LIVE REVIEW: Andrew Combs @ The Cluny 2, Newcastle (25.01.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Andrew White

With the benefit of hindsight, the Cluny 2 was the perfect venue for this gig. The intimate space complemented the intimate performance very well. Andrew Combs has a voice that demands silence. Or rather, one that commands it as soon as his wholesome melodies are uttered.

Opening with Rose Coloured Blues, we were immediately transported to Nashville, the ancestral homeland of Americana and country blues. Combs lined up with guitarist Charlie Whitten, whose Fender Princeton-powered Gibson ES-335 let out some of the dreamiest, smokiest adornments I’ve ever heard.

As the duo settled into their set, it seemed that the whole audience became emotionally invested. It’s the sort of music which, after a long week at work, will have you reaching for the handkerchiefs. Especially when Combs dedicated the third song, All These Dreams, to his wife who was back home in Nashville looking after their 17-month old son.

Each song was sung with such passion and feeling it felt as though we were the subject. The set was a journey through Combs’ Southern heartaches, interspersed with country quips about the congestion of British roads and complemented by nomadic runs and riffs from a guitarist for whom rhythm and blues was not a genre of music but a way of life.

Combs and Whitten sent us home with an encore of Foolin’ and Hazel, two songs which allowed the talented singer to open up his throat, in a climactic end to a set that had generally been a lesson in subtlety, rhythm and restraint.


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