DECEMBER 16, 2019 Andrew Combs is a class act. For this, his second visit to London in 2019, he brought four musicians, including long-time collaborators Jerry Bernhardt on keys/guitar and Charlie Whitten on lead guitar. These two were joined by bass and drums to back Combs with a subtly full sound, perfectly complimenting his immaculate delivery. What can you say about an Andrew Combs show? He’s constantly outstanding and whether solo or with a band he produces mesmerising and compelling performances. He played eight tracks from his new album Ideal Man, which has a fuller sound, in places verging on psychedelic, with synth and distorted guitar work. Combs … Continue reading Andrew Combs The Lexington, London *****
DECEMBER 6, 2019 Godfather of UK Americana strikes with a beautifully crafted new solo album. Geraint Watkins, a stalwart of roots-influenced music in Britain over the past forty years has played in many bands including Nick Lowe, Van Morrison and Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. For 2019’s “Rush Of Blood” he has teamed up with Brit and Billboard Awards winner Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx (Janet Jackson, Yoko Ono, Justin Timberlake) as co-producer. The album kicks off with the standout title track, which, according to Watkins, “began as a sort of slow euro blues—now it’s more spaghetti Western.” As is Middle Of The Night with a more than a nod to Johnny Cash. … Continue reading Geraint Watkins. Rush Of Blood – Album Review
NOVEMBER 29, 2019 The Lumineers rocked the O2 and thrilled the audience with their brand of anthemic Americana rock. “Our first gig in London was at the Hoxton Bar and Grill playing to 200 people and now we’re playing the O2” enthused lead singer Wesley Schultz. Several times he thanked the crowd for coming and seemed humbled to be playing the venue. Sleep On The Floor opened, followed by Life In The City from the band’s new album III which the band is touring to promote. The 90-minute set contained nine tracks from the album. III is a hard hitting and emotionally supercharged record, superbly produced by … Continue reading The Lumineers – Live at O2, London ***** – Review
NOVEMBER 29, 2019 This was BOON’s first visit to The Railway. It’s a great little venue, the back room of a pub. There’s good sound, painted black for acoustics and atmosphere, and no natural light. It’s a similar venue to The Star in Guildford, The Prince Albert in Brighton and The Black Heart in Camden. Pubs like this are playing a big part in keeping music live. Ags Connolly warmed up with a terrific 40-minute support set. Great songs confidently performed with personality to spare and an authentic voice. His breakup country songs contain dark humour and smart lyrics. Connolly played several tracks … Continue reading William The Conqueror The Railway, Winchester ***** Live Review
Corinne Bailey Rae delivered a magical performance of her secret recipe of jazz-tinged soul. The superb acoustics of London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall let her music soar over an appreciative audience with wave after wave of sonic perfection. To read the … Continue reading Corinne Bailey Rae. Queen Elizabeth Hall. Review Blues & Soul Magazine.
Touring with a superb ten-piece band, including leading percussionist/bandleader Snowboy, to celebrate thirty years since the release of her critically acclaimed, top-selling album “Affection”. Lisa Stansfield completely wowed a capacity Guildford audience. To read the review click here Continue reading Lisa Stansfield, Guildford G Live. Review. Blues & Soul.
The 360 Band could be seen as the alternative Average White Band. Led by ex-AWB vocalist Hamish Stuart and drummer Steve Ferrone, the 360 Band grooved through some of the best material from the Scottish funk outfit’s catalogue. The tone … Continue reading 360 Band. Ronnie Scott’s Club. Review in Blues & Soul
Mari Wilson brought her eight-piece soul review to Guildford’s Electric Theatre. Introduced as “the Neasden Queen of Soul”, Wilson’s music is steeped in the blue-eyed ballads of Bacharach and David, made famous by the likes of Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick … Continue reading Mari Wilson, Electric Theatre, Guildford. Review: Surrey Advertiser ***
NOVEMBER 13, 2019 “This is not a concert. This is a P-A-R-T-Y” enthused Sugaray Rayford, onstage at London’s 100 Club where, earlier this year, he and his band thrilled as part of London Blues Week. The recently decorated bluesman was back at the famous venue in the midst of a straight nine-date UK/Germany tour. No day off for Sugaray. Not that he would want one as performing is his life, like for the blues greats such as BB King. “We don’t do setlists. When you do 200 shows a year you like to keep your band on its toes.” Sugaray’s band wasn’t … Continue reading Sugaray Rayford – Live at London’s 100 Club *****
The Blow Monkeys rolled back the years with a remarkable show, full of energy, commitment and hope. This was an exhilarating performance encompassing hits and lesser known material. The charismatic Robert Howard, known as “Dr. Robert” fronts the band with … Continue reading The Blow Monkeys. Farncombe. Surrey Advertiser review *****