Sky Won’t Fall Time Has Come for Nimmo and Poole

Sky Won’t Fall Why Time Has Come for Nimmo and PooleSky Won’t FallTime Has Come for Nimmo and Poole

Sky Won’t Fall
Time Has Come for
Nimmo and Poole

 

Nearly the last gig of the tour Bluesdoodles caught up at last with Ben Poole Band & Stevie Nimmo on their double headlining tour at The Flowerpot in Derby.  They better be on their A star game as the other Nimmo Alan and King King with special guest Dan Patlansky in Salisbury threw down the gauntlet last night , hard, fast and loud with a rocking blues attitude that ignited the venue.  There was no doubt by the end of the gig this double headliner was volcanic but more of that as we relish the evening’s guitar offerings. The coin has been tossed the running order Ben Poole followed by Stevie Nimmo. Let the dual begin.

 

The rhythm section, bassist Matt Beable and Craig  Bacon are in for a long hot night as they are providing the tone, and chewy textures for both guitarists tonight. Ben Poole joined them and Stevie Watts on keys on a hot stage greeted by resounding cheers to a packed Flowerpot. His latest album Time Has Come, has given Ben a spring to his step and fire in his guitar. Not surprising with the myriad of positive reviews. Now to hear the music live outside of the studio. Ben was firing on all six strings opening with a firm Poole favourite Lets Go Up Stairs. The blues temperature was hot as forged steel and The Flowerpot was united in the love of live music and the sound of a guitarist who owns the Blues in UK today. The groove aid down by Matt and Craig was augmented by the keys of Stevie Watts. The sound was rocking and the emotive connection and love Ben shares with Gary Moore shines through every time he plays Holding On To Love. The music united the crowded venue we were immersed in the glories of live music, it is irresistible. The band was connected to us and each other, interacting with pure energy and joy of playing the music that we want to hear. All too soon the set was over time to draw a breath and recollect and then get ready for the Stevie Nimmo storm blowing into the Flowerpot next.

 

Sky Won’t Fall Time Has Come for Nimmo and PooleThe cheers lifted the ceiling as the mighty Stevie Nimmo took the stage for the penultimate night of a long tour and road trip on his bike check out his blog for the highs, lows and the laughs he has had travelling from venue to venue. Tonight it is The Flowerpot’s turn, we love having him back in Derby.  With a new album that has been receiving the highest accolade and is definitely in the running for album of 2016 over at Bluesdoodles Tower! The Sky Won’t Fall when it is supported with the mighty Rocking Bluesy guitar from Stevie. What a performance the guitar work was fast, slow perfectly timed with vocals that add another instrument into the mix. This is not a power trio but a trio full of musical power. The set was mainly from the latest album which delighted many who already have had the album on continuous play and as with Ben’s the music has that added tension and nuances when played live. It is the heat, sweat and atmosphere being rolled into the mix, which can never be achieved in a studio. We have Roll The Dice the track on the album that couples into Stevie’s back catalogue so very neatly.

Ben Poole WM-1340Sky Won’t Fall Time Has Come for Nimmo and PooleMatt and Craig are back hotter than ever enjoying playing to the Big Scots tune.  The lyrics are strong the guitar full of scorching power as money becomes the center of attention with a passionate telling of life with No Money on Still Hungry. The live version of the Allman Brothers number Gamblers Roll was my favourite (if we ignore the encore more of that later) moment of the evening despite being a cover. What a song on the album it holds your attention, live it stops you breathing so that you can absorb every note played. This song alone proves the power of live music, the emotion cannot be replicated in any other medium. The emotive moment was when Stevie gave tribute to Big George, his fellow country man who influenced many, he was a wordsmith extraordinaire as The Storm shows. Another fabulous number the music tonight was stellar, the performances of everyone on the stage was top-notch.

Having heard King King and Alan his younger brother the night before I have had the perfect two days of live music the pair of Nimmos on different stages but bringing Scottish Blues magic to excite and please.

Then there was the encore Freddy King’s Going Down. The Flowerpot was not going down, dowSky Won’t Fall Time Has Come for Nimmo and Poolen, down we were on the up as not one, not two, no we had three guitarists on stage joining Ben & Stevie was Aynsley Lister we were in for an encore that will be remembered for many a year by all the lucky people in the Flowerpot tonight. Thank you Lisa & Alan, the powerhouse behind RAW Promo for continuing to put on gigs that delight and fill our memories with glorious music. Keep supporting venues Why? Keep Music Live it is simply the best.

