Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 22 Mar

Welsh retro rockers Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard bring livewire energy, crunchy riffs and endless banter to Edinburgh on their UK tour

Live Review by Max Sefton | 25 Mar 2024
  • Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard

Packed into a sold-out Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh must be the highest concentration of paisley shirts and denim jackets north of the border. Welsh retro rockers Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard are on an extensive UK tour ahead of their forthcoming second album and their audience are looking the part.

Tonight’s support comes from Glasgow’s Clay Rings. Though their set is short, they’re a decent match for the headliners with some strong vocals and an even stronger waistcoat game. Soon though, it’s time for the main act and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard bound on stage to the strains of Led Zeppelin’s Communication Breakdown.  

Given that the gig takes place on the day that their new EP In My Egg is released, frontman Tom Rees suggests that date 17 of their UK tour will focus on new material. However, they opt to open with Double Denim Hop from their debut Backhand Deals, an early seventies-style ditty indebted to the bell-bottomed glam rock of T-Rex and Sweet and lifted by backing vocals from bassist Ed Rees, an underused tool in their arsenal.

The material from In My Egg and their forthcoming record toughens up their sound a little compared to their debut – think Black Sabbath’s industrial chug or Thin Lizzy’s Celtic twin guitar attack – but the band’s real selling point is electric frontman Tom Rees.

Rarely staying still for a second, Rees is not so much a livewire as the human equivalent of an entire electrical substation exploding. He’s a tremendously entertaining presence and a genuine guitar hero, gurning and grinning as he rips through crunchy solos with abandon with a thick axe tone somewhere between Jack White and St Vincent, and bantering amiably with the crowd.

“We’re glad to be in Scotland and see some hills," he says. "England’s shite, England’s flat.” He explains that he shaved off all his body hair and covered himself in baby oil to crawl round in the woods for the cover of the group’s new album Skincrawler, and in announcing their final song he says: “Encores are for Billy Joel and his massive piano. I’m just a downtown Barry boy.”

What gets an even bigger cheer than the singer’s stage patter though are the duelling solos that elevate standout new track Therapy and the moreish melody and fuzzy seventies guitars of early single Love Forever. How Rees’ more reserved bandmates find sharing a van with him for a month, god knows, but tonight their loss is the Voodoo Rooms' gain.