Review: The Spikedrivers – Worthenbury – 08 Feb

Posted on: Saturday, Feb 16, 2008

Republished to add photos.

‘Goin’ Up The Country’

Worthenbury Village Hall


The second gig of the year at the excellent ‘Goin’ Up The Country’ club at Worthenbury Village Hall, featured the blues and roots of The Spikedrivers – a London-based trio, who together create good-time music that ensures a great night – in this case, for another sell-out crowd.

The band comprise of the vocals and sparkling guitar of Ben Tyzack, London-born, but raised in Charleston, South Carolina; Constance Redgrave on bass and vocals, originally from Hollywood, California, but a resident of London for many years; and drummer and master percussionist, Ulsterman Maurice McElroy – who has a cv including Otis Grand, Earl Green, Lee Sankey and many, many more.

Two sets included a mix of the band’s own tunes and many diverse covers, all performed superbly, with genuine enjoyment that related itself to the audience – who contributed themselves with mass percussion on Slim Harpo’s timeless “Shake Your Hips” – great stuff indeed.

Ben Tyzack’s guitar playing was a delight all night – from intricate picking to lovely slide work, as seen on Robert Johnson’s “Kind Hearted Woman” and the opening stomp of Leadbelly’s “Gallows Pole”, with a rip-roaring “Dust My Broom” being another highlight.

Constance Redgrave and Maurice McElroy both take vocal turns – with Constance’s breathy and jazzy vocal on “Gypsy Wind” and also the lovely “Grampa Was A Moonshiner being well received.

The great JJ Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze” swung gently, with the uptempo “Soul Searchin’ Blues featuring more great guitar work from Tyzack on one of his lovely collection of vintage guitars.

Not many band on the circuit seem as flexible as The Spikedrivers – indeed, one of the band’s strengths is that they all sing well and apart from their regular instruments we were treated to washboard and a vast array of percussion, which all contributed to a most enjoyable evening from this fine band.


Thanks to Ian Williams for the photo.

Spikedrivers - Worthenbury - 08 Feb

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