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Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of Devon Allman

Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of Devon Allman

 

Kev Andrews WM-6767The heat was rising on a cold February evening as the anticipation grew for live music tonight Southern style. Before, Devon, the local acoustic guitarist Kev Andrews warmed the stage with his recognizably deft guitar work. Kev made the six-strings zing especially with his acoustic re-working of Voodoo Chile. With a mix of authentic blues, slide playing that entertained using a glass from The Flowerpot bar we were musically warmed for the main act of the evening Devon Allman.

Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of  Devon AllmanA grand entrance to a packed Flowerpot, and as usual Devon Allman dazzled everyone with his glorious guitar playing. No gimmicks, no pedal board just straight into the amp and his magical ability to manipulate the six strings of his Gibson; producing a mixture of tones from deep with the blues and the energy of Southern Rock this was a spellbinding set from Devon and his band.  Opening with Wash in A serving as the invitation to enjoy Devon Allman and his band on a whirlwind of notes that shaped the mood and we were ready for the party. Leading into the first of three tracks off his current album Ragged and Dirty; including Half The Truth, this is a track that curls around the manipulation and shaping of the fret board. Tonight adding to the honey dripping vocals was Bobby Schneck Jr on guitar taking the lead often his playing is monstrous what a pairing plus great harmonizing on and backing vocals. The rhythm section that sounded like they had been playing together for years. The reality was so very different joining regular drummer Anthony Nanney was bassist, Carl Stanbridge on his second gig with Devon. We were treated to Devon doing a Devon Allman Honeytribe cover Mahalo. The music was scorchingly hot with No Woman No Cry via Bob Marley and The Wailers heard in Derby. This was the perfect time for audience to join in on the chorus; the absolutely delicious licks and riffs contained within Back To You within the great blues undercurrent. The music of Devon and the band hits you deep in your music solar plexus, massaging your soul creating that huge smile of delight of hearing stunning live music unfolding in front of you.

Many remembered the last time Devon was at the Flowerpot with Royal Southern Brotherhood so the inclusion of Left My Heart in Memphis was thoroughly enjoyed. The blues that chugged and coursed around the venue, the wonder of Checkin On My Baby from Sonny Williamson via Junior Wells hit the spot.  Midnight Lake Michigan from Ragged and Dirty closed the set the lights dimmed they left the stage. We collectively drew our breath and then in harmony yelled for more.

Encores can be a number or two added to the set list. No Devon and the band hit the stage as if starting again rather than drawing the evening to a sedate close this was Rock n’ roll at its best. We were treated to a triple caress of the power of Devon Allman. The title track of his latest album led into a medley of music, colouring book of pop, rock blues and everything in between. The fastest version of Stairway To Heaven with the audience joining in the fun. This was a riff medley of huge proportions, a jam that had energy shape and a purpose. I think I picked out Sweet Home Alabama. Whole Lotta Love and Smells Like Teen Spirit many more I missed, when you are that enthralled by the sound your brain forgets to take note of tiny details. Closing an evening we would like to have just continued was One Way Out an Allman Brothers Number that we all loved and left Southern Rock and the legacy of Allman’s family talent resonating in the venues air and seeping into the walls as part of The Flowerpots DNA.

A magnificent ending to a fantastic gig – WOW! – this was certainly going to be one if not the Bluesdoodles gig of the year.

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Inglorious in Town Got The Flowerpot Rocking

Inglorious in Town Got The Flowerpot Rocking

Inglorious in Town Got The Flowerpot Rocking

Having seen Inglorious twice before; once opening Planet Rockstock 2015 and then opening for The Winery Dogs in Bristol, I was looking forward to when they had control of their own destiny as the headliners at The Flowerpot Derby. The venue was heaving RAWpromo were delighted the show was a sell-out so the atmosphere was hot and steamy everyone was ready able and willing they wanted to be entertained.

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Before the anticipated Inglorious we were royally entertained once again by Ali Clinton Band with his new line-up. Ali Clinton Band is a young band with a great following. A power trio that kicks the riffs straight into your musical heart. Ali’s guitar work always is spot-on with his deft fingers playing the fret board. The chords are profound as they curl around the lyrics. Tonight we heard a selection of self-penned numbers from his current E.P. and his single, The Lie, and his Les Paul has a special tone. With Will on bass and Richard Kirk on drums the future is rhythmically bright for this young guitar slinger. The link between Inglorious and Ali Clinton along with the drummer have shared stage with Uli Jon Roth.

