Hamilton Loomis last night

Posted on: Friday, May 2, 2008

 HamiltonLoomis 001

A great show last night at The Harbourside.  Hamilton Loomis enthralled the capacity crowd and left everyone happy and enthusiastic. If you didn’t go, shame on you, you missed potentially the gig of the year.

Great playing by all concerned (from an English rhythm section too), funky grooves and a fantastic vocal performance.  A real entertainer and destined for a great career.

Lionel is doing a proper review so keep your eye open for that.  I have uploaded my best photos, hopefully somebody has better quality ones that I can either use or link to.  Let me know if you have any.

This was my first time at the Harbourside and I was very impressed indeed.  A nice room, good sound and friendly people.  My thanks to John and Lorraine for such an excellent event.  I’ll be back. 

All my photos can be found at Flickr.



May 2nd, 2008 at 21:51
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Cool picture Ken – sounded a great night!



May 6th, 2008 at 16:59
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Unfortunately, I find 90 plus percent of the English Blues bands I hear on the Paul Jones show simply ‘too English’ with virtually zero swing to their delivery. In fact, it could be argued that what these UK exponents lack in reverence to the original American roots of the genre, could have almost in itself, spawned a completely unique style of Blues, AKA ‘British Blues’. With this in mind, I and my fellow band members have tended not to attend the gigs at the ‘Harbourside’ Blues night. The Hamilton Loomis gig was however, an exception to the rule.

Hailing from Texas, the thought of seeing an American artist was certainly enough to warrant a night out. Once I’d heard his mix of funky, soul-induced offerings, attendance was a foregone conclusion, further encouraged by the thought of seeing an all-American quality band on my doorstep. Like I said earlier, with the exception to the likes of John Cleary, Sam Kelly or Matt Schofield, British Blues bands leave little for me personally to get excited about. When you’re looking for an authentically swung New Orleans or Texas Shuffle, the feel just isn’t there, in all but a handful of UK players. When I heard that the Rhythm section for Hamilton’s band consisted of two English guys, I have to admit, my heart sank. However, it only took about 90 seconds into the first number to convince me that the Englishmen had the feel to back their American visitors – and it kept getting better!

Blues is a pretty big Church these days and Hamilton Loomis preaches from the pulpit with a stew of funky, soul-influenced, New Orleans’y self-penned numbers, almost touching in the direction of the Average White Band at times, thanks to the Sax playing of his Louisiana-born band-mate. An incredible showman, Hamilton had the stage craft and charisma that is sure to win over audiences on the festival circuit. If you can’t get off to this guys performance, you must have a dodgy soul gland! Looking around the well attended room, I could see that this wasn’t quite what a lot of the audience were used to seeing or hearing, but nonetheless, the infectious grooves could not be ignored and had people subconsciously moving in their chairs. I was in groove heaven from start to finish, being one of those gigs where I was wishing it was me in the drum seat instead of Birmingham’s excellent Jamie Little! As a unit, you would be hard pushed to believe that this was only gig number 7 into their time playing together. To describe them as ‘tight’ would be a gross understatement. They were simply, cooking.

The only minor lowlight of the gig for me personally, was the Bass solo. Not because it was bad or anything – far from it! Having already proved what a fine and tasteful player he was during the set, I felt his solo spot went on just a little bit too long for me personally anyway. Furthermore, taking your solo into a rendition of ‘Alright Now’ is sure to get your collar felt by the Taste Police…naughty, naughty. Thankfully; we were spared the drum solo. Instead, Jamie Little chose to throw a few tasteful licks into a breakdown section of the song, which was more than enough to make me happy and definitely had no chance of boring the audience. Even as a drummer myself, I do have a healthy respect for the general public’s tolerance of having to sit and listen to some guy self-indulge himself on stage when he should know better!

All in all, I couldn’t believe we were witnessing a band playing music of this quality in Liverpool. Believe me; it’s very, very rare to get this sort of calibre of musicians with feel like these guys had on any stage in Merseyside. In fact; it’s unheard of. Please, please, let’s have more stuff like this as opposed to the overly-hyped ‘Alehouse Blues’ local heroes that seem to saturate our venues and be passed off as, ‘really good Blues’. What next for me then? I’m living in hope of the next Matt Scofield gig…