Nine Below Zero
Third Degree / Don’t Point Your Finger
added: 23 Mar 2014
// release date: 24 Feb 2014 // label: UMC
reviewer: Andy Snipper
Alongside Pub rock there was a more aggressive and attitudinal form based around R&B and the old Mod sounds – bands like The Feelgoods, Eddie & The Hotrods and South London’s finest Nine Below Zero. These reissues celebrate 35 years of the band and they sound as fresh today as they ever did – this is truly timeless stuff.
Both albums come with a second CD of ‘extras’ – in the case of ‘Third Degree’ you get a full set of Glyn Johns remixes from the Turn-Up Down studios o got with the original Simon Boswell sessions and on ‘Don’t Point Your Finger’ a full set from the Granary in Bristol 1981.
If you already know the band then these reissues will be essential but to introduce them to a new audience they are Dennis Greaves on vocals and guitar, Mickey Burkey on drums, Brian Bethell on bass and vox and ‘Moody’ Mark Feltham on harmonica and together they play stripped down and spunky rock and Blues with attitude and no little skill. Just listen to a track like ‘Mystery Man’ and you get all the best things about the period without any of the bullshit that swamped so many other bands – these guys epitomised the Blues Brothers ethos – dark suits, looking straight at the crowd and owning the music.
I must have seen the band live a dozen times but the live set that accompanies ‘Don’t Point Your Finger’ captures them in their pomp – they were and are a great live band.
Bottom line – this is the best British R&B (original sense) around, then or now. Do yourself a favour and enjoy.
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