Review: The Stumble at The Harbourside Club, Liverpool Marina – Wed 10th January

Posted on: Sunday, Jan 14, 2007


The Stumble returned to The Harbourside by overwhelming popular demand following their first appearance in July last year. To say that they didn’t disappoint would hugely understate their impact. They were phenomenal. They opened the show with a six-number acoustic set, an innovation that proved to be inspired. The pick of the set were terrific versions of the Bill Withers masterpiece, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, and Big Bill Broonzy’s “Keep Your Hands Off Her”, with Paul Melville and Boyd Tonner on vocals respectively. After a short break, the band then played the first of two electric sets, which contained a fine balance of pace and rhythm. Shuffles mingled with slow blues and Latin rhythms, the last category being exemplified by “Sit Right There” that featured a belting sax solo from Simon Anthony. There were also great deliveries of “You Upset Me, Baby”, the upbeat “Back To Louisiana” and the wonderful slow blues “All Over Again”, which combined fabulous vocals from Paul Melville and some beautiful guitar work from Colin Black. The second set was equally enthralling, bouncing into life with “Let The Good Times Roll”. It included a superb version of “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”, which featured more magic from Melville, Black and Anthony, and “The World Is Tough”, the title track of the band’s magnificent new album, which allowed Jonny Spencer to demonstrate his mastery on slide guitar. Finally, a fine rendition of “Good Time Charlie” paved the way for a breathtaking performance of Hound Dog Taylor’s “Gimme Back My Wig”. The standing ovation said it all. The Stumble can now hold its own with any blues band in the country. Paul Melville is a superb singer and a charismatic frontman, lead guitarist Colin Black and saxophonist Simon Anthony are exceptional instrumentalists, and the back line of Jonny Spencer on rhythm, slide and occasional lead guitar, Boyd Tonner on drums and Dave Heath on bass guitar is out of the top drawer. What a way to start the new year. Lionel Ross ?

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