Inglorious came to The Flowerpot and conquered Derby. For many it was the first time hearing the band live. The majority that I spoke to were overjoyed and just wanted to get to the next Inglorious event. Having received lots of airplay on Planet Rock and been described by Paul Anthony as “The future of British rock and roll”.

Inglorious in Town Got The Flowerpot RockingInglorious is a six-piece, and at its centre up front with a voice that travels and is made for Arena Rock is Nathan James. He has surrounded himself with musicians that are hungry for the big time and they want to climb the ladder not one step at a time but in giant leaps. Their self-titled debut album is receiving rave reviews from across the rock media. Tonight’s set was the live re-working of the album Inglorious with tracks in a different order giving the crowds a rocking good time. This is a band that has rehearsed the moves the licks and riffs when Nathan clicks his fingers or flashes his warm smile. It shows every number is polished and gleaming. The band is tight they play to please and Inglorious do. It was a tight fit on the stage, cramping their moves but not the music. The set was short despite three mighty covers, Russ Ballard’s I Surrender; re-working of Toto’s Girl Goodbye that is becoming a staple of the set and Deep Purple’s Lay Down, Stay Down. No-one was laying or staying down as the beat drove through the venue.

Inglorious WM-6594There is no doubt that live the stand out numbers from the album live are Inglorious; Until I Die a high powered opening number tonight and Holy Water. The addition of keys gives a band another layer of rock chords. The band needs to give the keys more scope to interweave with the two guitars. A new band creating a storm with potential to go far and plenty of scope to build on with the quality musicians that are Inglorious.

Inglorious  WM-8As one of the growing phalanx of fans commented on Facebook following the show was “I like his bum wiggle and jazz hands. I’m not complaining. All part of the Performance. He can wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. With that voice he’s allowed to wiggle.”
I was disappointed that the set wasn’t longer. Inglorious may want the large stage but at times when developing a fan base smaller venues get you to the hardcore music fans. They need to adapt and stretch out the set with demanding and interesting lead breaks; and some more covers to stretch out the set or better still some new numbers of their own. Though leaving the fans wanting more is a tactic that will work if they have lots of new material the next time they play in the East Midlands.

Inglorious have built for themselves a solid base of fans and material now they need to show they can really deliver a headlining set that is inspiring and rocks up a whirlwind of a musical storm. As they pick up their first award – Planet Rock’sThe Rocks 2016 Best New Band.

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Bluesdoodles in the Press – March 2015

Blues In Britain

Skegness 2015

BIB Skeg1 mar 2015

BiBSkeg2 Mar 2015

Stevie Nimmo Trio with support from Ali Clinton Band

@ The Flowerpot

Stevie Nimmo BiB Mar 2015

Chris Rea @ St David’s Hall
Chris Rhea BiB MAr 2015

 

Aynsley Lister Band with support from Rita Payne

@ The Flowerpot

Ayns List BiB Mar 2015

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus @ The Flowerpot, Derby

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus - Flowerpot Nov 2014 - DSC_3365lIan Siegal and Jimbo Mathus
The Flowerport, Derby / RAW Promo
27th November 2014

 

 

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus - Flowerpot Nov 2014 - _0007lThe Flowerpot was packed and there was a buzz of excited anticipation for this twosome to step on stage and begin all the positive comments they have received on this tour meant we all want to hear the music for ourselves. The evening opened with Ian’s favourite warm-up number from The Dust Silver Spurs which got the hands warmed and the feet tapping in preparation for what turned-out to be a truly rip-roaring set of pure Siegal with a little bit extra from the man from Mississippi Jimbo Mathus. They met at a festival in U.S.A at North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic out of which Ian’s latest album was born Picnic Sessions.
They alternated a set full of nuggets as they flew solo and supported each other with harmonies and accompanying each other on guitar, or mandolin, harp and tambourine supplied by Jimbo. Tonight was more than the music with many tracks from Ian’s latest album Picnic Sessions, on which Jimbo played as well as his latest album Dark Night Of The Soul. It was also the informative, funny and delightful chit-chat and verbal interaction between them this was entertainment of so many levels; from left, right and centre stage!

