Review: The Dirty Robbers – “The Dirty Robbers”

Posted on: Thursday, Mar 12, 2009



Now out fronting his own band, The Dirty Robbers, former Cadillac Kings and Mike Sanchez guitarist, Oliver Darling has gathered a fine group of musicians around him to release this debut self-titled offering – Matt Foundling (piano), Craig Rhind (bass), and Jesse Webb (drums) – with the added muscle of Paul Corry (tenor and baritone sax) and Danny McCormack (trumpet) fleshing out the sound.

Having caught the boys live recently and being very impressed, this debut album is a snapshot of the show, with a mix of 50s’ and 60s’ classic blues and r&b, with a touch of garage, beat and pop thrown in for good measure – recorded in a lovely retro way – think of Nick Curran’s early Fort Horton studio stuff!

A generous 13 tracks kick-off with Richard Perry’s “Have Love Will Travel”, with raucous sax solo from Paul Corry; followed by the first of two Freddie King tunes, the immortal “Hideaway”, with Oliver Darling showing off his chops, with the second being the mighty “Tore Down”.

We get taken to the West Side of Chicago for the late, great Magic Sam’s “All Your Love”, with its impassioned vocal and Leslie guitar work; with a New Orleans feel on the rocking “Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin’ – once admirably covered by Dr. Feelgood, and here featuring the pounding piano of Matt Foundling, who also dominates the jazz swing tune “Lonesome Women Blues”, with very nice brush work from Jesse Webb.

The great Bo Diddley is remembered on “Pretty Thing”, with his trademark guitar sound emulated by Oliver Darling, before a nice trashy version of the Lennon/McCartney song “You Can’t Do That”. A horn driven take on “Gangster Of Love” is another album highlight – who doesn’t love a Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson tune?

The closing “Something Inside Me” rolls on for some seven minutes, with the Elmore James classic given that classic Fleetwood Mac feel, with lovely slide and Peter Green inspired vocal, and rolling ivories from Matt Foundling – sounding like something from that great “Blues Jam In Chicago” record, indeed, “Watch Out” from it, features in the live show – a fabulous way to end!

It’s obvious that Oliver and the boys have enjoyed every minute of making this album – they have come up with a joyous, good-time release, inspired by their favourite records and artistes, that comes highly recommended. Probably best picked up on-line and at the live shows.




March 12th, 2009 at 09:57
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An interesting aside to the band is that Jesse Webb is the son of British guitar legend, Stan Webb, of Chicken Shack fame and those 50ft guitar leads! Saw him once at Quaintways in Chester when he had his Broken Glass band – also featuring the equally great guitar of Robbie Blunt, who also served in Robert Plant’s first solo band.



March 12th, 2009 at 18:30
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Well, well – there you go. I didn’t know that. I saw Stan at the Wharf pub in Huddersfield. A very strange night – a small pub gig for a pretty famous band. The bar was crammed with the usual jeans and t-shirted suspects but at the front of the crowd in the “loud space” just in front of the band we had a couple ballroom dancing in very smart evening wear… at least I think they were really there.

Just to cap it off, I got my car locked into the carpark that night.


Pete Evans

March 12th, 2009 at 20:31
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Stan the Man – what can you say.
I booked him first when I was at Shrewsbury Tech in 1970 and on the JCR committee. It was the original Chicken Shack with Christine Perfect et al. Great night. We then had him at Hookers in 2000 and his band turned up in plenty of time, PA guy all set up and nearly 200 fans all paid up and expectant but… no sign of Stan.
9.00, – 9.15, – 9.30, still no sign and no contact on his mobile!! Then at 9.45 he breezes in as if nothing was wrong, plugged in and gave us an awesome night. When he’s on form there are not many better guitarists but…


CK What

March 13th, 2009 at 00:22
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Should be an entertaining night then, at The Musician in Leicester (that’s in the southern part of the north west), on Sun May 24th, the CKs are playing & the club’s booked in Oli & the Dirty Robbers for a support slot.