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  • Chris Farlie

Sam Coe - Buckle & Boots 2021 - Paddock Stage

Having completely reinvented herself with her last album "Comeback Queen", chances to actually show off the material in a live environment have been extremely limited. There was at least one home town show and some in the US, however that only led to catching Covid and by the time Sam had recovered, the UK was in Lockdown. With a limited sized band today would not be the full "Comeback Queen" wall of sound experience but make no mistake this would be one of the most explosive 30 minutes that the Paddock Stage would see all weekend.

Commencing with a thunderous drum intro and some heavy bass, the was the start of "Hard Time", it was deliciously noisy and full of attitude - surely that drum kit would never be hit as hard throughout the whole weekend! This was envelope pushing stuff that received a glorious reception - "We love you Sam" cried the crowd after the opening song!

Moving across to her keyboard with its unique scuzzy distorted sound Sam laid down the slower paced "Burnt Out", a brooding beast of a song, with a dark soul sound

"This is a love song for someone that don't love me" she powered out - breathtaking stuff.

Every song on the album is an event and live these songs take on a whole new existence as your entire body reverberates to every note!. The next song "Concrete" had an incessant pounding piano riff in this heavy heavy blues number complete with a stunning guitar solo.

The gentle keyboard intro to "The Truth" gave little indication of what was to come, This ballad came with drumming that was heart stoppingly loud and probably should have a health warning attached to it.

All the while Sam laid down a vocal that veered between being breathy and quiet to being expressive as she wandered up and down the scales in impressive style.

The band were then dispatched for a song as Sam went back to her guitar for "Something She Did, In complete contrast to all that had gone before, this quiet gentle ballad was as moving and probably the most conventional piece of country music of the set - it kept the the Paddock Stage crowd spellbound which was an achievement in itself.

A return to the keyboard signaled that it was time for the title track of the album to be let loose. If you've not heard "Comeback Queen" then you have missed out.

The sound was set to 11 as Sam's keyboard intro and the drums joined forces with the guitar to make a fearsome introduction before fading away to allow Sam to open the vocals saying "She was a shadow of a girl"

All was relatively calm until Sam came out of the chorus when once again there was a sound explosion - there simply was just an epic wall of sound that washed over you like a musical tsunami.

Taking her leave of the stage while the band continued with a marvelous distorted guitar, this was simply stunning stuff, taking the UK Americana sound down a route no one else is travelling, and for those willing to buckle up and join Sam for the journey they will be richly rewarded.

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