Review: Trafficker – Worthenbury – 5 Dec 2008

Posted on: Friday, Dec 12, 2008

Gig Review

Trafficker -Worthenbury Village Hall

05 Dec 2008

This was the night when Tommy Allen really killed off the “sold out to rock” merchants in great style. Having announced that he had turned right back to the blues, he brought a new Trafficker brimming with first rate musicians to a packed Worthenbury village hall.

Opening up with Jimmy Rodgers’ “Who’s Loving You Tonight” the line-up for the first set was Chris Lomas on bass, Mickey Barker on drums and Johny Hewitt on harp and the band quickly got into the groove following on with an upbeat version of Robert Johnson’s “Milkcow Calf Blues” with Tommy demonstrating superb slide guitar.

Johny Hewitt then took over vocal duty and showed yet again why he is considered by many to be the UK’s top harp player on Little Walter’s “Can’t Stop Loving Her”

Robert Johnson’s “Walking Blues” demonstrated a super solo from Tommy before the first set finished with JB Hutto’s “Too Much Alcohol” again with great slide work and the rocking “Mystery Train” by Junior Parker.

The second set commenced with the introduction of the brass section,Oliver Carpenter on trumpet and Mark Shaw on tenor sax and they immediately lifted a couple of Trafficker favourites “Texas Love” and “Talk It Over” with some superb funky brass lines.

The Delbert McLinton track “Read Me My Rights” had a distinct Stax feel to it with Tommy playing a Steve Cropper style of guitar and the brass section having a distinct Memphis Horns sound to their playing before Tommy went back to slide guitar on a superb arrangement of “Proud Mary”.

The dance floor eventually got a good pounding on the final three tracks with Dave Edmunds’ “Standing at The Crossroads” followed by Trafficker’s anthem track “Memphis Nights” when all the musicians soloed long and hard to great applause. This was repeated for the encore of “Johnny B Goode” which ended a superb evening with the message loud and clear – Tommy Allen and Trafficker are back at doing what they do arguably better than most British blues bands – and that is playing damn fine blues.

PETE EVANS

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