Triple Helping of Rock Joy at The Fleece Bristol

Triple Helping of Rock Joy at The Fleece Bristol

After the disappointment of the show being postponed in Pontypridd by snow and a Red weather warning, there were no dramas as we crossed the bridge heading for The Fleece in Bristol for a triple helping of Rock Joy in Bristol. Two bands joining the headliners Stone Broken to create a night of winning combinations of great guitar playing, vocals and rhythms. As The Bad Flowers, Jared James Nichols and Stone Broken took to the stage tonight the last night of the U.K. leg of the tour, it was fitting that the show was SOLD OUT!

First to warm the stage and excite the audience was The Bad Flowers the new band that has roared out of the gigging starting blocks with the firing of their album Starting Gun. With a thirty minutes slot, Tom Leighton kept the verbals brief but still took time out to thank the audience for the support as they played a stylish set.  They hit the ground running with Tom’s vocals soaring above the band on the perfect opener Hurricane. The Bad Flowers is a trio that plays with a high energy classic rock style they sound so much more than a three-piece. Tom’s voice has the scope to roam around the lyrics by superb musicianship. The rhythm section is a power base, the combination of drummer Karl Selickis and Dale Tonks on Bass locking in the drive, energy and structure of every number. The guitar swirls with lead breaks that introduce Tom on vocal he is a skilful operator. The great riff ensured that Secrets went down like a storm with the crowd. What an opening set. Closing out a faultless set that left you wanting more with the single that got airplay on Planet Rock Thunder Child and their signature number City Lights. The closing track on the album and is contemporary moody rock with great lyrics. He sings “can’t afford Champagne” – playing like this you will be able to soon, very soon.  We want more and we wanted to hear Jared James Nichols who was next on the bill what a wonderful dilemma to be in.

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Jared James Nichols trio turns heads whenever they play from the first guitar chord to the last. Jared James Nicholls rock driven by the deepest blues for me was the best guitarist on the stage tonight his playing every time takes my breath away. It was unsurprising he opened his short and what was to be a very special set with the first track, Last Chance from his latest album,  Black Magic. Jared whatever he plays shows what an incredible virtuoso guitarist he is by making those six-strings sings, with finger-picking rockin’ blues of the highest order. The Rhythm section laid down by Erik Sandin and Dennis Holm whose bass & drums respectively lay down the shape and groove that is deep and true.  Now for the evening treat how to raise the temperature as an opening act. Bring on Bernie Marsden for a spectacular jam. With his signature amp the beast was plugged in tonight Bernie was playing his 1959 Les Paul Standard. Jared and Bernie the smiling gentleman of rock, really complimented each other the two guitars were friends. Throughout the jam, they never crowded each other out or overloaded the sound with too many chords. Jamming is an art and this section of the set was a Jam Sandwich of the highest order, sweet, fruity and aurally delicious. Tasty! The slow Blues in G was perfect Bernie demonstrating that he is no stranger to the blues the foundation of early classic rock. The licks we simply gorgeous. This is the highest class of jamming you could ever hope of seeing and hearing. The shuffles from Dennis set the tone and The Fleece was turned the deepest shade of rocking blues. The set was superb as Jared took control again closing out with his signature Mississippi Queen. Another string set of the highest quality blues, Jared just gets better, what a gig this night is proving to be and we still have the headliners Stone Broken to complete the triplet of joyous live music.

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Headliners now the crowd is ecstatic. A grand entrance with flashing lights and coloured smoke announce Stone Broken is in town. With an acclaimed new album, Ain’t Always Easy they have a lot to smile about as they showcase their debut album on Spinefarm Records.  The four-piece meant this was not a night of power trios.  There is a link with the opening band as they both hail from the well of great musicians that have their roots in the Black Country. The unmistakable flash of red hair and a wide grin, Robyn Haycock is in control behind the drums. Rich Moss was on top form with his PRS guitar and vocals that have power confidence and the ability to shape the emotional texture and tone of every number they played.

Tonight was the first opportunity for many to hear live the music on the new album that Rich was happy to announce that was number 15 in the mid-week national charts #15 (all genres, not just rock) and they deserve to be higher  Interweaved through the set were old favourites and tracks from their debut album Not Your Enemy. It was certain that everyone was Stone Broken’s friend tonight tomorrow and beyond. This is rock music that clicks with your inner DNA. It is rock played from the heart with verve and is loud for a reason. The combination of two guitars of Rich and Chris Davis weaves a magic and compelling formula. The Stone Broken sound builds from deep in the heart of the rhythm section with the winning combination of Robyn and bassist Kieron Conroy. Stone Broken are four-musicians who understand the music they play and the interaction between them is superb creating warm tones, stinging riffs and licks that curl around the vocals of Rich. The set was powerful opening with Worth Fighting For. This is a song that has a personal feel as they have fought for recognition through hard work and tireless touring greeting fans with a smile taking time to get to know the people that love being part of the Stone Broken Army.

