I was able to attend the official album launch gig of Rhythm and Blues combo The Voodoo Sheiks celebrating the release of their second album Voodification. The band comprises Slowblow Dave Magson, Adrian Thomas, Andrew Pullin and John Coombes.
What you see is what you get with The Sheiks and tonight was no different as they poured every ounce of effort into a vibrant energy fuelled set that also demonstrated the band’s great versatility, combing rock solid strident Rhythm and Blues in the style that only British bands can play, slowburn Blues, shuffle based Blues and flashes of funk. One of the most appealing things about Voodoo Sheiks is that they are as visual as they are aural. Magson prowls the stage with his trademark crepe shoes, hat and colourful shirt and Thomas struts and at times runs around the stage fully evidencing the energy generated in the set and all the while Pullin and Coombes metaphorically stalk the stage grinding out the grooves.
Lean and mean is the coda of the band too, every note counts, no fat on the songs either. Put all those ingredients in the mixer and the resultant show is a blend of high quality musicianship, effervescence and dashes of humour. On taking to the stage the band eased in to the flickering slowburn vibe of Whipping Post with Thomas’s riffs to the fore urging Magson’s vocal forward. More Blues infused numbers filled the Hall as John Lee Hooker’s classic Boom Boom was driven on by Thomas’s aggressive lead breaks and Slowblow’s howling vocal and then it was a swift gear change in to a Bluesy but soulful groove in the shape of When Love Comes to Town, built on a stretched rhythm section, Thomas’s flickering lead break and some resonating Harmonica from Magson.
For me these guys really hit their straps when they dive into R&B territory and that was very evident on a swaggering The Thrill Ain’t Gone, Thomas’s staccato riffs slashing the air interweaving with Magson’s prowling vocal. There is certainly a Dr Feelgood vibe on this one, particularly reminiscent of She Does It Right. Have a Heart had the same feel generating a real sense of urgency as Thomas’s guitar and Magson’s Harmonica vied for supremacy. The dark brooding Exit Wound took the vibe way down low, the drawled vocal, hurting Harmonica and some switchblade prowess from Thomas as he bent the strings and hit the effects pedal generating plenty of sustain.
Non -stop is the Sheiks approach to a live gig and all too soon the set came to a close being met with loud sustained applause resulting in a welcome encore that saw the bend go hell for leather on a screaming Gary Moore classic, Thomas again lacerating the strings to generate the riff and Magson jumping on it with the powerful vocal. Review by Nigel Foster
Boring bit… ©All images copyright me. All rights reserved. Use without permission will result in me being a bit miffed. If you do use a photo it would be really nice to get a Rockrpix credit somewhere if you can… you're probably musicians, you understand all this stuff.