Review: Big Boy Bloater – Academy, Buckley – 27 Sept 2008

Posted on: Sunday, Sep 28, 2008

Bloater 007

The Academy, Buckley: 27/09/08

The first gig of a new venture from Ray and Barbara O’Hare of the Warrington Blues Club, saw the excellent Big Boy Bloater and his fine band rock the house at The Academy in Buckley – a lovely-looking retro dance hall, which attracted a good turnout of local jive dancers who filled the floor from the first number until the last!

Big Boy Bloater describes himself on his business card as ‘Red Hot Jump Blues, Boogie & Rock ‘n’ Roll’, and that is pretty much what we got over two sparkling sets, with his Ike Turner influenced guitar dominating proceedings, but always allowing the two-sax horn section and Deacon Turner’s piano plenty of scope to solo.

The vocals were shared with ‘Lil’ Lisa Jan – his good lady wife –  whose honking baritone saxophone was also a treat. Material came from the brand new “That Ain’t My Name” release, and also his ‘other’ band, the more blues-orientated The City Shakers.

Bloater is one of the finest exponents of the guitar whammy bar, as seen on a rollicking version of Ike Turner’s “Matchbox” and his own “Whammy”, an instrumental on the new album that Mark Lamarr has fallen in love with and is bringing out as a vinyl 45 single.

The band swung like crazy all night, with “Man Or Monkey?” featuring one of ‘Lil’ Lisa Jane’s vocals; and “Hey Little Girl” and the title cut of “That Ain’t My Name” being particularly well received from the packed dance floor.

One of the highlights of the night was a storming cover of the late, great Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s “Gangster Of Love”, and Bloater showed his blues prowess on a second-set opener – just him and some boogie guitar; and then delivering some raucous slide guitar on the Elmore James chestnut “Shake Your Moneymaker”.

This must be one of the best British bands on the live circuit, what a pleasure to catch them so close to home at a new venue for live music – a great night, and well done to all concerned!




September 28th, 2008 at 17:33
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Just to echo what Grahame has said. If you get the chance you owe it to yourself to see this excellent band. They are the top of the league. Highly recommended.

The venue was not the best for my little pointy clicky camera so I have posted the best picture that I could take.

There are more pictures in the photo archive on Flickr.


big bad bob

October 4th, 2008 at 14:59
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It wasn’t only the jive dancers who were up dancing. Some of us “larger” lads were up by the end of the night. Great first show at Buckley and hope there are more to come