The many fans were lapping up every note happy to sing the lyrics back to Rich on I Believe. The highlights of the set that displayed why they are headliners now were numerous every number sung and played was fun to hear.  The stand out spine-tingling moments was Better the lyrics sung with such emotional connection – the refrain Stop Wishing Your Life Away reflects the trajectory of the band who have followed their dream now working hard to ensure this is their reality. From the new album, Just a Memory and I Believe worked so well live. Then the encore as Rich played acoustic taking the energy down as he sung Wait For You. His fans will wait for him and the band who joined him on the chorus. We will wait impatiently for the next time Stone Broken play Bristol once again.

Once again the gem that The Fleece delivers live music we want to hear night after night. This music venue is too valuable a resource to music beyond the boundaries of Bristol, providing the space, lights and sounds for musicians of this calibre to perform. Tonight Stone Broken conquered Bristol completely.

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Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New

Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With NewBroken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New, plus four new tracks.  The debut feels comfortable why? It is a blending of tracks from their two acclaimed E.P’s that had fans demanding a full-length album. The new numbers show the direction of travel and how far the band have come. A result of touring endlessly at festivals, opening shows and part of the Roadstars earlier this year.  In Broken Witt Rebels own words – “Our album has been a long time coming. It’s a culmination of the past two years of hard work and we couldn’t be prouder of what it’s become. We’ve crafted the record to take the listener along our journey so far, and it also marks a milestone in our career as we move from the unsigned world to being with a label. We’re very proud to have signed a deal with Snakefarm Records, and with the Snakefarm team behind us we can’t wait to take things to the next level.” Some will moan we already have the E.Ps. People always moan! But – many will not as fans have arrived at the #UpTheRebels party later than others. Bluesdoodles reviewed Georgia Pines but not Howlin’, now we have an early collection of the boys’ music.

Now to the album opening with a rousing upbeat guitar churning number with Danny Core’s vocals cascading across the instrumentation and we are not left with Loose Change with the opening number. We are on the road with a band that wants you to have a good time, loud, raw and full of youthful verve and direction. Once heard the distinctive sound will never be forgotten. This is the sound that has got us so excited when they opened for Whiskey Myers, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Cadillac Three (Ireland & mainland Europe) and played at Festivals. The four new songs are little nuggets of brilliance scattered amongst the better-known numbers.  From the heavy jam band groove of Loose Change through to the final song of the album Wait For You which provides a slower, gentler soulful side of Danny and the band. Here they close the album with an artful weaving of modern sound collecting the roots of popular music, soul and blues with a crackling edge of tension. The tension shaped by the earthy vocals of Danny Core that just pop out at you on every track.  The first of the other two new numbers, Snake Eyes, feels familiar if you have heard the band live and is stunning; the opening is beguiling as you wait with bated breath for the song to fill out. This is rock that rolls with a blues shimmer and leaves you wanting to hear more.  The fourth in the quartet of new numbers leaves you Breathless with soulful wonder.  This is a number that ebbs and flows showing the bands dexterity shaping the sound around Danny’s many-textured vocals. The drumming is ear-catching and builds the tension as Danny sings “Give me Soul, Lose My Mind, Take Control, Trust in You is all I ‘ve Got”; pleading and emotive as he sings the lines so carefully crafted.

Much has been written about the E.P.s that are re-showcased here. It is definite they deserve another airing so new fans can appreciate and love the early music. They give context to the new music how the band is shaping and developing their sound. For me, it was Georgia Pines that opened my eyes to the potential of the band and Georgia and Low still leave me with that spine quivering delight that hits the right spot. Guns powers out a real contrast to the preceding number Breathless.

Broken Witt Rebels – with a self-titled debut album have jumped the hurdle met fans demands there is an album. Now we all eagerly await the feared sophomore album. This will be all new singing as the West Midland band continues to fuse the sound of British Blues Explosion with Southern Rock and weave in influences from Temperance Movement through to Black Stone Cherry. They are a crossover band. Broken Witt rebels are crossing the divide of being unknown to the world stage and this album consolidates their mission as Danny said when we interviewed him to conquer the music world. Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New will be played loud and often until they next play live and the second album hits the decks. Up The Rebels is the shout you hear.

