Review: The Producers at Fogherty’s Function Room, Liverpool – 22nd February 2013

Posted on: Monday, Feb 25, 2013

Harry Skinner at Fog's

Harry Skinner at Fog’s

The Producers at Fogherty’s Function Room, Liverpool – 22nd February 2013

The full house at Fogherty’s Function Room for John and Lorraine Welsh’s first show in 2013 spoke volumes for the understandable popularity of  The Producers. This legendary band has been delighting audiences for more than twenty years and, if anything, they are now better than ever. The current line-up comprises founder members, Harry Skinner on vocals and guitar and Dave Saunders on bass guitar, Ray Drury on keyboards and Biff Smith on drums.

They grabbed the audience by the throat from the very first number and didn’t let go until time intervened. Apart from the sheer quality that oozes from each member of the band, another of their strengths is the variety of blues-related numbers that they play – equally brilliantly. Shuffles, slow blues, spiky rockers and Latin rhythms were all in evidence in the first set, with “Preservation Blues”, featuring Harry Skinner’s exceptional vocals and lyrical guitar work at their very best, “Some People Say” and “Ain’t No Love In The World” as the standout numbers.

The second set was similarly eclectic, opening with “Going Back For You”, one of many tracks from the band’s latest and highly-acclaimed album, “London Blues”. A slow blues led into the upbeat shuffle, “The Wrong Way Home”, before an airing was afforded to “Change, Change, Change” a new number in the style of Jimmy Reed, complete with a rippling solo from Ray Drury.

Harry switched to slide guitar for a few numbers, including “The Money Lender” and the Howlin’ Wolf classic, “How Many More Years”. The rest of the magnificent set included a cracking rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Nadine”, the ballad “Love Gone Bad”, a bouncing rocker “Somewhere Down The Line” and a great delivery of “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”. The icing on the cake came in the form of two spectacular encores – Lazy Lester’s “Sugar-Coated Love” and the mazurka-rhythmed “Drive This Car” – to end a night that had the spell-bound audience in raptures throughout. “World class!” one punter enthused. And who would argue with that?

LIONEL ROSS

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johnnysbluesclub

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