Freebird - Gig Reviews


Butlins Minehead - Giants of Rock Weekend - 30th January 2016

Saturday started with the unusual choice of club covers band Freebird. Being a big Skynyrd fan I had to try out a band with a name like that didnít I? I say unusual choice, because with all the bands out there, it seems strange to bring in a covers band, and then put them on the main stage. However, that apart, they did do a sound job, and in Steve Lawton they have a very good guitarist.

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The Hop Pocket
Carr Lane, Chorley PR7 3JO - 9th August 2012

This four piece band from the Clitheroe area gave a powerful rousing performance of the classic rock/blues genre.
The crowd got up to dance the minute the band struck up.
Frontman Matt Howarth, on lead vocal and rhythm guitar, gave a brilliant performance, handing the audience what they wanted and that was entertainment from beginning to end.
With classics like Refugee, Oh Well and All Along The Watch Tower, the band soon found their groove and so did the packed crowd at BJs.
The excellent lead guitar work from Steve Lawton was note perfect - he was on fire and his slide playing was just a joy to watch.
Derek Wellock on bass turned in some superb playing, particularly on the cover of Sweet Home Alabama, which was stunning. But he was well locked into the bass groove all night and seemed to be truly having a great time - maybe it was the hat he was wearing that did it!
On the drums was Barry Buchanan he kept the lads in check and drove the band on with some brilliant combinations on bass drum and snare.
The second half was as good as the first with some more classic covers including Bad Penny Blues, Bad To The Bone, Jail Bait and they ended with Freebird, what else?
The band gave a passionate performance and their individual skills were apparent.
This was a great gig.

By: Keith Blackledge, Preston
Music reviewer for the Northwest


NorthWest Bands Community Blog - Critiqual - Real Reviews of a Gig - Freebird
Rankin Arms, Hoddlesden - 1st December 2012

This will be one of the shortest reviews I have ever done. 'Freebird', at the Rankin Arms pub in Hoddlesden, are absolutely brilliant at what they do, and what they do is classic guitar Rock and Blues!

The four members of this band are simply excellent. The band, as an entirety, was well rehearsed and tight with hardly a mistake that I could hear. In short, the best classic rock band I have seen for a while.

This is a really top quality, well rehearsed, outstanding local band that needs no introduction to most musos in the NWB area. If you love this genre you have to make the effort to see them.

By: Chris Davies


The Hop Pocket - BJ's Rock in the Blues Club - Presented and Promoted by Lucas Cambell
Carr Lane, Chorley PR7 3JO - 28th November 2013

This talented foursome from the Clitheroe area entertained the crowd with their brand of Southern rock and blues covers, from their ever expanding repertoire.

FREEBIRD formed in 2001 have played to packed venues all over the country from the Colne R&B/Blues festival to the Skegness Rock ‘N’ Blues weekend, to various rallies and including the pub and club circuit in the Northwest.

Matt Howarth on lead vocal and guitar played and sang with great enthusiasm with a bit of banter in between, he makes the ideal front man.  Steve Lawton was superb on lead guitar, he made his mark and took it all in his stride with great solos.  The rhythm section was on bass guitar Derek Wellock and on the drums Barry Buchanan, a solid performance from these two musicians, they drove the band on with precision and ease. 

This band have the experience and the talent, they bring to the table a good show and a cracking selection of covers from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Clapton, Hendrix, Joe Bonamassa, Free, Wishbone Ash, Fleetwood Mac and many more. The crowd enjoyed it and cried for more, the band obliged and delivered, thank you FREEBIRD.

By: Keith Blackledge
National and international music reviewer