Review: The Cadillac Kings – Warrington – 24 Oct 2008

Posted on: Friday, Oct 31, 2008

Cadillac Kings

Warrington Blues Club, at Warrington Town FC, Loushers Lane: 24.10.08

Britain’s ‘Kings of Swing’, The Cadillac Kings, made a most welcome return to Warrington, and as ever, produced a knockout evening of top class blues, featuring many songs from their brand new “Trouble In Store” release – the band’s third album.

The long-serving trio of Mike Thomas (vocals and slide guitar), Gary Potts (harmonica and vocals) and ‘Uncle’ Roy Webber (drums and vocals), were joined by the talents of Mal Barclay (guitar), Henri Herbert (piano) and Paul Cuff (stand-up bass).

Two corking sets featured the customary top class musicianship and humour of Mike Thomas’s lyrics and in-between song patter – definitely one of the best writers around, this time sharpened by a horrendous six-hour Friday trip up the motorways from London, with just an hour turn-around before the boys kicked into action!

New guitarist Mal Barclay is again, as all the band’s guitarists have been, a fabulous player with lovely retro feel and tone to his soloing and rhythm work, and keyboard wizard Henri Herbert is simply one of the best boogie-woogie pianists around, as he showed on a two-number start to the second set.

Treats from the new album included the swinging guitar instrumental “Blue Cap Bounce”; the hilarious “Fries With That”, including one of the all-time great lines, “bigger snacks mean wider slacks”! The great “(I’m In Love With The) Chief Of Police: is possibly one of the toughest things the band have recorded, with Mike Thomas on slide guitar.

The band’s influences and heroes were well represented in the two sets – a great first set closer in the shape of Joe Liggins “I Can’t Stand It”, and a brace of James Harman tunes – “Stranger Blues” and the rollicking “Icepick’s Confession”, which ended the evening – great harmonica work and a nice vocal from Gary Potts.

Chester-based harmonica player, and website proprietor, Ken Peace was invited up for a three song slot, including “Lollipop Mama”, from the repertoire of the late, great William Clarke. The slow blues version of the first album song “The Spirit Is Willing” was another treat, with great guitar from Mal Barclay, and a trip down to N’Awlins on “In The Night”.

Definitely one of the finest bands on these shores in any genre and unmissable when in our area – just great guys and musicians, guaranteed to send everyone home with a smile on their faces – long may they prosper!


Flickr photo from Shertila.  You can see more at this link.

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