Review and photos by Chaz Brooks
951 years after William The Conqueror marched into Guildford and built a castle the Indie-Americana band of the same name took the town by storm playing a brand of country rock blues with a touch of grunge.
There were two local acts as support, firstly singer-songwriter Bryony Dunn with her refreshing material and bright vocals. She was followed by Jonas and Jane with gorgeous harmonies and superb finger-picking guitar. Ending with a cover of a bluegrass legend Bill Monroe track the duo were fabulous.
Fresh from a headline in gig in London this was William The Conqueror’s first sell-out gig which was a dynamic set of pulsating riffs, well-crafted songs, hardly a gap between numbers and no drop in tempo.
The band is led by Ruarri Joseph on guitar and vocals, ably assisted by the rock solid rhythm section of Naomi Holmes on bass and Harry Harding on drums. Joseph has a languid yet energetic style and uses his voice as another instrument with the Frank Zappa drawl.
The group kicked off with Pedestals from the album Proud Disturber of the Peace, currently nominated for an Americana UK award and receiving rave reviews.
Some highlights included Madness, with a Chuck Berry intro, and the splendid Did You Wrong. Perhaps the best was Thank You Later, a simple track but often the simple things are the best.
This performance built to a climax with Sensitive, Proud Disturber and an encore of Mind Keeps Changing.
It takes a lot of talent to perform as a trio and to make it a success. Hendrix did it, George Thorogood did it and now William The Conqueror are doing it. Catch them if you can.
Purchase Proud Disturber of the Peace by William the Conqueror here