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus - Flowerpot Nov 2014 - _0019lHeavenly Houseboat Blues was full of fun lyrics and some heavenly slide from Jimbo, their voices really hit it off with the harmonising and the complimentary tones adding layers of sound and textures. Everyone enjoyed the tale of Ian being called overseas and how Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues was born certainly a song that is short but memorable, using the Woody Guthrie style talking blues with the addition of the mandolin we went from pirates of the high sea onto outlaws of the Wild West with Jesse James.

It was so interesting to hear about Mississippi and the tales that inform the lyrics with Turkey Buzzard a different bird creeping into the set and Tallahatchie a traditional Indian name that is the roots in the Mississippi landscape. Then the contrast of a traditional British song with the crowds joining in with a favourite with the crowds Mary Don’t You Weep‘ crowds in the East Midlands expect this to be included in any set Ian delivers.

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus - Flowerpot Nov 2014 - _0080lThe Fear and Gallo Del Ciello were my highlights from Ian and definitely they compete, which is my favourite. This was an evening full of blues, a smidgen of country, lots of charm and storytelling of the highest order all too soon the evening was drawing to an end the encore was superb and unexpectedly the evening drew to the close with Dirty Ole Town and some hearty audience participation. Ian, Jimbo and guitars came to Derby and entertained us from the first to the last note blues can be such musical fun when delivered with confidence, feeling and a twist if that devil magic.

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus - Flowerpot Nov 2014 - _0105l

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Babajack Live at The Flowerpot, Derby

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Rita Payne @ Flowerpot Derby Feb 2014 - DSC_0016l

The warm up act tonight at The Flowerpot thanks to Raw Promo were , Rita Payne are singer songwriters from Doncaster this duo describe themselves as ”Acoustic Foot-Stompers” the name they have chosen to perform under is eclectic and different just like the act and has no relevance to their actual names, Rhiannon Scutt (Acoustic Guitar, stomp Box suitcase and backing vocals) and Pete Sowerby (Vocals and Tambourine). They delivered a wide range of music from self-penned through to the Beatles and a very fine version of ‘Billy Jean‘ given the folksy treatment making the song stand out from the crowd with this intuitive re-arrangement. The set they delivered was very entertaining, Pete had warm personality that ensured the audience related to their approach to traditional music dragged into the 21st Century with a twist of modernity. There own ‘Patchwork Song‘ about a previous and disastrous relationship was delivered with confidence – this is an entertaining act that is definitely worth seeing live. Rhiannon has a deft touch on the guitar making it sing which complemented her powerful and tuneful voice and when combined with Pete’s clear tenor vocals make a duet in harmony and they work well together communicating where they are taking the music. This is an act with a clear vision of the sound they want to produce and delight the audience with.
This warm up act was definitely slightly off-the-wall but with their charismatic stage presence, augmenting their musical skills, Rita Payne are just what you need in a warm up act they made you wanting more and left you in the mood for the main act of the evening; they were the perfect act to combine with Babajack’s unique approach to the blues.

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Babajack @ The Flowerpot Feb 2014 - DSC_0115l

Tonight was Babajack the band, not a four piece as unfortunately Tosh (drummer) was unwell so Becky had the responsibility of providing percussion all night a task she was delighted to fulfill, so tonight at The Flowerpot it was a trio with Adam Birtenshaw providing a solid bass line to give a solid foundation as Becky and Trevor took their songs on a walk. At times it was free-form, as the music took them on a journey with no beginning or end and then they pulled it back to the original plan and the song came to a celebratory end. This energised the audience who had come to see Babajack in full flight.
Becky was on sparkling form her chatter between tracks continued to be energetic interspersed with her melodic laughter, with Trevor’s self-made guitar boxes being introduced, firstly Joanna – made using resources from a variety of sources including the dog bones and pieces from an old piano hence her name. Later in the set we were introduced to Graham, made from a port box and had a ‘fruitier, stronger tone and flavour… goes well with strong cheese…” the story ended with a bubbling laughter from Becky it was true this guitar had that depth of range delivered to your ears in much the same way a good Port delivers to your palette.

