Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight
First opening the night of live music The Blue Horizon, the Weston-super-Mare band the rocks out on the blues that always attracts attention. Tonight, the trio of Iain Ecclestone the charismatic frontman whose guitar sparkles lightning up the vocals. The Rhythm section is the power base provided by bassist Ed Gerlach and Josh Armitage behind the drums. The set was a mix of originals and covers re-affirming the heavy seventies infused blues that make the horizon blue. They are gaining a reputation that is justified as laid down on one of the Rory Gallagher covers. They set the scene laying down the energy that was going to define the evening. Blue Horizon with local support provided the music and brightened the evening to get a Wednesday night in Bristol off to a flying start.
Short break, anticipation was high as everyone in the audience wanted to hear Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight. Straight off Crow Black Chicken gave a full-on great show, the slide work was amazing; the sound was rough, raw, and distinctive. This approach continued for the next two hours Crow Black Chicken was on stage. The second trio of the evening showing the depth and breadth of music styles influenced by the blues. Throughout the set, there was the innovative use of pedals by bassist Steven McGrath, who provided some wicked sounds coming from his four-string bass combined with the drumming that shaped the texture from Gev Barrett. The yin and yang of Christy O’Halon’s stunning guitar and Steven’s bass balance the sound. Christy’s vocals are clear in the blues storytelling tradition and every song from their albums and carefully selected covers gave the night the depth of southern-infused vibe. Crow Black Chicken is from deepest Southern Ireland and the charm and wit interweaves the songs. The music was the focus and they insured we were awash with the distinctive sound, the trademark of the band.
The songs chosen were stunning, the band played tight never added more than was necessary. The sound flowed there was no competition this is a band that is in harmony with the delivery pulled together with Christy’s great voice. From their latest album Pariah Brothers, a selection of the numbers was showcased. Anyone who didn’t have a copy was in the queue to purchase one at the end. These included Jonestown, inspired by Jim Jones a cult figure and Deer Meat Unloaded a real hefty, loud rocky number of experiences on a Spanish Tour. The lyrics told the story we were all on tour with the band in Spain. The vivid delivery of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Snake Farm was simple; another shining example of the band’s brilliance. They have fun playing music they love, the audience just wanted the party to go on this is finger licking spicy guitar music. Blues inspired music as they played a tribute to Jessie Mae, a blues woman from Texas that made her mark, as the song was introduced with a quip we should arm the Granny’s reflecting on the six shooters Jessie Mae always wore.
This is a band that makes friends and keeps them. Loyal to the people who inspire them and the aptly named Pat McManus a musical tribute to the fellow Irishman. The night of music that uplifted and flowed delighting everyone who was in the room. A great set of two hours was not enough we wanted more with energetic bounce the boys were back on stage with their version of John The Revelator. This was a really heavy dirty take on this blues classic. Wow, the music was majestic. Blues delivered with panache, charm and a great night that on a dark Wednesday night Crow Black Chicken came to Bristol and stamped their mark. We want you back sooner rather than later.