Walking up Glasgow’s Byres Road, my gig companion and I speculated about the audience numbers and demographic for Duane Eddy’s show. Nothing could have prepared us for the sheer number of people who had come out to watch the 74-year-old strutting his stuff or should I say “twanging his thang?”
With the room full to bursting, Eddy appeared onstage with the backing band which Richard Hawley has generously loaned him for his current tour. Indeed, Hawley is a confirmed fan, and was responsible for the production of Eddy’s latest album, 2011’s 'Road Trip'. Eddy’s set included several tracks from 'Road Trip', including the title track and the superb 'Bleaklow Air', the latter showcasing just how tight his band can be.

Everything about Eddy’s performance exuded style, from the economy of his movement to his choice of material and his between song banter. Dressed in black and wearing a Stetson, Eddy was the epitome of cool for the duration of his ninety minute set, at one point telling the audience, “They say I invented surf music. I didn’t mean to!”

The highlights for me were Eddy’s better-known hits; 'Shazam', 'Yep, Movin’ and Groovin’, 'Peter Gunn', 'Ramrod', '3:30 Blues' – all were present and correct and sounded magnificent. Even Eddy’s newer material with which I wasn’t quite so familiar (in particular 'Attack of the Duck-Billed Platypu's)sounded superb as Eddy put his band through their paces.

Watching Eddy play is like watching the antithesis of every modern guitarist. He rarely moves beyond midway up the fret-board, and many of his most memorable pieces are played on the bass strings. This is a welcome change from the usual squealing guitar which one can hear practically everywhere.

As a mix of great music and nostalgia, the gig was an absolute triumph with Eddy and his band seemingly enjoying it as much as the audience. Some of Eddy’s music may have dated, but one has to remember that some of it is fifty years old. Prior to the gig, Eddy had not played Glasgow for over forty years. I hope he returns soon.












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