The Bucket Boys


Unfortunately due to ill health the band will not be performing again after November 2012.

All Cd’s  will remain available through this website including:


‘Current Catastrophe’

and our new cd ‘Sleight of Hand’

The web site will remain active til August 2013 and we will try to keep it updated with the musical activities of various members of the band on the Gig page and should you wish to contact us, feel free to drop a line.

It’s been fun playing for you all and see you down the line somewhere.

Bucket Boys

It's farewell to veterans who brought passion, skill and humour to the stage

Molesworth Arms, Wadebridge,      Friday, October 26, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times last week at the Molesworth Arms, Wadebridge, where the Bucket Boys drew wild applause from a packed house of diehard fans with a bravura performance of unrivalled passion and intensity.

Anything less like a wake it would be hard to imagine; yet for all the rapturous reception the atmosphere was bittersweet, imbued with sadness by the knowledge that, after more than 12 years the band were hanging up their mojo.

Many who marvelled at their sublime talent will have been unaware of the band's illustrious antecedents, for they were all seasoned veterans with a list of credits which read like a Who's Who of rock and pop: Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Al Stewart, Elton John, Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, Ralph McTell and many more. Forming in the "Mevagissey Delta" in 1999, they were, like many folk of a certain age, drawn to Cornwall by its transcendent natural beauty, its tranquillity, its timeless landscape; but above all by the huge number of pubs. And fortuitously so, for these would provide almost limitless opportunities for gigging. While the band graced many a grand festival – St Ives, Lanhydrock, Blues in the Bay at Falmouth – it was the humble hostelry or village hall which was the ideal showcase for their talents. Here, an evening in the company of the Bucket Boys was invariably a warm and intimate affair with a joyous atmosphere; the infectious high spirits were, however, never allowed to impede their serious intent to create outstanding music, a goal repeatedly achieved through consummate musicianship and an instinctive empathy with their material.

If you were tasked with designing the perfect frontman, your efforts would still fall some way short of the gargantuan presence of Rick Worthy. Measuring 6ft 8in in his boots and hair, there were some venues where his head would literally be up in the rafters. But that could not prevent his powerful, sonorous voice penetrating to all corners.

He was at his best on numbers like the earthy Jelly Roll, with its uncompromising physicality, to which Rick would habitually add a few, er, touches of his own, accompanied by his trademark Machiavellian grin. Playing an amplified acoustic guitar, he was given space to solo here.

If such opportunities were rare, it was simply that, guitar-wise, the Bucket Boys were blessed with an embarras de richesses. In Tim Renwick and Steve Turner they possessed two guitarists of dazzling virtuosity and invention, whose sound and style – Tim on a classic Strat and Steve on a modified Tele – were both distinctive and complementary. Individually they were capable of solos of coruscating brilliance and aggression; together the sweetness of their playing could charm the nightingales out of the trees.

The band's final configuration saw them joined by David Quinn on bass, an accomplished performer who proved a real driving force. On drums the experienced Willie Wilson eschewed the flashy showmanship of a Ginger Baker in favour of a sensitive but authoritative approach, demonstrating a mastery of mood and tempo.

In their eclectic repertoire of rock n roll, blues, rural swing, R and Beebop, there was something for everyone: JJCale, Solomon Burke, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, The Stones, Dave Edmunds, The Beatles, Elvis, Everly Brothers and many more. Ry Cooder was clearly a strong influence. Such diversity was further enhanced by innovative arrangements and vocal strength: the climax to Ashes of Love distinguished by a sudden explosion of a capella singing, startling in its purity and power.

If all this were not enough, the tone was always leavened by a delicious lightness of touch. In Guitar Man, the cool, streetwise dude who "slept in the hobo jungles", would on his travels incongruously bump into Doris Day's Deadwood Stage in a kind of musical bathos. In the moody anthem Ghost Riders in the Sky, where Tim's pounding riff echoed the thunder of hooves and Steve's cascading runs, gravity-defying bends and whistling harmonics perfectly evoked the storm, Rick would obligingly add guttural grunts and the sound of whips cracking.

Much of the fun originated from Rick, his engaging patter laced with bone-dry humour to which Tim's darting quips provided the perfect foil. In the opening to Crazy 'bout an Automobile, His Loftiness would confide that he liked women who were "sweet, lean – but mostly tall, that's all!" To which Tim would add: "They'd have to be standing on a box." A kind of mythology developed from these mutual send-ups, which had Tim juggling his roles as "head of our global marketing department" and "king of the teenage surf guitar". Such jokes became woven into their performance like punchlines from a favourite comic. We will miss this defining blend of great music and comedy. In that sine qua non of any evening, Hipshake, Slim Harpo's lyric was adapted to: "There's a little girl, in a country town. She says 'What's that noise? It's the Bucket Boys'."

Their departure from the scene marks a sad moment in the cultural and social life of Cornwall. The glow in the tubes of those vintage amps has faded; the snare and high hat are stilled. Yet the joyous noise that was the Bucket Boys will linger long in the hearts of all those privileged to have heard it.



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