By Kieran Webber
When an artist like Simo strolls into town it’s hard to find an excuse not to go. For probably the first time ever we were subjected to one of the modern guitar greats all but a stone’s throw from home. Simo has been recognized by the likes of Joe Bonamassa, who described him as his “New favourite guitarist” and, after experiencing him live, I can see why.
The night provided a soulful blues experience for all, with the bands offering up the goods and the audience lapping it up. There were moments during both sets where I struggled to take photos as I was too busy grooving out, and especially during Simo’s.
Kicking the night off was The Big Guns, an energetic three piece who warmed the growing crowd up with their belting solos and heavy percussion. They were followed by ever-popular, The Big Sets, one of Newquay’s highest praised bands due to their infectious funk sensibilities and immersive onslaught of blues.
After having been sufficiently loosened up by the support, the crowd grew hungry for Simo and, after a quick setup, the band graced the stage. From the first strike of his guitar I was hooked, wide-eyed and jaw slapping the floor. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. I wasn’t just watching a group of musicians pour their everything into their instruments, I truly felt part of something special. The crowd united under one banner of heavy riffs and hooks so large you could hang your hat off them.
As a band they were ridiculously tight, and seemed to know by instinct exactly where each member of the band was about to go. Many a time they went off course and off on a drawn-out tangent, a complete psych-out that was a pulsating wall of energy. One of these said musical explorations led to one of the most solid drum solos I have ever seen at a live show. As many will agree the drum solo is a tough one to handle as sometimes it can go on for too long and lose momentum. Put simply, the drum solo is an art-form and one that this drummer had down to a tee. I’d even argue that as a whole, it was Bonham worthy.
As per, the intimate Whiskers created yet another close-quartered and truly special atmosphere that all were lucky to be involved in. The Big Sets did Newquay proud and Simo blew the fucking roof off.