DUNCAN REID & THE BIGHEADS / THE DUEL @ BUFFALO BAR, LONDON 05/12/12 REVIEW BY DERRICK MOORE
Descending into the bowels of north London's Buffalo Bar on a cold December night is always a pleasure when confronted by the sight of London's own nu-wave band The Duel who since having undergone a line-up change, have put out a couple of superb albums and are presently touring the concept album, collaborated with Max Splodge entitled 'Soundtrack To The End Of The World', from which their set-list tonight is mainly drawn. The highlights from it being 'Fake Like You', 'DoIt' and classy set closer the apocalyptic 'When The Fire Goes Out'featuring Andy Thierums fine keyboard work, and Tara Raz's voice and passion. Certainly a band to liven up any evening with their classy melodic sound!
And so onto tonight's headliners' The Boys guitarist Duncan Reid's solo project who have just released their debut album 'Little Big Head' produced by the Buzzcocks Tony Barber who is along tonight to check out the band, along with a healthy filled venue. The band is slower than his usual 'Boys' output, but more considered in terms of song writing and presentation, so think of an English Tom Petty crossed with Elvis Costello and you're getting close. The quartet opened with album track 'Montevideo' but it's not solely all new album tonight as those in attendance are already anticipating what Boys' songs will be aired! However the band are a quarter of the way through their set before throwing in 'Turning Grey', after Reid goes onto keyboards for new album classic 'Too Late'. A number of non album tracks pad out the middle section with 'C'est La Vie' and 'Roisin' before a great 'Kelly's Gone Insane' keeps the venue bopping away. And suddenly after '1977', it's that time again as following that number from the new album, the band re-create the heady days of 'The Roxy' with the stage tempo on fast forward, as Mr Reid re-visits his past on firstly 'Jimmy Brown' and then a great 'I Don't Care', before ending the set with a tear jerking blast through of The Boys' classic 'First Time'.Encores were inevitable and the opener was curve ball 'Gotta Call Simone' from the new album, before service was resumed as Duncan again visited his past successes with Boys'" classics 'Terminal Love', 'Worm Song' and final set closer 'Sick On You'.
So two great bands that deserve checking out in 2013, both of who compose and play songs that deserve to be heard. So go check 'em both out!