Review: The Idle Hands – All Night Sinnin

Posted on: Thursday, Oct 29, 2009


“All Night Sinnin’”


From just outside our area, in the picturesque Peak District of Derbyshire, hail the Chesterfield-based The Idle Hands – a blues rock four-piece who comprise Phil Allen (vocals), Dave Robinson (guitar), Jamie Burns (bass) and Paul Heydon (drums) – “All Night Sinnin;” being their fifth album, with 13 songs all written by the band, with lyrics by Phil Allen.

It’s fair to say that most of the tracks are in a blues rock mode but with enough variation to appeal to all – but the guys are a tight outfit, with Allen’s gritty vocals and Dave Robinson’s guitar dynamics dominating the release, in front of the tight rhythm section of Jamie Burns and Paul Heydon. They are definitely a highly organised outfit, with a quite excellent press pack – indeed it is far superior to many I’ve seen from more prominent names!

They have that classic rock swagger, with hook-laden songs, which they blend with classic blues, Hendrix, Zeppelin and Rory Gallagher numbers in their live show. “The Stroll” is a striding rocker with nice guitar hook, for someone reason Phil Allen sounds a lot like Dave Lee Roth on this to me; “Personal Demon” has a slide guitar-driven groove to it, definitely in bluesy territory this one, with “Chasing Rainbows” having a Hendrix-style guitar intro and riff to it.

“Things Move On” takes the pace down, with acoustic slide guitar from Dave Robinson and harmonica from Phil Allen – a nice blues-flavoured ballad. The band rock hard on “Testify”, before the slow blues of “40 Nights” – probably the album’s centrepiece, fine performances here from the two front men, with an impassioned vocal and brooding guitar work. “Mississippi”, as the title would suggest, rolls along nicely – an ode to the Mississippi blues.

Elsewhere, “Bad Situation” has a feedback-drenched start and again rocks hard, with the title cut, “All Night Sinnin’” building from a gentle intro to thumping blues boogie, with the acoustic guitar again featuring on the rootsy “I Don’t Mind” – Dave Robinson’s slide work being exemplary on this track, giving it a very authentic old Delta blues feel.

The closing “A Friend Like You” sees the band in full rocking blues mode, with Robinson’s electric slide work driving the song and another passionate performance from Phil Allen – a nice closer to an album that does the band proud.


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