Mojo Preachers launched their new CD album “Confessions” in fine style at a packed Murderers for Fine City Blues on Thursday evening. The band made a real occasion of this, justifiably so and they were deservedly rewarded with a large and appreciative audience. It was so full that if one stepped out of the top bar for a moment it wasn’t so easy to get back in again!
I’ve seen the band many times over the years but feel they have really stepped up a few notches and with this gig and their new album I think they are taking their place amongst the city’s finest. It certainly made an impressive statement. The band are absolutely tight and in brilliant form. Little Red’s voice is just pure unaffected blues, I love the way she lets rip as her voice really is incredible and expressive, obviously feeling every word. There’s an obvious chemistry and cameraderie in the band with Nigel a good foil on bass, Carleton on keys adding a distinctive sound to the band, Luke steady on drums, and Nick on guitar who I think I was hearing for the first time, he was a revelation. Fantastic playing and he somehow made it all look so easy. Great to watch a band who so obviously feel and believe in what they are doing, that sort of thing transmits.
They played two sets, both split into a few covers leading onto the album’s original material, and nice to see Dave Thomas invited onstage to join with Little Red too. As much-loved and well-played as the covers are it was the originals that I was hearing for the first time that made the biggest impression on me. Some are so good with such a classic feel that I wondered a couple of times if they were songs I should already know. Delivered in superb fashion, they played blues and sometimes got a bit low down raunchy and sultry, especially on the likes of Leave the Light On. The crowd were lapping it up and I overheard many comments from people seeing the band for the first time who were obviously blown away. It’s quite something when a band’s original material tops their already excellent choice of covers. The audience begged for more and given a choice of some Dylan or some funk several people screamed for funk. This was a good move and ended the night in terrific, fun fashion, the band having a blast.
I can’t praise Mojo Preachers highly enough for this gig, I’ve seen them before and they still blew me (and many others) away, they were tight and had just the right balance of onstage confidence, humour and humility but the playing and singing were just sensational. Little Red has to be heard, she’s the real deal. The album itself is superbly produced by Geoff Cooper and features distinct artwork by Sophie, plus songwriting credits on Don’t Bring Me Down for Mark Howes and Andrew Walker. It’s available at gigs and also from the band’s website.
The most impressive gig I have yet experienced from Mojo Preachers, they’ve always had a special blues quality but they are on something of a roll here and mean business. Great stuff!
Many thanks to Little Red, Mojo Preachers, Fine City Blues, Mark for the awesome sound, and The Murderers. For anyone not going to Red Rooster next week’s Fine City Blues will be another very special event celebrating Dave Thomas’ birthday ahead of his trip to the Chicago Blues Festival. He also plays a special acoustic set at The Murderers on Sunday 29 May at 7:30pm.
More photos to follow…
all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2016