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OLI BROWN, Assembly, Leamington
barrelled evening of three piece band rock and roll at The Assembly this
wet, windy and cold spring evening with first on stage, and giving the
evening some added local flavour, hailing from just up the road in
Coventry Rockabilly outfit the Voodoo Kings.
time I saw these guys was at a pub gig here in Leamington and it was
fantastic to see them in action on a large stage, always had a soft spot
for Rockabilly and especially love the sound and style of a stand up
Kings took every advantage of this support slot with a rocking
performance that included material from the bands up-coming debut album
'System's Green' including the powerful title track itself and older
material including the groove filled 'Easy Street' and complete with the
odd holler and pumping bass work one of the bands signature numbers the
driving (pun intended!)'Voodoo Car'.
put on an all action show and were bathed in green stage lights (the
band's trademark colour) with atmospheric, spooky dry ice enveloping the
guys for most of the set, they work really well together with guitarist/
vocalist David West and Sam Smith on the double bass interacting
superbly, with distinctive looking and manic all action sticks man Terry
Downes completing the line up this was an impressive set by the local
Rockabilly we turn to the Blues for headliner Oli Brown and I
join the ranks of those who proclaim that he is one of the leading
lights of the British Blues scene. This was his third visit to the
Assembly and for me he just continues to improve in confidence and as a
As always he
was immaculately dressed, in my opinion blues players dress in one of
two ways, the rough and ready informal jeans and tee shirt look as
modelled by the fabulous Larry Miller, and the stylish, smart just off
the catwalk look as shown off to perfection by the great Joe Bonamassa.
Ourur Oli goes for the latter, dressed to the nines.
most delicate of slow blues passages to the heaviest Zeppelin style rock
blues, Oli can play it all with aplomb, and he now has three quality
albums under his belt.
included a good chunk from the latest album 'Here I Am' and a good sized
visit to his previous album the 2010 release 'Heads I Win Tails You
From the new
baby highlights included what he called his "pissed off " number 'Manic
Bloom' with for me slight touches of Led Zeppelin's 'Dazed and Confused'
and a gloriously heavy number it is as well, the heart wrenching blues
ballad 'I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know', the smooth 'Devil in Me'
and the rocking title track itself.
to 'Heads You Win Tales you Lose' a pulsating 'Evil Soul' and the catchy
'Keeping My Options Open', for the latter Oil persisted and eventually
got his way with a little audience participation, another highlight of
the set was a superb version of the Black Keys number 'Next Girl'.
Oli's amazing prowess on blues guitar, his superb vocals and stylish
image he also possesses genuine charm, is softly spoken, amusing and off
the stage he is very approachable and happy to meet and greet his fans.
alongside Oli as well as on the new album and supplying the backbone for
his electrifying guitar work two superb musicians, on one side of the
stage on rock solid bass Scott Barnes and on the other a drummer of real
quality (and for a change front of stage and well lit for us
photographers!) Wayne Proctor.
impressive as always, Oli continues to go from strength to strength,
always delivers live, and in my opinion is this country's very own Joe
Bonamassa. I also loved his walk through the crowd playing for one
number showing he knows how to really put on a show as well.
Leamington visit number four.
photos by Andrew Lock
Gig review (Glasgow)
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