Ah, the Bullingdon, we’re lucky to have it. Despite the appalling toilets, it’s great that
With only a modest crowd of mostly middle aged men, I had some trepidation as my friend and I walked into the dark belly of the venue. I feared we would be greeted by a cringey display of apologetic mediocrity, and be obliged to stay for fear of offending. Much relieved we were when Beard of Destiny came on; clearly comfortable, clearly at home and at ease. Despite being a duo on drums and guitar, the pair managed to fill the space and get some great rhythms going - One Man Blues Machine was particularly good.
The twelve-string did a good job at kicking out a fuller sound, and the crowd had clearly seen the pair before and knew their songs. The music was perfectly pleasant, if little sparse on stage, being just one man and his drummer. My friend hit the nail on the head when, smiling, he turned to me and said “good ol’ fashioned dad-rock”. Yup.
Country for Old Men, however, were not sparse at all, either on the stage or in sound. A full five piece featuring stand up bass, electric and acoustic guitars, the compulsory banjo, harmonica, drums and a spot-on country voice. Launching straight in with high energy country, the band brought a wide smile to my face and a jig to my foot, both of which stayed firmly in place for the rest of the night.
The whole band were clearly excellent musicians; the music was tight and practiced. A particular shout out has to go the electric guitar, which was exceptionally good while not being domineering or overly showy. Frontman Des Barkus had energy, a great voice and, looked ever so comfortable in his own skin. Oh, and Voodoo Child on the banjo is very pleasing indeed. The appreciative home crowd were happy and everyone was having a great time. There was even a dude with a twirly moustache and a Stetson - awesome.
I had a good Friday night out and, as sign of their quality, on the bus home I attempted to find Country for Old Men on Spotify. Though sadly they were not there, Des Barkus is, and now he will live on forever in my 'downloaded album' list.