Review: The Idle Hands – Feeding The Machine

Posted on: Monday, Jun 30, 2014

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The Idle Hands – Feeding The Machine

(Catalogue no: TIH08)

From Chesterfield ‘The Idle Hands’ are a cut above the average blues rock band and have proved this on the new album ‘Feeding The Machine’.

Fronting the band on vocals, harmonica and percussion is the dynamic and flamboyant Phil Allen. Dave Robinson runs the action on ‘super Strat’ guitar, while the power houses of the rhythm section are Jamie Burns on bass and backing vocals and Paul Heydon on drums. All the tracks on the album are self penned.

The intro’ to the album gives you a raw and rockin’ blues number, ‘Fever’, introducing the talents of Dave on guitar and Phil on blues harp. Following this, ‘The Devil And The Deep Blue’ is an ‘in the groove’ blues rock track with some great rhythms.

Moving towards rock n’ roll, ‘Get Up And Dance’ adds a different flavour. ‘Read Your Mind’ however, is a classic rock number with great vocals from Phil, with a bit of funky stuff towards the end which all adds to the interest.

The next track is one of my favourites. An acoustic blues ‘The Song Goes On’, has some class slide and guitar playing leaning towards country blues. I have to say the following track ‘Sad Again’, an instrumental, just blew me away. A slow meaningful track with beautiful guitar work from Dave and played with such passion.

Now we get into a real up tempo funky number, ‘Might Be Foolin’ … variety is the spice! Moving on to another of my favourite tracks ‘Before The Setting Sun’, this is blues with an edge with great vocals from Phil. It is a slow number with bass power and drum driven and excellent raw guitar from Dave.

‘Weatherman’ is a classic slow blues rock number, a great take and played with passion. On the next rocky track, ‘Your Time Will Come’ has some brilliant slide guitar with definite influences of a certain Mr Page. Some great harp input from Phil.

The penultimate track on this excellent album, ‘Live For The Moment’ is a classic slow blues telling a story, well sung by Phil. To complete the album, another great acoustic take ‘Second Time Around’, which is an up tempo, rhythmic, country blues with super slide guitar, the track has a ‘dusting’ of Dylan, love it!

Blues meets classic rock is a description I could give to ‘The Idle Hands’. They are an incredibly hard working band and are a ‘must see’ live, to get the whole picture. There are definite influences in their music from Rory Gallaher to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant et al, but they have their very own distinctive stamp which makes them unique. Excellent!

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

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