On The Up

A new UK blues rock hope? The crowd goes Buck wild

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

When gui­tarist Chris Buck was a child grow­ing up in south Wales he be­gan his play­ing ca­reer in stolen mo­ments with his dad’s treasured US Strat. Years later, he would se­cure his own gui­tar – a Tele – but fate still seemed against him. “The mem­ory of that day is my old man be­ing pulled over for speed­ing,” laughs Chris. “I’d been told, ‘Don’t take the gui­tar out un­til you get home’, but I had it across my lap, when th­ese blue lights came on be­hind us. I was con­vinced that we’d been pulled over be­cause play­ing the gui­tar in the back of a car was il­le­gal!”

Af­ter that, Chris and his gui­tar were inseparable. An early flir­ta­tion with The Off­spring soon gave way to Slash and full-blown GnR wor­ship be­fore a cou­ple of YouTube videos led to a complimentary email from Alan Niven (GnR man­ager, ’86-’91) and, in turn, Chris’ ap­pear­ance on­stage with Slash in Birm­ing­ham in 2012. “Luck­ily, there’s a video be­cause I can re­mem­ber al­most noth­ing about it!” says Chris. “I re­mem­ber look­ing up and Slash stand­ing two feet away from me and it sud­denly dawn­ing on me, ‘He’s the rea­son I play gui­tar!’”

Most 21-year-olds might strug­gle to hold their own in that sce­nario, but not Chris. He has an as­ton­ish­ing abil­ity to wring supremely soul­ful bends, over­driven jan­gle and ex­hil­a­rat­ing leads from his Strat. Now man­aged by Niven, Buck & Evans – the band Chris started with vo­cal­ist Sally-Ann Evans – is quickly gar­ner­ing fans, plus there’s a de­but al­bum on the way.

“Gui­tar was the only thing that I ever felt that I had a level of nat­u­ral ap­ti­tude for,” re­flects Chris of the jour­ney. “I’ve got to stick at it, be­cause I can lit­er­ally do noth­ing else!”

Chris wrings soul­ful bends, over­driven jan­gle and ex­hil­a­rat­ing leads from his strat

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