Review and Photo Copyright © Christopher Ryan
On a dull rainy Monday evening in Manchester our spirits are lifted as we are joined tonight to witness the happy, soulful, country blues band all the way from Indiana USA, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band who made us all forget about the crappy rain and say hello warm sunshine! I have got to be honest here I had no idea what to expect tonight but boy was I in for a treat!
Supporting Rev was be a local Manc lad called Arms And Hearts, warming up tonight’s show with his acoustic punk soul vibe and personal lyrics he covered issues like mental health and working a crappy job while wanting to give the middle finger to the man! He’s a happy upbeat soul singer with a great sense of humour and keeps the crowd in good spirits admitting he’s happy to see this dam big band live. If you are after local talent then I’d recommend catching him live or listening to Arms and hearts.
A packed venue by the time the lights go down and the country intro booms out before the legend himself, Reverend Peyton, comes onstage along with this wonderful wife on the washboard, Breezy Peyton and Max Senteney. Boom.. straight into action with My Old Man Boogie! The raw power of a finger-style guitar (bass and guitar) this guy is truly talented. During the show he plays on various guitars even a custom made cigar-box guitar which he customized it to his own taste meaning no one can use it as we won’t have a clue! Who said you can’t learn things at gigs? What adds to the unique feel of tonight is the brilliant energy from Breezy Peyton’s customized washboard which, in itself, requires some skill. It does help that she is wearing custom gloves to ensure the rugged slapping of the steel isn’t lost!
Of course to top the uniqueness is Max’s drum kit. There is a bucket, yes, a bucket, adding another unique twang which to be honest I don’t think I’ve ever seen happen. It’s this kind of thing which I think is what makes this damn band so special and so unique. No fancy gear just some old guitars, a washboard and a drum kit with a bucket all combined with the happy, cheery vocals. Put it all together and you end up with such a warm happy atmosphere it makes you forget that we are in the UK and takes you to a bar in America with your mates, mingling with the locals and having a hoedown showdown. Along with this Rev is a funny chap with the ol ‘Murican humour, difficulty with the English humour and “soccer ball” which Breezy says needs more contact to be interesting, not kicking a ball. She is right (don’t hate me).
Rev’s goal tonight is to give everyone a good time by playing as many songs as possible. Filled with happy songs, kick ass yeehaw solos, fast-paced intervals and, of course, the boogie of the crowd – he certainly did that! Picking highlights one would have to choose “Pot Roast and Kisses” which sent everyone into a frenzy – truly a great sight to see. You can certainly see how playing over 250 shows a year, this big damn band know how to work a crowd.
If you are wanting to see for an experience of a county blues band then look no further. The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is possibly one of the finest examples of a homely loving band. If a Sunday roast dinner was a person then this would be it. Bring your family, bring your friends this band will make your night one you won’t forget. Such a warm, home loving, soulful show! What puts the cherry on the cake is that you can see the love that goes into each song. Not only that watching Rev and Breezy gaze into each others eyes while playing laughing and making everyone feel great. There is no better feeling than spending the night with this band!