Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Sign up for newsletter
Album Reviews
Gig reviews
Special features
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
Gig Reviews...

Just witnessed your best live gig?..send us a review!

BBC Studio 3, Maida Vale, London 11 December 2006

Given the annual Blues Band Christmas show is an integral part of the end of year BBC's Paul Jones R&B show, there were few surprises in store. That said, the guests comprised the vivacious Maggie Bell, the humorous Zoot Money and the musical excellence of one time James Brown sax man Pee Wee Ellis.

And while it was Maggie who all but stole the show, it was Pee Wee who upped the musical ante with some superb sax playing. For their part the Blues band judged the evening perfectly, slipping into their role as both hosts and house band with a minimum amount of fuss, but with just about enough sparkle to make the connection with Christmas.

Guitarist Dave Kelly kicked things off with a seasonal 'Santa Claus is Back in Town', closely followed by Zoot Money delivering the very impressive 'It Never Rains But It Pours' - originally written for Jimmy Witherspoon.

Pee Wee Ellis took his turn on the stand and played another highlight of the night, the funky instrumental 'Ham' from his 'Blues Mission' album. A word for the Blues Band at this point, as some of the complex lines and stops and starts of Ellis's material were taken in their stride by a band whose cool professionalism is often masked by their laid back on-stage demeanour.

There was also a special moment when Pee Wee's sax and Paul Jones's harp conjoined on some jazzy lines as they teased out the theme tune of the song.

For the rest, the Blues Band shared the load with each front line member taking a turn, before Maggie Bell added some real pith on a couple of standards, notably 'As the Years Go Passing By' and 'I Just Want To Make Love To You'. Maggie's sheer dynamism and abrasive phrasing brought to life a brace of songs that too often have become pub rock fare. As Maggie completed her last allotted song, the audience response was such that you almost forgot this was being recorded for the radio, save for an abortive 'Let the Good Times Roll' and a twice taken doowop classic 'What Are You Doing New Years Eve' by the Oriels, on which Paul Jones made a great fist of a difficult vocal line.

The bulk of the programme recorded, the band briefly swung into some of their own back catalogue with Gary Fletcher taking the mic for 'So Lonely' and the ensemble roared into the evening's finale which included a staccato 'I'll Go Crazy' and a Zoot Money led 'High Heel Sneakers', complete with Maggie Bell's improvised 'Bread and Butter' lyrics by the Newbeats. In short a fun time was had by all.

Review by Pete Feenstra

Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group