This was a confident performance, delivered with passion and the sheer delight of performing music that is loved by the performers and the very essence of the beat understood and shared with the audience. Babajack delivered the beat with every note creating a verve and energy in the audience so that an electric frisson of live music magic swept across the audience. The set was a walk through their back catalogue, a seductive delivery of tracks from their latest album ‘Running Man; with a fantastic live rendition of the title track where Becky, Trevor and Adam created the illusion through timing and vocal delivery the feeling of running from something fearful, that you do not understand. The set was a balanced musical walk through the colours textures and emotions of the Babajack discography and the airing of a new track Religion, which has a different feel about the tone with an undercurrent of country/Americana and as ever has strong vocals, harmonica and percussive force, the song definitely excited and whetted the appetite that an anticipated fifth Babajack album will be a fixture on our decks very soon. The set as ever included Babajack audience’s favourites including Gallows Pole, Death Letter Blues and Black Betty with enthusiastic crowd participation, this had the performers working themselves up into a dervish whirl… with Trevor falling off his stool, this did not stop the show they just played on as he regained his breath with only his pride hurt! The Babajack sound is like coming home to a security blanket, you are rooted and sustained as a giant oak that spreads its branches across the land and drives its roots into the heart of the soil. There is no doubt about it a deep wisdom in each song sung and beat delivered by this award winning band that has the mighty Trevor as its engine and the twirling, swirling Becky as the wind that whispers and cajoles the inner meaning from every song so that you are drawn into and totally captured.

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Review of the Five Paws Album of 2013 Babajack’s – Running Man

Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods @ The Flowerpot, Derby

Ian Siegal and The Mississippi Mudbloods - Flowerpot - Nov 2013_0347l

For the second night running Rawpromo have a sell-out crowd for the acts they are promoting at The Flowerpot. Tonight the chatter was about Ian Siegal and the many guises he performs in and our favourite – tonight with the Mudbloods it was going to be swampy country blues delivered in Siegal’s own award winning and importantly crowd pleasing style. Tonight the Mudboods are a little bit different as ever Cody Dickinson is the stalwart master drummer full of flare, rhythm and gets the heat of the drums sounding out on the beat and adding a percussive type of sound; joining him on bass, vocals and sometimes lead guitar is fellow North Mississippi Allstar member Lightnin’ Malcolm and the third member Duane Betts on guitar producing a delightful rootsy rock sound the scene is set now for the music; they are described by Ian as the “Golden Ratio”.

It was a medley of the latest tracks from “The Skinny” & “Candy Store Kid” albums, delighting the audience as they love these tracks kicking off with ‘Kingfish‘, ‘I am The Train’ and a real good time ‘Picnic Jam‘; which got the vibe going and told everyone they were here for a good time, of zinging live music that will not be boxed and served up as aficionados of genres expect. It is all the better for that with music that has a free-form; full of great licks, superb lyrics and all instruments complimenting each other, this is live roots, blues country music at its best. Ian, as ever quickly built great rapport with the loud and excited audience and the interaction between the musicians on stage showed they enjoyed each other’s company and were here to play and have fun. Lightnin’ Malcolm took centre stage on lead guitar for a couple of numbers allowing anyone in the audience who has not heard him before to listen to his beautiful vocals, great guitar skills, he is a great songwriter and his solo album, “Rough Out There” is anything but rough! The opening track of the album ‘Workin” really suits his voice and guess who filled the gap as bass player! Why the multi-talented Ian Siegal who now adds another string to his bow as a pretty mean bass player. Ian Siegal and The Mississippi Mudbloods - Flowerpot - Nov 2013_0248l Then another swap round of instruments and the set list played on with the songs we all love including ‘So Much Trouble‘ written by Lightnin’ Malcolm and tonight sung and played by Ian who demonstrated what a great wordsmith Malcolm is. This was a stage of four equally talented musicians and this shone through on every track. Duane’s silky guitar licks added a different tone to the sound with a rocky edge firmly planted in swampy southern blues sound and the interaction between his and Ian’s guitar was special and this duo has the potential of being something exceptional – we want to hear more. Ian Siegal and The Mississippi Mudbloods - Flowerpot - Nov 2013_0294lWhat has now become a bit of a signature number when Ian plays with a band is the tremendous track ‘Hard Pressed’ from his “Broadside” album; he breaks of to do a tribute to Prince with snippets form various Prince tracks around the main thread of ‘Sign O’ The Times‘ then effortlessly back into ‘Hard Pressed’ showing the adept mastery of Ian and the band shaping and re-interpreting the tracks you love so you are always kept on your proverbial listening toes! The music played on and the lyrics washed over the appreciative audience and all too soon they were leaving the stage, an encore and then the stage fell silent and the audience reflected in the stupendous show of live music they had just had the privilege of witnessing. Ian Siegal’s stylish playing reminded everyone who loves the modern blues scene that he is definitely the best Blue’s performer this side of the Atlantic – Ian is the A.P. McCoy of British Blues and we want to see him time and time again in any of his guises, none of them boring as he produces the full spectrum of musical colours and textures for our delight.

