Paul Cauthen – Live in London *****

JUNE 21, 2019 Before his show Paul Cauthen wandered into the bar of the Slaughtered Lamb in London’s Clerkenwell. A guy in a Stetson called him over saying “Hey Paul, I’m Texas Joe”. He then presented Cauthen with a demin jacket emblazoned with Big Velvet, his nickname due to his size and rich voice. Cauthen and Texas Joe were soon sharing a beer and deep in conversation, probably based on their native Texas, with Joe inviting Cauthen to his smokehouse restaurant near London Bridge. Cauthen came to the attention of BOON when we reviewed his support set for Andrew Combs in May 2017. That solo gig was a taste of the … Continue reading Paul Cauthen – Live in London *****

Southern Avenue. Live in London ****

JUNE 3, 2019 Memphis came to London when Southern Avenue opened the Future Juke 21st Century Blues Festival at Dingwalls in Camden. It’s not often you see a six-piece band as support but that’s what local blues singer Lynne Jackaman brought to the party. Accompanied by bass, guitar, sax, trumpet and Wayne Proctor, the powerhouse ex-King King drummer, Jackaman went down a storm with tracks including Copycat, Sooner or Later and On My Own Stage. Southern Avenue are an emerging hi energy five-piece combo from Memphis playing a magical blend of soul, blues and R&B. Lead singer Tiernii Jackson is joined by her talented drummer sister Tikyra and bass, … Continue reading Southern Avenue. Live in London ****

Urban Voodoo Machine – Live in Reading ***** Live Review

MAY 29, 2019 Headlining the first night of the Reading blues festival at the Purple Turtle, the Urban Voodoo Machine took Reading by storm. “It’s the first time we’ve played Reading in 16 years” says frontman Paul-Ronney Angel. “What a superb venue – we’ll be back.” With copious amounts of beer, prosecco and, appropriately, a bottle of Cassillero del Diablo, the group processed slowly onto the voodoo-themed stage to the tune of The Godfather. The Urban Voodoo Machine is a musical collective like no other, a theatrical experience and kick-ass blues band to boot. Bourbon-soaked gypsy blues bop’n’stroll is how the band defines its music and on this occasion there were … Continue reading Urban Voodoo Machine – Live in Reading ***** Live Review

William The Conqueror – Live in London *****

MAY 22, 2019 AWESOME !! One of the best live bands around. Cornish trio William The Conqueror’s second album Bleeding On The Soundtrack was released in February and is frontrunner for album of 2019. This live show at the Lexington is a strong contender for gig of 2019. An excellent opening set came from London indie folk band Night Flight. Led by frontman Sam Holmes the quartet finished a classy set with a track appropriately called Departure. “What’s Up London?” was the most Ruarri Joseph spoke to the audience all night. This band don’t mess around and get straight to the musical jugular. From the first note to the last William The … Continue reading William The Conqueror – Live in London *****

Restrained brilliance and sheer beauty – Mandolin Orange Live in London Review *****

MAY 20, 2019 “We’ve got a bunch of new songs to play you guys” chirped Emily Frantz. On the last date of their European tour Mandolin Orange were at London’s Islington Assembly Hall to promote their beautiful new album Tides Of A Teardrop The Americana duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz from North Carolina took to the stage alone and were joined by the other three members of the touring band (guitar/bass/drums) midway through the fourth number. The sound then became fuller, perfectly augmenting the duo’s sensitivity. Opener Mother Dear and several other tracks including The Wolves, Late September and When She’s Feeling Blue came from the new album. Restrained brilliance … Continue reading Restrained brilliance and sheer beauty – Mandolin Orange Live in London Review *****

Michaela Anne – Live in London ***** Live Review

MAY 16, 2019 Super talented US songstress Michaela Anne supported Mandolin Orange on their short European tour and wowed London’s Islington Assembly Hall audience with a classy solo set. Stark and simple lighting perfectly complemented Anne’s quality melodies and lyrics. Opening with I’m Not Her “but how I wish I was” she immediately won over the crowd. On the slower numbers her guitar playing is wonderfully minimal, perfectly accentuating her beautiful voice and stage delivery. All her material is strong, with One Last Song being a little more uptempo and her new album’s title track Bright Lights And The Fame in the same vein. Current Nashville resident Anne is on tour to promote her … Continue reading Michaela Anne – Live in London ***** Live Review

The Dropkick Murphys – Mayhem in London – Live Review ****

The Brixton Academy filled with 5,000 fans for a triumphant return to London for the celebrated veteran American celtic punk rockers. The crowd had been chanting “Let’s Go Murphy’s” nonstop since The Devil Makes Three had finished their lively 45-minute support set and a separate review of that show is on this site here. The curtain went up to reveal a splendid double-decker Celtic-themed stage and the instrumental band members took it in turns to go from one level to the other, giving the audience a great view of proceedings. The dual singers Al Barr and Ken Casey took turns with unbounded energy to encourage the mad mosh pit … Continue reading The Dropkick Murphys – Mayhem in London – Live Review ****

JS Ondara at Bush Hall, London

**** MAY 1, 2019 “Hello, I made a record recently and I‘m going to attempt to play it all to you. Wish me luck.” With confidence, stage presence and a receptive audience JS Ondara didn’t need luck. He would later receive a standing ovation from the Bush Hall faithful after a ninety-minute solo set featuring tracks from his debut album Tales Of America. After winning a Green Card lottery Ondara left Kenya six years ago at the age of 17 to settle in Minnesota, the home state of Bob Dylan whom he had idolised from afar since hearing Knocking On Heaven’s Door as a teenager. In America he bought … Continue reading JS Ondara at Bush Hall, London