Gig Review: The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ The Tunnels
by Danni Gillespie

I didn’t know what to expect when I heard I would be attending a gig by the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band except, well, a big damn band! I had images of thirty people squashed onto the small stage at the Tunnels, with grand marching brass band instruments in tow. Reverend Peyton and the Big Damn Band delivered big damn energy and big damn sounds – but only consists of three band members. They delivered a fantastic array of country blues sounds, truly living up to their name and producing a raucous energy that ran through the whole night.

This trio brought American country blues to life with buckets, washboards and a 1930’s steel-bodied guitar. Max Senteney provides  brilliant rhythm played on not only the drums, but on a five-gallon plastic bucket fitted with drum hardware. Breezy “Washboard” Peyton (Rev’s wife) plays what her name would suggest: a washboard (her aggressive style results in broken and burnt washboard shards sold at the merch stand). Rev, lead guitarist and vocalist, brings his big personality to the stage, as well as skillful guitar and fun vocals – not to mention an axe guitar… Playing some of their well-known songs, such as ‘We Deserve A Happy Ending’, ‘Clap Your Hands’ and ‘Something For Nothing’, the Rev got the crowd moving effortlessly. Many a happy, hoe-down dancing crowd member could be spotted as the band played fast paced songs, told whimsical stories (setting someone on fire for a low-budget music video) and many comical facial expressions kept the crowd entertained and engaged at every possible moment.

The trio’s latest album The Front Porch Sessions combines the Reverend’s irrepressible spirit and personality whilst also echoing blues icons such as Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, Bukka White and Furry Lewis. Front Porch Sessions’ namesake is a whimsical take on an ol’ American country music stereotype -playing on one’s own porch, rocking chair and all, for friends, family and passers-by; an intimate yet classic nod to American country blues.

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Whether you’re a massive blue-grass fan or just looking for a good dance, this band is a must-see - but hurry before they shimmy on back to the states!

The famous homemade music video for 'We Deserve A Happy Ending' where they set a family friend on fire. 

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