Review: Little Devils – The Storm Inside

Posted on: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Little Devils album cover 300dpi.bmp

Little Devils – The Storm Inside

(Krossborder Rekords: KBR2015/3)

This is the fourth album from a band that had its origins in various jam sessions that took place in 2010 at the London music bar of their Dutch lead vocalist and very formidable saxophone player Yoka Qureshi. She is joined by fellow founder and bassist Graeme Wheatley, completing the line-up are Big Ray on guitar, and Sara Leigh Shaw on drums and percussion.

The fourteen original numbers start and finish with instrumentals, the opener ‘Storm Warning,’ is a slow, heavy, foreboding Dobro and harmonica and closes with an equally melancholy ‘Heavy Rain,’ a loping mixture of floating flute, jangling guitar and heavy treading saxophone.

The numbers in-between possess a woven array of influences which evoke memories of seventies art, hard and progressive rock; the guitar work is tight, firm and solid, also, enmeshed within the overall sound is a very individual and contemporary English blues feel, while, circling above are cool jazz inflected tinges courtesy of Yoka’s infectiously dancing flute.

Such is the affirmation and confidence of the band that they were featured in “The Best of British Blues Vol 1” released by Krossborder Rekords last year. Yoka has a commanding vocal presence, one that conjures up aural images of Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithfull and Alison Moyet.

‘Wounded’, contains a strutting Roxy Music feel in its guitar and drumwork which is accompanied by some wonderful twirling, swirling flute passages, while the mixture of slide guitar and swinging violin courtesy of Diana Stone on ‘Cold’, emits the feel of a jolly twenties or thirties cocktail party.

‘Birth of The Blues’ is a guitar and bass led soul searching modern day story of love and violence swirling all around you, while you are a bewildered bystander. ‘A Long Time Ago’, is imbued with rockin’ blues guitar flourishes and a sixties style ‘oohing’ dancing flute (think of ‘The Saint’ theme tune) with de-rigueur girly vocal backing behind Graeme’s low gravel vocals.

‘I Still Want It Back’, is a present day solid, slow rocking guitar crunching blues, but on ‘Stand’,  we are taken back to the glorious early days of sixties soul with a thumping solid backbeat and a storming brass section that urges you onto the dance floor.

The Little Devils cannot be easily pigeon-holed, for they easily straddle a number of styles and certainly encompass a few generations of time. But they are certainly of today.

Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

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