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Live review

Edinburgh Blues Club launch 

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

added: 13 Mar 2014 // gig date: 7 Mar 2014
reviewer: Claudia A

Edinburgh Blues Club launch - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh - Printable version
Wind back to 2013, when the idea of a regular blues club in Edinburgh became popular and thus did receive ample support. Main driving point was growing concern that Edinburgh and the surrounding area might start to miss out on touring blues acts... especially considering that many big musical acts seem to end up playing Glasgow...

Welcome then to the freshly launched EBC, with the intention of being held (on a monthly basis) in the fabulous Voodoo Rooms. The goal is to provide regular live blues events in Edinburgh with touring blues acts from the UK and beyond, and with support from the finest local blues artists.

Friday March 7th saw the fundraiser launch, which featured no less than four superb blues acts from central Scotland: The Black Diamond Express, Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters, Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive and Houndog Fraser & Rock Hunter.

Judging from the impressive crowd that turned up for the grand launch night, the EBC certainly need not worry about ever running low in popularity (or punters). First half of the evening’s entertainment was provided for by The Black Diamond Express, and by Houndog Fraser & Rock Hunter:

The former is an outstanding and awesome outfit, fronted by the charismatic Jack Of Diamonds, which offers pretty much all: an irresistible combination of slide, electric and acoustic guitar, complemented by blues harp, banjo, fiddle and percussion. It’s swampy, dirty R&B spiked with fiery riffs and all held together by one hell of a gutbucket swagger. Jack Diamond’s laudable vocal skills and visible passion didn’t leave a single soul in doubt that here is an artist – backed by equally passionate and accomplished musicians, in particular Stephen Robinson’s dobro play – who feels, breathes and lives the spirit of R&B. All sounded very rootsy yet with a refreshingly modern kick. Never mind honky tonk, this was honkin’ and stonkin!

The latter act, namely Houndog Fraser & Rock Hunter, offered a more traditional route but that’s not saying it was a less impressive affair, far from it! Houndog Fraser is an established Scottish blues guitarist, and to the audience’s delight he played a set with the equally talented harp player Rock Hunter. Despite the stripped-to-the minimum acoustic approach, it all came across as damn flavoursome – like particular potent moonshine during the prohibition era. Killer harmonica too!

Second part of the evening featured Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters and Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive.

Jed Pott & The Hillman Hunters (which are Pauric Logue on bass, and Jonny Christie on sticks) is a trio that – although quintessentially faithful to the sacred roots of blues – isn’t afraid to break out of the mould and surprise by delivering Jimmy Reed or Albert King-style hooks fast and furious… with a sprinkle of rockabilly in some of the arrangements, and a dash of blues-rock in others. This is precisely what the audience got at the Blues Club launch, a hugely intoxicating brew of the very best ingredients this genre has to offer, and with both Jed and Pauric seemingly emerged in their combined fretwork.

Fraser John Lindsay & his band is a Glasgow-based outfit, interpreting blues classics (Robert Johnson, Freddie King, Howlin' Wolf and T-Bone Walker etc.) in their own unique style. To see them play live is a truly energetic and vibrant experience, during which slow burning ballads, ‘southern comfort’ grooves and meaty, good ole blues all come together at the devil’s crossroads. Ok, on that occasion it all came together in the Voodoo Rooms! Everything about the band is pure dynamite, further emphasized by mean riffs, and blues-soul vocalist Charlotte Marhsall’s fiery performance. Hell, even her dress was a fiery red! The set, during which punters enthusiastically danced, included many a highlight - though my personal favourite was a splendid cover version of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Love Me Like A Man’. It certainly got everyone’s mojo going!

If the evening was an indication of things to come, then blues-crazy Edinborians (across the generations) should be in for a treat!

The Edinburgh Blues Club (EBC) is to be run on a member subscription basis, where club members provide a monthly payment of £10 in return for access to the monthly events and newsletter. This will allow a steady income stream and give the members assurances that we will regularly be planning for future events. Membership will be available via our website and at future events from the start of February 2013. General admission to each event will be available. Sponsorship and donations to a regular monthly raffle are welcome as methods of additional funding.

For more information and subscription please visit our website:

www.edinburgh-blues.co.uk



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5 stars

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