Monday, 20th August 2018
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It was stranding room only when Billy Roche brought his neat band and his red guitar to the Wexford Arts Centre last week. A small number of recent had suggested tat Billy’s success as a writer and playwright had been the music scene’s loss, s the Red Guitar Tour give us a chance to make up for lost time.

Roche’s unique style no only stems from his expressive singing voice but his open-tuned guitar technique enables him to blend traditional fold elements with touches of sixties/seventies psychelelia and eastern overtones. Added to his already established deft way with words he has now created a body of finely-wrought songs that held the audience spellbound throughout.

Billy was aided and abetted by long term Roach B and sidekick Mike Odlum on bass and keyboards and comparative newbie Pete McCamley on percussion and anything else that came to hand. you might expect Billy’s wit and some inter-band banter added to the gaiety of the occasion as did some chat about the latest football scores.

But there was also much serious work to be done. "Julia" has a delicate seventies prog-folk feel while the murder ballad "Three Lovely Ladies" was delivered with appropriate aplomb and jus a little menace. "On The Run" had echoes of Mike Heron’s of Incredible String Band fame. "Lost" is a plaintive song that evoked memories of Al Stewart and benefited from Odlum’s subtle piano contributions, and "Yearning" left space for that droning open-tuning guitar style too.

You can catch the band in Waterford on Saturday 19th My when they play St. Patrick’s Gateway. Tickets 20 euro + booking fee.

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