Fast becoming the next Irish blues guitar hero in the footsteps of Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore, former Young Guitarist of the Year Simon McBride has undeniable guitar artistry combined with a fine voice and a knack for creating memorable hooks and great melodies.
Rewind to the early-’90s, and you didn’t have to squint to spot future greatness in the unassuming kid from Belfast, who picked up his first guitar at ten and eschewed formal lessons to bend his fingers around the music of Free, Jeff Beck and Hendrix. At 16, he turned pro, leaving education behind to wow the world as a hired gun in projects than ranged from filling Vivian Campbell’s shoes in Sweet Savage, to R&B and soul with ex-Commitments vocalist Andrew Strong.
Even by the lofty standards of Northern Ireland, where drinkers still raise a toast to the audacious talent of the late Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore, this young maestro’s name was soon starting to be dropped in the same reverential breath. Certainly, Simon is a fan, and the energy and aggression of his live show recalls those much-missed Irish masters, but McBride’s sound is own – as demonstrated on his much acclaimed latest album Crossing The Line. He has supported such great names as Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck and and Joe Bonamassa. Now it’s his turn. Step-forward a new world-class talent.