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

Posted on: Sunday, Sep 30, 2012

The Shakers – BJs Blues Club at The Hop Pocket, Chorley

27th September, 2012

It was another great night at BJ’s with the fantastic The Shakers from the Fylde coast. This four piece band wowed the packed crowd as they danced the night away. The exceptional guitar skills of front man John Carroll, who took the music to the people as he walked around the tables, playing to the people. He also plays a mean blues harmonica – a talent indeed, and talking of talent on second guitar was Chris Peacock – he changed the lead guitar roll time after time, just brilliant playing of the highest order.

The rhythm section was in tight control throughout the entire performance. On bass guitar was Brian Hunter – he was superb and not a bad vocalist either and he can certainly belt out a song or two; the other half of this fantastic rhythm duo was Phil Marlow on the drums – just an excellent player with thrills and fills. This band take a cover song and really give it The Shakers treatment – they lay a funky, swing edge to certain numbers from their extensive repertoire and it’s just great to listen to and gets your body bopping.

With this band there is always a surprise or two and here was no exception they introduced a saxophonist on to the stage, his name Howard Sie. He originates from the Netherlands – Rotterdam to be precise, but plays in Amsterdam at local jazz and blues venues. The name of the band he plays with are called Wicked Jazz Sounds.

What was striking about this whole gig was that he had not played or even met The Shakers before –  just astounding! The music was blindingly brilliant, a plethora of great covers from the likes of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Slim Harpo, Cream, Eric Clapton, BB King, and many more – you get the picture.

A hot night indeed for r&b and the blues. The Shakers are a talented band of musicians and are great lads. They enjoy what they do and so did everyone else – a fantastic gig the place was buzzin’.

Keith Blackledge

National & international music reviewer

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