Review: The Hamilton Loomis Band – Garston Royal British Legion – 19 Nov 2010

Posted on: Wednesday, Nov 24, 2010

Hamilton Loomis 6

On the back of another triumphant performance at the Carlisle Blues Festival, the Hamilton Loomis Band returned to Liverpool to enchant a fully appreciative audience. From the opening bars of the first number, “Workin’ Real Hard”, this outrageously talented quartet stamped its authority on the occasion.

Among the delights of a vibrant first set were “Something’s Gonna Come My Way”, which featured a cracking sax solo from Stratton Doyle, the slow and bluesy “Better Man” and the very catchy “No No No”, complete with enthusiastic audience participation. The climax was the firmly driven “Voodoo Doll”, which delivered extended interplay between Stratton Doyle and Hamilton Loomis on sax and guitar respectively. Spell-binding stuff.

At the start of the second set, “Best Worst Day” was followed by “Turnin’ Heads”, for which 14-year old Glossop-based guitar slinger, Alex McKown, joined the band to showcase his burgeoning skills on guitar, swapping riffs with Hamilton Loomis with impressive assurance and dexterity. After “Build Me A Castle”, a heartfelt tribute to Loomis’s hometown on Galveston Island, “What It Is” demonstrated the Texan’s considerable ability on harmonica and provided another delicious helping of saxophonic invention from Stratton Doyle. “Bow Wow” featured a tremendous, prolonged guitar solo among the audience before the marvellous set was concluded with the excellent “Get My Blues On”.

Two encores were loudly demanded. The first was a terrific version of “Road Runner” that drifted in and out of “Who Do You Love?”. The second was a superb rendition of “Slow Lover” on which all four members of the band combined to produce top class vocal harmonies.

This was a performance of the highest quality with the two inspirational frontmen, Loomis and Doyle, wonderfully backed by the brilliant rhythm section of Kent Beatty on bass guitar and Jamie Little on drums. It really is a travesty that this superlative band is not playing to huge audiences and commanding world-wide recognition.

Lionel Ross
(photograph by John R Welsh)

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