Broken Witt Rebels – Broken Witt Rebels – Snakefarm Records

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

    1. Loose Change
    2. Georgia
    3. Shake Me Down
    4. Snake Eyes
    5. Howlin’
    6. Breathless
    7. Guns
    8. Getaway
    9. Low
    10. Wait For You

Gov’t Mule New Album Revolution Come…Revolution Go

Gov't Mule New Album Revolution Come...Revolution Go

Gov’t Mule New Album Revolution Come…Revolution Go


The title is intriguing is this a politically fueled message or a reflection on the crazy merry ground life we are spinning through? Revolution Come…Revolution Go; is as diverse and exciting as Gov’t Mule can be; expect a musical exploration as roots music infused with all its off-shoots. The album’s cover a soldier atop a broken toy mule facing the wrong way as he yells through an orange street cone; is so retro and so modern just like the music. Unarguably Richard Borge’s artwork captures the concept and drive of an album reflecting a crazy moment in history.

This is a musical cocktail never shaken but careful turned with each revolution of the turntable a musical spice is added; jazz, rock, blues and country the sonic layers fuse together and then separated into the individual parts the result is a delicious Gov’t Mule experience. The album flows with an introspective feel, whilst full of angst and pain this is a revolution down a road of life worn and traveled with the undertow of the impact of politics of our lives. Opening with Stone Cold Rage and closing with Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground this was never going to be a happy sunny uplands gentle lyrics driven melody. This is Gov’t Mule rocking it out with fiery riffs, cascading chords from the keys and riding through the middle of deep dark rhythms Warren Haynes’ vocals.

Gov't Mule New Album Revolution Come...Revolution Go

We are introduced to the latest offering from the Mule with a guitar sound that is huge, fast with an inner urgency as the keys join into the auditory playground. There is a primeval fear in the rhythms conjured by Matt Abts & Jorgen Carlssons Drum and Bass mix; with a funky sound that punctuates the power of the lyrics “Something Happened in The Back Woods… Stone Cold Rage in The Hinterland”.  The other two politically driven numbers are Pressure Under Fire and the title track. Reflecting the turmoil in the Country when the group started recording the album on Election Day November 2016.  The upsets and uncertainties continue throughout the world. Elections no longer have a certainty there is an undercurrent of rage and fear resulting in surprise. The line is Pressure Under Fire – We have to work together to get out of this mess; resonates throughout society. Warren’s vocals have an emotional edge the music builds and we want the lyrics to be a new truth a reality that is no longer based on falsehoods.

We turn in to ourselves with a country fueled Travelling Tune, haunting with the sharp simple melody that like a journey unfolding full of  shades and shadows pierced with the glimpse of sun.  The country feel flows through with Thorn of Light and onto the title track. Revolution Comes … Revolution Goes sparkles with intent. With the jam like feel of the multi-instrumental beaks this is a revolution of intent, considered with clear constructed argument, the fury is cold rather than hot and dragging and all the more dangerous for it.  The title track along with Sarah, Surrender are the two stand out tracks on an album that is compulsive listening from beginning to end. The keys from Danny Louis is full of funky tones, mixing in with a cocktail of sound as jazz and soul swirl through the melody, The guitar is sharp and determined and the drumming intense.  With the addition of Jimmy Vaughan’s guitar into the mix Burning Point is blues swirling in a psychedelic haze of deliciousness.

The album is a perfect set list and with the Deluxe version you hear some of the tracks recorded live. This is a journey through the wealthy golden rich seam of Gov’t Mule signature styles. As they close out with Carlsson’s arrangement of classic blues number from Blind Willie Johnson, Dark Was The Night Cold Was The Ground. This is a blues overload with a drone, moan and depth of blues textures that revitalise the music, the perfect ending to an album that owns so much to the traditions of roots music. Warren Haynes hollers the opening lines and the melody picks up the tone as the story unfolds.

With the concept of expect the unexpected, the certainty of Revolution Comes…Revolution Goes is the music is stunning, a ray of sparkling light, a shaft of hope this is a community of musicians communicating to a larger gathering of Mule fans everywhere.


Gov’t Mule – Revolution Comes…Revolution Go – Spinefarm Records


TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing
Revolution Come…Revolution Go Standard Track-listing:

  1. Stone Cold Rage
  2. Drawn That Way
  3. Pressure Under Fire
  4. The Man I Want To Be
  5. Traveling Tune
  6. Thorns Of Life
  7. Dreams & Songs
  8. Sarah, Surrender
  9. Revolution Come, Revolution Go
  10. Burning Point (ft. Jimmie Vaughan)
  11. Easy Times
  12. Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground

Deluxe Version – Bonus CD:

  1. What Fresh Hell
  2. Click-Track
  3. Outside Myself
  4. Revolution Come, Revolution Go (Alternate Version)
  5. The Man I Want To Be (Live In Studio Version)

Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground (Live In Studio Version)

Gov't Mule New Album Revolution Come...Revolution Go