Review: Black Manalishi – Alexanders, Chester 14 Aug 2009
Posted on: Monday, Aug 17, 2009
Alexander’s, Rufus Court, Chester: 14.08.09
The Chester/Warrington-based Black Manalishi brought their classic rock sounds to Alexander’s, with all proceeds going to the Oxjam charity. Their current “Trailblazer” cd is a masterful collection of songs, highlighting their swaggering rock style, with a blues and funk edge – and on this evidence, they are fully capable of transferring it to the live stage.
Heavily influenced by masters such as Hendrix, Free, Deep Purple and more, the band comprise Adam Ward (vocals), Nathan Moore (guitar), Carl Traynor (bass) and Lee Gallagher (drums) – surprisingly though many of Nathan Moore’s fine songs from the album were replaced by a plethora of classic covers – apparently the band choose the set list dependant on venue, crowd, etc.
What was evident though is how good they are – kicking off with a triple blast of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”, the Cream version of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”, and a great “Wishing Well”, the much-loved Free tune. The boys dipped into their own stuff for the hard-rocking title cut of “Trailblazer” and “Hard Blown Away”.
The two sets comprised a few audience requests as well – notably Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”, and second set opener, “Feel Like Making Love” – the Bad Company song. They returned to Nathan Moore’s songs for the breakneck “Mine’s A Whiskey” and personal favourite, “Snakeskin Boots”, with that classic Free feel to it.
Musically, the band are very tight and all fine players – from Nathan Moore’s guitar fireworks, to the rhythm section of Carl Traynor’s rock-steady bass playing and Lee Gallagher’s flamboyant stick-work – he seems to enjoy every second behind his kit! Adam Ward has a great voice and stage presence – catch the band if you can, they are well worth a look!