North Mississippi Allstars
added: 24 Oct 2013
// gig date: 23 Oct 2013
reviewer: Andy Snipper
The Allstars were playing the 100 Club for the first time but it feels like the perfect venue for the prime exponents of ‘World Boogie’ – the stage is barely two feet above the floor, the furthest fans in the hall are no more than a hundred feet away and the low ceiling makes the atmosphere ‘intense’: I cannot imagine seeing the North Mississippi Allstars at the O2 and thankfully they have never looked like committing that crime; the 100 Club however should sign them to a residency – for life..
The place was packed for this visit and as you looked at the stage there were drums everywhere. Support act Lightnin’ Malcolm had his own set up and thoroughly entertained the swelling crowd with a half an hour of raw solo Blues with a definite Mississippi twang to it. Since he was also acting as bassist for the Allstars he was in for a busy night.
By the time the Allstars hit the stage the packed crowd was ready for a good time and from the off the band were on fire. The stripped down sound they have developed for the new album came from years of playing live and in a febrile atmosphere like the 100 Club it went down a storm – this band cooks like no-one else on the planet.
The set featured tracks from all across their career including numbers like the classic ‘Sittin’ On Top Of The World’ and ‘Rolling And Tumblin’ but the best playing of the evening was a stupendous ‘Turn Up Satan’ along with ‘Goat Meat’ but the songs were almost secondary to the performance that was as powerful, without excessive volume, as anyone I’ve seen.
The brothers were in all out action around the stage, swapping drums for guitars (and vice versa) and culminating with all three of them marching through and around the crowd drumming like a marching band.
Musically they were as rough and raunchy as it gets with all the showbizness stripped away and only the music remaining and it works better than you could imagine – the music has absolute integrity and the show has real fire. Luther’s guitar is underrated and he was tearing out some fine riffs and slides alongside his brother’s powerhouse drumming with Malcolm showing he is as comfortable on the bass as he is on a Telecaster.
The guy in the hat next to me in the crowd told me he was there to get his boogie down – the packed 100 Club were all boogieing with him (me too).
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