Snake Eyes Acoustic Tour 2019
G21 At The Saddle Rock Bar, Chester
Review and Pictures by Beth Jones
After not being to any live music for about six weeks, Rick and I were starting to get cabin fever, and were very glad to be getting out to one of our new favourite local venues, The G21 at The Saddle Rock Bar, Chester. This intimate venue is quirky and basic, but has an awesome feel about it and we were glad to be getting to see not only our favourite local acoustic legend, Edd Case, but also a stalwart of the scene, Luke Appleton, who is nearing the end of his 2019 ‘Snake Eyes’ acoustic tour. Here, he would be joined by the equally hard working and talented Becky Baldwin to add an extra depth to his acoustic set. But more importantly than all this, it was Ian ‘Beany’ North’s birthday, and we were intrigued to see how much he could drink!
We arrived to find everyone in high spirits, which instantly gave us that warm feeling of home that we had missed out on over the last few weeks. The stage was set, the drinks chilled, and the lighting delicately poised to make it possible to take pictures! First up to serenade us was Edd Case.
I have said it before and I will say it again, if you haven’t heard of Edd Case, and you are from round these parts, have you been living under a rock?! Edd is a multi-faceted individual, who has the perfect mix of comedy, seriousness, personality and humility. Having stared death in the face just over a year ago, he has bounced back and used this experience to give him extra passion. He plays a range of covers and original tracks, putting his own spin on everything. Here he played some crowd pleasers, and also introduced a couple of new original tracks, one of which, ‘The Underdog’, is now my second favourite of his original tracks, the first being ‘Letters Back Home’, which he played again in this set, and which brought the room to a hush – it is such an emotive song that the whole place, including me, had a communal lump in our throat and you could have heard a pin drop – THAT is how to gauge a special song. We love Edd. Simple as!
Our main event of the evening was the metal world’s answer to a Dynamo, Luke Appleton, with a special guest appearance from Becky Baldwin. These two musicians have got to be the hardest working pair on the scene at the moment. Down time is something that doesn’t exist in their world, which does two things. Firstly, and most importantly, it makes them fabulously tight and consummately professional – here they took us through 70 minutes of ‘Acoustic Metal’, which was fast paced, impeccably played, and planned to the nth degree, including the links between songs. The set list was comprised of Luke’s original acoustic material from his “Snake Eyes” album and more, along with tracks from Iced Earth and Absolva, both with which Luke is an integral part of. There is no denying that both Luke and Becky are insatiable musicians who ooze talent and always put on a great show, whether they are playing to ten people or ten thousand people – this performance, musically, being no exception.
For me, the second thing that their non-stop pace does is make them tired, and I’m not talking just physically tired, that goes without saying, but more of an emotional and creative weariness. Whilst this performance was undoubtedly a brilliant musical performance technically, for me something was missing. They looked shattered, and their eyes told a different story to their smiles. I love and admire both these musicians immensely, but this performance left me feeling an odd kind of melancholy which I didn’t like. Maybe I’m just being far too sensitive, but I would really encourage them to seriously consider taking some time off, so they can refresh their passion for music, as it would be an absolute travesty to see talent like theirs burn out.
All that being said, it was a great night of music, and what a way for Beany to celebrate his birthday – that is class – having THE Luke Appleton play your birthday! The only question left is – Beany, how can you top that next year?! Thanks again to Fozzy and Beany for their hard work putting on these shows, and also to Edd Case, Luke Appleton and Becky Baldwin for bringing us the music.
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All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images