Review: Fuschi3 – BBs Blues Club at Alexander’s, Chester – 31 Mar 2011

Posted on: Sunday, Apr 3, 2011

FUSCHI3

BBs Blues Club at Alexander’s, Rufus Court, Chester

31 Mar 2011

The latest gig from BBs Blues Club at Alexander’s featured Anglo-Italian trio, Fuschi3, who since formation in 2007 have steadily increased their profile with constant gigging and festival appearances, coupled with an interview and session on BBC Radio Lancashire’s blues show. This was a return to Alexander’s, after a gig a couple of years ago, for the Manchester-based outfit.

The trio are led by the vocals and  eye-catching guitar work of Paolo Fuschi, and also comprise the rhythm section of Dave Lloyd (bass and vocals) and Rick Hughes (drums). They are far from a conventional blues band, often stretching out with lovely funk grooves, and over two sets did their own interpretations of many blues classics and also featured some original material. Indeed the rhythm section are showmen in their own right, and were given plenty of opportunity to solo themselves.

They were down to business on a driving version of “The Hunter” . . . propelled by Paolo Fuschi’s piercing Fender Telecaster playing, and also did a fine take on the timeless “The Thrill Is Gone”. The trio are not afraid to take chances and some of the covers were thoroughly dismantled and done their own way, including Elmore James “Talk To Me Baby” and a funky “All Your Love”, the Otis Rush classic.

The first set concluded with a brace of the band’s own songs, the fine “Singer”, and a highlight on the night, the blues balladry of the late-night torch song, “2 AM”, complete with glorious guitar and vocal from Paolo Fuschi and sympathetic embellishment from Dave Lloyd and Rick Hughes . . . a great tune indeed.

The second set commenced with a trio of copper-bottomed blues classics, but done in the band’s own way: “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “Killing Floor” and “Born Under A Bad Sign”. However they were nothing compared to the arrangement of the jazz/soul favourite, “Summertime”, given a space-age instrumental treatment that had Paolo Fuschi asking the audience if they recognised the song!

The funk feel was never far away . . . with the great reggae-flavoured groove of “How Much Love” and a New Orleans gem, The Meters “Cissy Strut”. The second set was rounded off with a couple of more ‘straight’ blues . . . a fine “Woke Up This Morning”, and then the pace taken down for the Little Willie John hit “Need Your Love So Bad”, with a definite nod to Peter Green’s guitar work on the Fleetwood Mac cover from Paolo Fuschi.

The small, but beautifully-formed, gathering demanded an encore, which saw a rousing “Sweet Home Chicago”, with a dip into Freddie King’s “Hideaway” in the middle, and ended a great show. It was nice to see a band who stretch out and take chances and well done to them for that. Paolo Fuschi is a fine musician indeed, as are Dave Lloyd and Rick Hughes, and are well worth a look if they come your way.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.fuschi3.com

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