From the moment the first chord powered out we knew we were in for something a little bit special.
Openers Budderside had the audience eating out of their hands from the word go with a tight set of hard rock originals and a unique take on some classics including possibly the finest reworking of Folsom Prison Blues I have heard for some time.
Headliners Ennuf Z’Ennuf and Bullet Boys were going to have to go some to top that; no cause for concern as both bands were in scintillating form.
With a charismatic front man looking for all the world like a Viv Stanshall/Elton John hybrid, Enuff Z’Enuff brought this Californiafest to new heights with smooth harmonies and sing-a-long rock choruses underpinned by thunderous metal beats and virtuoso guitar riffs all delivered with a tongue-in-cheek swagger that was a delight to behold.
By the end of their breakneck set the audience was salivating for more.
Enter Bullet Boys.
With temperatures outside plummeting, the heat inside this intimate venue was cranked up to boiling point as the band brought every ounce of experience from their 34-year illustrious career to the fore.
Over the years the platinum-selling band have honed their craft to perfection and, despite their longevity, there is nothing retro about Bullet Boys.
Their slick and exhilarating set oozed professionalism and was a masterclass of hard rock musicianship that combined powerful vocals, glam rock posturing, searing guitar solos, funky bass lines and express train drumming to create an exhilarating sound that is as fresh today as it was in the 80s.
The band worked the audience to a frenzy and, as the final false ending built to a searing, feedback fuelled crescendo, the only disappointment was that it had to end!
Credit must be given to the Waterloo Music Bar’s growing reputation that it is able to entice artists of such global reputation and pedigree from the other side of the Atlantic.
A very special night that will live long in the memory.