We made our way up the ample steps to the Bodega once again this time to get a dose of Devon roots with Plymouth-based act, Wille and the Bandits. The Bodega has had a revamp of late, and it was just the sort of venue to showcase Wille and the Bandits with its intimate yet sizeable room. Having toured their unique brand of roots rock with the likes of Deep Purple, Joe Bonamassa, the John Butler Trio and Status Quo, Wille and the Bandits, comprising Wille Edwards, Matthew Brooks and Drew Naumann, are now touring with a brand new, critically-acclaimed album 'Grow'.

I said when I reviewed the album for Pennyblackmusic that I couldn’t really categorise this band but everyone has jumped on the “Roots Rock” label, so I’m happy to go with that. The fact is that if you’ve heard them and agree that they are a tremendous bunch of musicians on tape, you won’t believe it when you catch them live. This is no ordinary three piece. The sound is bigger than that. Much bigger. And as well as creating the huge sound, they can play too.

They have been likened to the greats of the 70’s such as Led Zeppelin, Santana and Pink Floyd. That is a huge statement, and, although bold, only scrapes the surface of the sheer brilliance of the band's sound. They have built what they have got on doing over two hundred shows a year and a hard work ethic. But they also have what a lot of bands lack these days – a passion for making good, truthful music.

Heading on to the stage, out of the Bodega gloom, Wille took to a chair at the front of the stage with his dreads sprouting from a topless top hat, got comfy with his guitar on his lap and then broke into a version of 'Keep Your Head Up', followed by the first track from the new album, 'Got to Do Better' It was one of those moments in time when the whole crowd instantly felt at home and comfy. If you could have lit a fire and sat us all down with a bunch of bottles and Wille and the Bandits on stage, I reckon we’d have all still been there the following day – everyone knew the chap or the lass next to them or in front of them even though they’d never met them before tonight in their lives. It was that kind of night.

Anyway, effortlessly, Wille treated us to an amazing Peter Green ditty that went big for Santana in guise of 'Black Magic Woman'. Wille’s humble thanks and little analogies were welcomed all the way through, and he announced the arrival of 'Trawl Down the Line', as a "Cornish boogie” giving the rest of the band a chance to introduce themselves as they went along. A little later they turned to the new album again when an electric double-bass was put into action with 'Gypsy Woman'. They finished the night with 'Angel', the last track from the 'Grow' album, and after being told that time had run out for a welcome encore due to the early week curfew Wille and the Bandits left as coolly as they had arrived.

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