Review: The Stumble at Fogherty’s, Liverpool – 15 Dec 07

Posted on: Saturday, Dec 22, 2007

After two highly acclaimed appearances at the Harbourside Club, it was no surprise that The Stumble would be the first act to grace the stage of Fogherty’s for John and Lorraine Welsh’s first blues gig at that venue. Furthermore, it was no surprise that the band delivered another stunning performance.

The band opened with five numbers in acoustic mode that included “Ain’t No Sunshine” and the Sam Cooke classic, “Good News”. After a short interlude, they resumed with the first of two full-blown sets. A typically eclectic programme contained brilliant versions of “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”, complete with superb solos from Simon Anthony on sax and Colin Black on guitar, the slow, Latin-rhythmed “Sit Right Here” and the fast-driving “Back To Louisiana”. The set ended with the upbeat shuffle, “Small World, Baby” and a foot-tapping slice of unadulterated rock and roll.

“Meet Me At The Bottom” provided a rousing start to the final set, which was contrasted with the medium-paced shuffle, “Be My Baby” and “Leading Me On”. The momentum was raised with “The Kind Of Girl”, which revealed guitarist Colin Black’s versatility as he demonstrated his considerable proficiency on harp. But the climax of the set was provided by the slow blues, “All Over Again”, which showcased Paul Melville’s superlative vocals and delivered more artistry from Black and Anthony. The encore, Hound Dog Taylor’s “Gimme Back My Wig”, which was loudly demanded by the full-house audience, afforded the excellent rhythm guitarist, Jonny Spencer, the opportunity to strut his stuff on slide guitar, brilliantly backed by drummer, Boyd Tonner, and Dave Heath on bass guitar.

This was a wonderful way to sign off a fabulous year of top class blues music in Liverpool. It confirmed the increasing recognition that The Stumble is now as good as any blues band in the UK and boasts a fan-base that is expanding exponentially. If you haven’t yet had the good fortune to enjoy one of their live performances, deny yourself no longer and put that pleasure on the top of your list of New Year resolutions.
The Stumble at Fogherty's, Liverpool

Lionel Ross
[photograph by Tina Cross]

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