Review : Paul Lamb – Warrington Blues Club – 07 April 2006

Posted on: Sunday, Apr 9, 2006

Paul Lamb & The King Snakes
Warrington Blues Club at Warrington Town F.C. – 07 April 2006

A North West gig by one of Britain’s finest blues bands, Paul Lamb & The King Snakes, seems to be quite rare these days – indeed, the last time they were in our immediate area was back in November, 2004 at Hooker Blues Club in Wrexham – and at their first visit to Warrington Blues Club they showed over some two hours of all things blues why they are so popular.

Coming out of his native North East, and relocating to London saw Paul Lamb become one of the finest harmonica players not just in Europe, but the world – and he includes top American players as Rick Estrin, Jerry Portnoy and Kim Wilson as his friends. He has always fronted an excellent band, and the current settled line-up of The King Snakes is no exception: Chad Strentz (guitar and vocals), Rod Demick (bass), Raul de Pedro Marinero (guitar) and Sonny Below (drums).

Two wonderful sets included many facets of the blues and more – great swinging instrumentals, slow burners, and a hint of gospel and country. With so much back catalogue to choose from the audience were treated to a mix of relatively new tunes and some fine interpretations of some classics.

First set highlights included the stunning “Adopted Child” from the recent “I’m On A Roll” release, the Bo Diddley-flavoured “Crazy For You” and the wry “Money World” – with Paul Lamb’s harmonica obviously dominating, with him often stepping off the stage and getting on his knees on the floor – like a deranged preacher! – while delivering the most stunning playing.

Spanish guitarist Raul de Pedro Marinero is now firmly established in the band and his playing was one of the highlights of the night – from some stunning T-Bone Walker style runs to some tasty solos – particularly on a stripped-down slow blues take on the classic “In The Midnight Hour”.

A party-flavoured up-tempo second set kicked off with Rod Demick’s “More Than Alright”, complete with audience participation, and a romp through old favourites “Sweet Sweet Woman” and “Evening Sun” – with even the old chestnut “Got My Mojo Working” given an enjoyable workout.

Another highlight was a glorious version of “Key To The Highway” – one of the much-demanded encores – with just Paul Lamb and Chad Strentz delivering a lovely harmonica/guitar only duet – cracking stuff indeed!

Well done to Ray and Barbara O’Hare for bringing bands of this calibre to the area, long may it continue – a visit to Warrington is always recommended for great music and a friendly crowd – check it out, and bring a friend!


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