Review: The Idle Hands – BJs Blues Club at The Hop Pocket, Chorley

Posted on: Monday, May 7, 2012

Thursday, 5th May, 2012

I was delighted to witness this four piece band from Chesterfield playing their debut gig in Chorley, yes the band, The Idle Hands had hit town.

This was a full on powerful performance by lead vocalist and front man Phil Allen – he has that rapport with an audience, an instant vibe and commanded the stage, and all in his bare feet. The band played their original music which they produced in 2011 and got rave reviews from many blues magazines and airplay from Rick Wakeman no less.

The band is at the top of their tree musically and I have no doubt that they have a big future in front of them. The new album entitled “Ready for Business” is a cracker, a mix of slow blues ballads and up tempo rock and roll. You can feel the bands links to Led Zeppelin but they are their own men when it comes to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of their original offerings – just superb.

The magnificent lead guitar of Dave Robinson and his skilful artistry is very much in evidence. Here you could put him alongside any guitar hero and he would be at home. The rhythm section is a mega-ton of power surging through the band; on a Gibson bass guitar Jamie Burns just a brilliant musician – a thumping/funky groove and a great sound; and the timekeeper on the drums Paul Heydon, is a terrific drummer  who gave a solid, tight performance. He has been with the band for about four years – what a fantastic find.

This band are value for money and are a high energy outfit and they blew away the enthusiastic, faithful crowd which were well entertained if the encores are anything to go by. Phil and Dave chatting after the gig told me that they were over the moon the crowd had made them feel very welcome and appreciated their support.

I have to say that this band collectively raised the bar across the board and are well worth a look at if playing near you. To add to the bands sizeable character I am told that they will be appearing at the Colne Blues Festival on the British Stage this August, that’s a reason to go if nothing else.

KEITH BLACKLEDGE: National and international music reviewer


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