All Blues at the Chichester inn – Xmas 2016

 

“This is how the Blues should be played”

 

 

 

 

All Blues Live –  Surya 2013.  Review 

UK pub and club veterans mix all styles of Blues with a carefree, fun and lascivious attitude and some instrumental mastery.

 

Naming your band ‘All Blues’ is a weighty undertaking. To be all Blues you have to embrace a wealth of ideas which serve an ongoing historical narrative. Originally the

Blues were hymns sung by African slaves as they arrived in America. Mississippi steel-string innovators like Son House and Robert Johnson turned these hymns into the sound we know today.

One World War later and the Brits got their hands on it. Youths like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger were swingers on the streets of London as they avidly absorbed American wartime Blues records. Arriving somewhat late to the party, but promising all the libidinous gusto, All Blues are a band of three men who ardently admire the Blues for all its eras and forms, especially the boozy post-war British variety. Tonight’s a special night for them as it marks the launch of their first EP at Scurya on the Pentonville road. How fitting then, that an ostensibly bluesy night should take place a stones-throw away from a notorious prison… So far, so San Quentin.

After a series of awkward technical mishaps during the support slots, All Blues arrive confidently on stage. There’s little faff as they launch into ‘Further On Up The Road’, the Bobby Bland number made famous by Clapton, demonstrating how well they lock into a groove. As Tall Paul’s bass rumbles and rolls above and beneath the bluesy pounce of John’s drums, singer and guitarist Adam peels off some perfectly-phrased licks. This is no country for young men as these Blues veterans make clear. Paul takes the mic for ‘I Miss You’, a number that wouldn’t sound out of place on the first Sabbath record. With its slow hell crawl and devil’s flatted fifth you’d have to look over your shoulder to be sure the guys weren’t conjuring Beelzebub here in this basement. Originally called ‘Ginger Reaper’, ‘Marmalade’ dips the energy, but Adam’s choice to switch to the Stratocaster is amply justified by ‘Not With Your Eyes’ performed à la ‘Red House’, with sinewy licks and controlled vibrato galore. Near the end, we’re taken to fifties America as a few couples in the audience start swing dancing. It’s a fine soundtrack to boogie to, as the band serenades us with a confident final salvo that includes ‘Take My Number’ and ‘Fool For Your Stockings’, the former tonight has its Latin qualities accentuated, and sounds like an updated version of Santana’s ‘Black Magic Woman’.

Closing the set with the ballroom blues of ‘Hope That’s Understood’ the band have proved that tonight at least, the Blues lives on, and that their own particular brand of pastiche encompasses the Blues for all it’s myriad times and definitions. Commendably, Tall Paul’s refusal to succumb to the temptations of bass-face is another winning factor. Well done lads, you’ve earned your name.

 

Tim Hakki