REVIEW: Buck N Bull Launch (Featuring Two Ways Home)

It’s fun to be at the beginning of something, be it human life or a patented product which will change the world.

At Vauxhall Arches, South-West London (hotbed of country music), boots stomped, voices sang and drinks were quaffed at a successful debut for a soon-to-be fixture of the UK country scene.

Two Ways Home were the musical entertainment, and they were spotted eating a burger cooked outdoors beforehand, while crowds watched brave competitors trying to win tickets to see Kip Moore by staying on a bucking mechanical bull. 21 seconds seemed to be a respectable time, so well done all those who were bucked on the bull…

Lewis and Isi, one of the ones to watch in the UK country scene, played a competent hour-long set which included a brilliant cover of I Want Crazy, the Hunter Hayes anthem. Opening with Closest Stranger, the title track of their new EP, they rattled through their repertoire: the tender Take My Hand, the woozy Still In Love and Best Part of Me, complete with a super solo from the guitarist. The tracks which appealed to an audience who may be unfamiliar with their canon included the stompers Push and Pull, Two Short Years and the ‘hey!’-filled Just For Now. Though we could have done with hearing more of the lyrics, the beat and the bass drove the band on, and stardom awaits.

After the set concluded, the crowd was rounded up to see Baylen Leonard spin some discs. It was glorious tune after glorious tune for four solid hours: T-Shirt, Beer in the Headlights, 80s Mercedes, House Party, Sunshine & Whiskey, Drink in my Hand, Round Here…and that was just the first hour and a bit!

There were three spaces under the arches: the linedancing room, the disco room itself and a room full of tables where people, including some notable stars of UK country, were relaxing and chatting and taking a rest from all the dancing. Folk of all ages danced, learning some steps and watching the floor.

I find it hard to believe this won’t take off, alongside the great Nashville Nights, which was there first and has travelled the country over the last eighteen months, attracting the likes of American Young, Laura Oakes and Holloway Road to its stage before their screen flashes up with images and tweets. I suppose Buck’n’Bull is distinct because of the mechanical bull and the number of cowboy hats and boots, but both nights have their place.

Who would have known, ten years ago, that the UK would have not one but TWO country club nights vying for attention?

Find out more at BuckNBullSaloon.com or on Twitter @BuckNBullLdn

Jonny Brick