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You will not have to wait long as he is back in a new guise Siegal Electric Band
13 Nov – PEER, Belgium @ 8pm 
14 Nov – W2, DEN BOSCH, Netherlands<a href=", AMERSFOORT, Netherlands @ 8pm
15 Nov – De Kelder, AMERSFOORT, Netherlands @ 8.30pm
16 Nov – Porgy en Bess, TERNEUZEN, Netherlands @ 9.30pm
17 Nov – Qbus, LEIDEN, Netherlands @ 8.30pm
18 Nov – Trix, ANTWERP, Belgium 7.30pm
19 Nov – Blues Sur Seine, PARIS, France

20 Nov – Borderline, LONDON, UK – 7pm
22 Nov – Met BURY, UK 8pm
23 Nov – Redcar R&B Club, REDCAR, UK 8pm  
24 Nov – Astor Theatre, DEAL, UK 7.30pm

Norman Watt-Roy & Friends @ The Flowerpot, Derby

Norman Watt-Roy and Friends -Flowerpot - Nov 2013_0083l

Sell-out gig with nervous anticipation around The Flowerpot started the evening off with a buzz even before the doors to the stage area were opened. Opening for a gig when there is so much excitement is always difficult and ‘Mojosa‘ entertained us royally. This duo of Pauls delivered an acoustic set of classic blues numbers with the duo using their resonators to full effect and the competing slides worked with the two sounds meshing together to create a pleasing sound. A warm-up act that entertained with a set of great blues rocks classics including ‘Brownsville Blues‘.

Norman Watt-Roy and Friends -Flowerpot - Nov 2013_0084l Now for the main event Norman Watt-Roy the incredibly talented and imaginative bass player who has been the preferred session player for many including providing the original bass line for Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s hit single, ‘Relax‘, and who played with Ian Dury and The Blockheads. The atmosphere was electric as the first note was struck by Norman and the band began to play ‘ Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’, the crowd was won over by this tribute to the great wordsmith Ian Dury. Norman was joined tonight by keys, saxophone/accordion and drums meaning this was a trio without a lead guitarist! But the sound produced was complete as the best bass player of the era fronted the band and filled in the gaps. The beat was kept up tempo with ‘Billericay Dickie‘; then the tempo genre style changed with some jazz-funky grooves as the set became definitely more jazz than blues or rock and this definitely made an appreciative audience sit up and listen. This was a perfect venue to showcase tracks from his new album Faith & Grace on Cadiz Label with an attentive audience that listened and absorbed this new Norman Watt-Roy style. The jazz influenced lead breaks made sure that every track was clearly stamped with the Norman watt-Roy signature of full bodied bass playing demonstrated throughout but stood out on ‘You are what You Are’ and ‘Me My Bass & I‘. Then the moment everyone had been waiting for – the entrance of Norman Watt-Roy and Friends -Flowerpot - Nov 2013_0136lWilko Johnson onto the stage, the cheers were resounding and immediately the tempo and temperature was raised; and the crowds moved forwards trying to catch a shot and glimpse of the machine-gun guitar slinger. He played three numbers straight off, it had been worth the wait, a barnstorming performance from a legend of the pub rock scene, with his style of guitar playing instantly recognisable. There was no need for Wilko to say a word his trademark black telecaster with red scratch-plate said everything that needed to be said. Then he left the sage and the band followed the roar was enough to take the roof off The Flowerpot; and then in a instant he was back at the mike for the encore he chose ‘Roxette’. This is the Wilko version similar but never the same as when Dr Feelgood played it as Lee Brilleaux’s moody, darkly sexy approach is missing; but who cares tonight was Wilko’s as the crowd couldn’t get enough of of Wilko! Every chord struck without a plectrum as he has played for the last forty years, every note he sung and every move he made. The show ended back at the beginning with Norman Watt-Roy and Friends returning to ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick‘. The crowd was still buzzing long after the band had left the stage. Rawpromo had put on a a very special evening that was thoroughly appreciated by everyone, and no doubt there were a few disappointed people who couldn’t get a ticket. This is a popular promoter and venue so the moral is – get your ticket early…

