Buffalo Huddleston EP Launch – Cock and Bull – 10/08/13

The Buffalo Huddleston TrioThe Cock and Bull has become something of a home for acoustic music in Guernsey over the last decade or so with its weekly open mic night being as firm a part of the local music landscape as the Vale Earth Fair or Chaos and its more unique music nights like the Baroque Band standing alongside regular folk and jazz evenings as mainstays of a more alternative to the alternative nature of Guernsey’s music scene.

So it seemed appropriate for The Buffalo Huddleston Trio to launch their debut EP, Sky High, here tonight and, as the pub filled up, it seemed that the venue had drawn a wide cross-section of regular, and less regular, gig goers.

Becky Hamilton

Becky Hamilton

The evening’s music began with Becky Hamilton, one-third of the headlining trio, but here armed with an acoustic guitar and going solo. Becky’s acoustic songs may have been a bit quiet in the increasingly noisy bar but, for those of us crowding in at the front, we were treated to her extraordinary voice which brought to mind the female singer-songwriters of the late 60s folk movement, and, in particular Joni Mitchell.

The highlight of the set for me was, in fact, a cover of Mitchell’s own Big Yellow Taxi, but overall Becky set the scene for the evening’s live music excellently and for both her voice and her ability to make playing these songs look easy (which it certainly is not) she is worth seeking out when she makes her appearances in this mode.

After a short break, during which the Cock and Bull had become even more full with space anywhere in the pub now being at a premium, Buffalo Huddleston himself, aka Mike Meinke, made his way onto the ‘stage’ and started out his set with a solo instrumental track in his own style combining strumming, finger picking and percussive work on the guitar to create the sound he has long been known for.

Buffalo Huddleston

Buffalo Huddleston

After this he was joined by Sarah Van Vlymen and Becky Hamilton with their violins and providing backing vocals and The Buffalo Huddleston Trio was complete and they played their way through a selection, both from the new EP and others, which began to get people moving (as much as they could) and otherwise seemed to grab many who were mesmerized by the excellent music that, really, is unlike anything else on offer on the island today.

About half way through the set and the upbeat but mellow tone was broken into a full on party atmosphere and Mike called Jull-z up for a run through of Chillin’ and Jull-z brought the show to life with his infectious positive energies and free-flowing, inspiring words. The song itself remains one of my favourites by the group as it brings to mind warm, youthful summers in Guernsey and sums up one of the more celebratory aspects of life on the islands like no other.

Jull-z

Jull-z

Jull-z remained on stage for the next track as the band weaved their way through a semi-improvised freeform version of the song Sexy Lady which gave each member a chance to show off their skills and got people moving as much as they could or otherwise cheering and whooping.

As the set came to an end the crowd wouldn’t let the band off the stage so the trio treated us to another run through of the EP’s title track and a solo number from Mike playing, essentially, ‘one-handed’ which brought the set to a close though the audience were still calling for more.

While the Cock and Bull may not always be the right venue for this sort of show due to the lack of stage and generally noisiness in the bar, it more than makes up for this with its atmosphere and for The Buffalo Huddleston Trio they rode the wave of it to put on what felt like a real celebration of their music which is now immortalized on disc (or download).

Sky High can be downloaded from Buffalo Huddleston’s Bandcamp page and you can see more of my photos from the show on the BBC Introducing Guernsey Facebook page.

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One thought on “Buffalo Huddleston EP Launch – Cock and Bull – 10/08/13

  1. […] month Guernsey’s Buffalo Huddleston Trio staged a night at the Cock & Bull to launch their debut […]

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