Coolhand Live @ The Globe, Cardiff July 2015

 

Coolhand- The Globe - July 2015_0108l

 

Coolhand
The Globe, Cardiff
4th July 2015

The venue was hot with the heat and excitement of Coolhand playing in Cardiff and launching their self-titled debut album. There would be no build up without a warm up act, though we were hot, hot in a stifling venue we didn’t have one but two acts. Alex Stacey, young emerging force in the world of Singer/Songwriters delivered a varied set that was a showcase for his current E.P. His vocals and guitar skills keep improving and he soon will be gaining lots of attention. Short gap, sound check and a duo stepped on the stage, Tim Cronin behind a keyboard and guitar close at hand was tonight accompanied by a member of Coolhand’s backing vocals. This was not just a duo there was also the use of the a loop so that Tim’s vocals, guitar and keyboard could be heard at the same time creating layers of sound and bought the time for Coolhand ever closer.

Coolhand- The Globe - July 2015_0080lThis was Coolhand’s evening as they launched their debut album to a home crowd, this was an opportunity to hear the music and purchase! It was tCoolhand- The Globe - July 2015_0069lo no one’s surprise that the playlist was dominated by the twelve tracks of the self-titled album; the bonus was some new numbers including Holy Man a contender for the next visit to the recording studio I am sure.

Coolhand- The Globe - July 2015_0142lCoolhand are Daz Edwards on vocals and guitarist Luke Bradshaw and tonight the Cardiff boys were joined by four musicians and a two backing singers. A band of eight were tightly packed onto the stage but the sound they created made it all worthwhile. Daz took centre stage bringing an energy and great vocals as he picked up the blues vibe of the intro from guitar and keys with a song about the virtual world, spinning together traditional R n’ B with contemporary lyrics. Daz knows how to woo a crowd, and the audience’s attention was now transfixed to the musicians and the set unfolded so that we heard a live version of Summertime Shuffle perfectly in tune with the heat of the summer everyone was experiencing tonight at The Globe. The band closed with Deadman’s Hand with its country blues feel with a full-on twang of the guitar filling out the story unfolding through the lyrics. This wasn’t the end of the evening there were two more tracks from the album to be given the live treatment, yes they were back for an encore ending the evening with Pretender Love; there was definitely no pretending about the skills of Luke on guitar, Gareth on keys and Daz sparkling centre stage delivering lyrics and music that is contemporary blues.

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Set List
Bold Italic Coolhand Album
J&J
Virtual Life
Everything<
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Holy Man
<strong>Summertime Shuffle

<strong>Hardly The time
Give love a chance

Looking Back
Ode To Law
Can’t Carry On
She’s Hot
Such a Fool
Deadmans Hand
Encores
Pretender Love
Stand Up

EP Review: Rainbreakers ~ Blood Not Brass

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Rainbreakers
Blood Not Brass
Independent

Release Date 22nd May 2015

 

Rainbreakers, another new group for me, are certainly not conventional blues, they have taken the framework of blues, reshaped the scaffolding and build a sound, shape and form of Rainbreakers blues that is modern and distinctly their own full of noise, distorted vocals and drumming that will be heard and is definitely not in the background keeping time.
Opening Blood Not Brass with a crash of drumming from Sam Edwards, a bloodcurdling scream and then the guitar picks up a riff and pushes the structure into shape with style great guitar work from Jack Cooper before the slightly distorted but clarion clear vocals via a harp microphone from Ben Edwards, the last member who glues the rock blues Rainbreakers structure is bassist Peter Adams who has the power Ain’t Nothing Goin’ On is on the money.

There is a frenetic urgency and excitement in the playing that without careful timing and consideration of the other members of the band could descend into anarchy but as the drum fades away on the first track and the guitar intro of On My Knees starts you realise this is a band with talent who want to be heard. The track that gives the EP its title has a gentler start as if they have collectively taken breathe but then the contemporary vocal twist cuts in and whilst holding onto tradition they are distilling through their instruments a myriad of influences from popular music culture from the sixties onwards creating a modern and timeless sound crossing genres and full of interest.

Closing with All I Got I know there is a lot more in the tank of this exciting four piece of Rock Blues band that deserves to be heard far and wide. This is a sound that whilst being unique has a listenability and deserves mainstream play it is exciting music delivered with a freshness and passion that is Rainbreakers.

This is a four track E.P. that in the fifteen minutes of recorded music jams in an album’s worth of excitement. Rainbreakers are a new band for Bluesdoodles but I was left after listening to this exciting music the urge to go hear a full set live.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

LIVE DATES
MAY
2nd The Marrs Bar, Worcester Supporting Laurence Jones
3rd The Crown & Anchor Vaults, Bishops Castle
9th The Bear Inn, Bridgnorth
15th The Red Lion, Gravesend Supporting The Mentulls
16th Stourbridge Blues Festival, Stourbridge
23rd The Castle Hotel, Manchester
25th Rock & Bowl Festival, Market Drayton
27th The Jam House, Birmingham
29th The Star Inn, Bentworth

And Rainmakers continue to tour see.. Tour DATES

CD Review: Duke Garwood ~ Heavy Love

DukeDuke Garwood
Heavy Love
Heavenly Recordings

London based singer/songwriter is the obvious description for Duke Garwood…. BUT he is so much more as he delivers an experimental sound that is dipped in roots music and never drenched. He is on the edges of what is seen as on trend in the blues/roots world of music as he explores the depth and colours of the multitude of instruments he can play.
The vocals are moody and the whispered delivery is at times other-worldly, in the next breath there is an undertone of all that is sinister, they are delivered with rough despair of a voice well-travelled in emotional highs and lows.
This is definitely not a traditional album, this is blues that has been twisted, mangled dried out until the delta and the bayou is a place yet for the roots of blues to reach. The album has a dryness about it full of dry hurting tortured heat as seen on the title track as portrayed in the ghostly backing vocals of Savages, Jehnny Beth. The theme of a desert continues as the blues is more from dry Saharan sands evoking the passions of the Tuareg.

The whole sound is stripped back with broody demons and overtones and layers of sounds, echoes and the portrayal of yearning wind often in the distance all created with a superb sense of time and space producing a sublime guitar; and the story unfolding makes this an album that is intriguing, reflective and above all else very good – yes different but for all the right reasons. Heavy Love, should break the secret seal around Duke Garland a great artist that should be heard by many as he brings the special moody, meditative sound that he creates.

There is no track that is a make-weight or filler they have all been considered and placed in context of the whole album. Disco Lights is no tribute to Travolta it is a different type of fever, the mood stays the same no up-beat dance tune but the inclusion of a female singer for this track and an electric guitar that resonates straight to your soul. Snake Man is definitely a hot desert sound inspiring sound pictures of desert bleakness with percussion and howling sound like an impending sandstorm, with a sinister undertone and lyrics that curl around your ears; “snake honey from your tongue” sung with a seductive and beguiling force.

The closing track Hawaiian Death Song finishes the album at the sea with haunting guitar and vocals that have created a real tone poem, as imaginary of your contemplation of the music washes over you is this the end or the beginning. What I do know, I want to hear more from this superb artist and definitely catch him playing live during 2015.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch