in the Middle opened with a huge organ sound and a keening guitar, the shimmering promise morphing into a heavy and funky workout.

Quite how they made Refuge both ethereal and driving is somewhat beyond comprehension, its otherworldliness bewitching and Move Too Fast blended stop/start funk with psychedelia.

Encoring with the heavy blues boogie wrecking ball that is In This Together, it was game, set and match for the boys from Cornwall.

They may be hard to pin down, but they’re even harder to hold back and may well be one of the most exciting bands we’ve seen in a very long time.

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