Acoustic Guitar

An Electric Stormy Monday – Philip Sayce at the Borderline, London 25th July

Philip Sayce
London Borderline
Monday 25th July 2011

The Borderline in London’s Manette Street was packed on Monday night for the welcome UK return of Philip Sayce and his band. Philip with Fritz Lewak on the drums and Joel Gottschalk on bass are playing a short, four date UK tour to promote the release of the new fourteen track album called Ruby Electric. Just in via Antwerp and showing no signs of fatigue, Philip set the tone for the evening announcing to the packed crowd that there was “no need to be afraid” as “this is rock n roll baby”. Right from the get go I couldn’t argue with his sentiments.

The show was absolute perfection and the guitar work on offer was fast, explosive and at times almost magically refined. Philip has an incredible execution speed, amazing tricks and the ability to mesmerise and continually engage with an audience. Vocally too he’s right on the money, which leaves me to ponder why this Welsh born wonder has been overlooked and deprived of deserved exposure on many of the nation’s most listened to rock radio stations. It’s very disappointing that scheduling these days often seems to be focussed on what passed thirty odd years ago, rather than what’s happening in the rock world right now.

Throughout the set, people around me were looking at each other in amazement and acknowledgement that they were witnessing the sound of something incredibly special. Slipaway from Philip’s 2009 Peace Machine album absolutely blazed like a comet, Bitter Monday, a real fan favourite off last years Innerevolution album had heads nodding in agreement, King Of New Mexico from Ruby Electric with it’s irresistible na na na na chorus evoked smiles and air punches galore. The highlight for me though was Are You Ready, another great song from Innerevolution, where we were treated to an almost overwhelming journey up and down the frets of the Fender Stratocaster – rapture! For afters with the song Dream Away, Philip slack jawed everyone by playing most of the song whilst on walkabout, stepping off stage, through the crowd, up the bar steps and back. I would not have been at all surprised had he ordered a shot mid song, and downed it without missing a note.

Wide eyed and insatiable, the audience lapped up Angels Live Inside, Cinnamon Girl and a beautiful nod to Albert King with As The Years Go Passing By which was worked into an extended encore. The vibe, energy and power created by the three men was spine tingling and this was a night which I will find very hard to forget. Philip, Fritz and Joel – thank you very much. You complement each other exquisitely.

Rob Pope


July 26th, 2011



  1. I totally agree with this review. So many memorable moments.

  2. Rob GTV says:

    Many thanks for the comment Matt. I still haven’t come down yet. Rob