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The Royal Southern Brotherhood @ The Flowerpot Derby

Samantha Fish Opening for The Royal Southern Brotherhood
@ The Flowerpot, Derby, Friday 27th September


There was an air of controlled anticipated excitement at The Flowerpot, the atmosphere was evident as soon as you walked in an hour before the gig was due to start. There was a lot of chatter about how good the evening was going to be and how everyone was looking forward to the evening; so the stakes were set very high for The Royal Southern Brotherhood with its celebrated line-up

Before the main event of the night, Samantha Fish had the unenviable task of being the opening act when the audience was already buzzing; and from the moment she stepped on stage with her guitar she was making friends and fans through the clarity and authenticity of her playing style. Those of us that had heard her last album “Black Wind Howlin’” were expecting this but for others it was a delightful new experience. Her use of the cigar box bought another musical texture and then she was joined by Grammy award-winning drummer Yonrico Scott, celebrated bassist Charlie Wootton and guitarist and the producer of her latest album Mike Zito this was live music full of excitement that bought the tracks from the album to life breathing in the energy that the artist gets from the crowds and feeds back through the music. Samantha is no doubt the real deal great guitar player with her strong guitar licks, combined with a great voice which articulates the songs with meaning and clarity a glorious 45 minutes of blues driven music but we were all still anticipating the act to come.

Royal Southern Brotherhood - Flowerpot -  Sept 2013_0313

The Royal Southern Brotherhood (RSB) hit the stage with the double guitar sound provided by the talented pair Devon Allman and Mike Zito, whose complimentary sounds created a musical harmony and exciting southern rock blues driven music. Added to this powerhouse at the front is Cyril Neville with his silky smooth but gritty vocals and percussive rhythms, but for the RSB a trio is not enough to deliver the powerhouse of Southern Rock sound they produce, so into the mix is added the talented Charlie Wooton on Bass and at the back of the stage the powerhouse of the group drummer extraordinaire, Yonrico Scott. Opening the proceedings with Paul Butterfield’s ‘You Can Run But You Can’t Hide’ demonstrated the talent and the easy way they all compliment each other, they are not individual pieces of a jigsaw they fit snugly together creating a fully picture of tones, harmonies and sounds, that is pure ecstasy! Mike Zito put his silver flying V to good use on the next delivery, one of his own ‘Hurts My Heart’ this put a little bit of funk into the proceedings as the excitement on the floor was getting more intense with every note RSB delivered tonight at The Flowerpot. For over two hours they entertained, teased and mesmerised us as the focus went from Devon’s deft and skillful licks, his vocals with a distinctive growl or Cyril adding that bit of soul to the proceedings and the hit of African rhythms and a times the sound or Bob Marley; then Charlie Wootons superlative bass playing wow what a solo… Mike Zito interchanging guitars going from leading the pace to add that extra layer seamlessly and then the tightest drummer providing a bedrock for the rest to play from. RSB were definitely on fire and enjoying themselves, at times there was a distinctive feel of a jam but this was quality jamming made up from talent individuals creating a cohesive and controlled sound. All thirteen songs delivered tonight deserve a mention as they all were a little bit special but for me the highlights have to be Cyril’s own title track ‘Magic Honey’ phew that was a blow away funky number, Grateful Dead’s; ‘Fire on The Mountain’ and the glorious Devon vocals that delivered ‘Gotta Keep On Rockin’ that said it all and summed up the night and why it is vital to keep music live.

The encore was the third segment of the evening as Samantha Fish joined RSB, with the fantastic duet straight from Devon’s album Turquoise ‘Stop Draggin My Heart Around’ that set the emotions on fire and the energy in the audience reached a new high – this has to be my gig of the year – a whole week later and I am still reliving the experience and for once Wow really means WOW!!!!

There can be no denying that Samantha and The Royal Southern Brotherhood, came to The Flowerpot, Derby, conquered our hearts, and left some musical magic dust in our souls. When are you coming back? very soon we hope and a big shout to Alan and Lisa that are RAW Promo for putting on another stunning evening of live entertainment.

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All photographs copyright Liz Aiken