Review: The Stumble – Warrington – 7 March

Posted on: Friday, Mar 14, 2008

The Stumble at Warrington RnB Club on Friday, 7 March 2008

The punters at the Warrington RnB Club were privileged to witness yet another brilliant performance by The Stumble. The band tore straight into “It’s A Lie” with all guns blazing to set an exhilarating standard that never wavered throughout the evening. The slow blues, “Have I Got News For You”, featured the first of many excellent solos from guitarist, Colin Black, and saxophonist, Simon Anthony. The first set also included “You Upset Me, Baby” and the first public airing of the warmly received “Sugar Don’t Taste So Sweet”. “Small World, Baby” saw the excellent Jonny Spencer on slide guitar before the set was concluded with “Leading Me On”.

The band’s versatility was amply demonstrated by the opening three numbers of the second set: a Freddie King instrumental, a helping of Bo Diddley and some rip-roaring rock and roll. Much has been enthusiastically written about the band’s version of “All Over Again” but they never cease to amaze and delight with each performance of that magnificent slow blues. Paul Melville’s vocals were once again sublime, suitably embellished with more magic from Black and Anthony. The wonderful journey continued with the medium-paced shuffle, “Be My Baby” and the rumba-rhythmed “Saturday Night”. “Evening”, with Simon Anthony on baritone sax, nestled between two more slide guitar gems from Jonny Spencer on “The World Is Tough” and a fabulous version of “Gimme Back My Wig”, which was significantly enhanced by the drumming of Boyd Tonner and the bass guitar work of Dave Heath.

The climax of the evening was an a capella delivery of Terence Trent Darby’s “Sign Your Name” by Paul Melville, on which he accompanied himself on beer glass and coin. Two more encores with the full band completed a magnificent show, which included a fine performance on harp by Colin Black on the final number. With due respect to all the worthy contenders, there is now no better British blues band than The Stumble.

Lionel Ross

Paul Melville

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