The Lucky Strikes
The Wheelbarrow Camden Town
added: 13 May 2012
// gig date: 11 May 2012
reviewer: Andy Snipper
The Lucky Strikes played the Wheelbarrow in Camden Town Friday night and I would have to say that this is the type of gig that emphasises just how good the live experience can be.
The Wheelbarrow is tiny and the first thing that hits you as you walk in is the sheer volume while the second is the narrow gap past the bar and to the stage. Once you have won through to a position where you can see as well as hear the band it makes for a really enjoyable gig when the band is on form and that is what we got from The Lucky Strikes.
They played a set that was full of twists and turns in the music but the abiding sound from the night has to be Wild Jim Wilson sawing away, with his fiddle in the crook of his arm and creating a wonderful set of jigs as the band tore into material from ‘Forgive Me Gabriel My 22 Sins’ and ‘Chronicles Of Solomon Quick’
Matthew Boulter is an excellent front man, bearded and dressed in a black suit with his vintage red Gretsch slung low and he grabs the eye as the rest of the band create their roots/Americana/folk sound around him. The tall Dave Giles, barely able to stand as he hammers away on the electric piano, seemingly conducting as he goes; Wild Jim Wilson on fiddle, tucked into the crook of his arm when he isn’t playing banjo or mandolin; Will Bray on a tiny drum kit, sweat pouring off him as he pounds out his complex patterns and Paul Ambrose, smiling and squeezed in on his bass as they threaten to overflow the tiny stage at the Wheelbarrow.
The crowd was a little quiet at the beginning but they were beginning to pick up as the band tore into ‘The Butcher And Mrs Shaw’ and as the band started on ‘Bel And The Dragon’ it really got them going. With Matthew’s vocals passionate and the band cooking, as the song broke into its explosive middle and end sections there were a few dancing in the cramped pub.
New single ‘The Beast Burnt Down’ got quite a reception and if it is anything like the rest of the new album’s material that should be a cracker later in the year. As ever they have a story to tell – in this case the night that Southend Pier burnt down in the late 90’s.
With Dave switching between Piano, accordion, guitar and drum and Jim or Matt playing Mandolin or Jim on fiddle, Banjo and Mandolin they are capable of creating any sound they want and ‘The Boxer, The Bribe and The Father’ seemed to combine almost everything they are about and followed closely by ‘To Be King’ they were well into their pomp and the crowd was geting seriously down to dancing.
The last number of the set ‘proper’ was ‘Two Sisters’ with all the band throwing shapes and flinging sweat in all directions but they were called back for a real encore and we got a hearty and very fine ‘Whisky In The Jar’ and I could swear I saw the ghost of Phil Lynott smiling in his old stamping ground.
The Lucky Strikes are great fun and a very fine bunch of musicians – if they are round your way, make the effort: this is what live music is about.
The Butcher and Mrs Shaw
Bel and the Dragon
The Beast Burnt Down
Devil Knows Yourself
The Ghost and the Actress
The Boxer, The Bribe and The Father
To Be King
Easily, Easily Until It's Done
Have Your Say
Click here to win an iPhone5!
> For more Music-News live reviews click here