So this little tale starts about 6 months ago when I was sat doing the ironing and there was nothing decent on the telly to watch and the only DVD I had to hand was Amour (ironing whilst trying to watch a film with subtitles is not to be recommended). So to the radio I went, or more precisely, to internet radio I went and a random blues station. Second track up was magnificent; full of an energy and vibe that demanded attention. When it finished I quickly wrote down the name of the artist, Funky and the Two Tone Baby (or so I thought) and the laundry was forgotten as I hit YouTube to find out more. Having discovered that what I really wanted was FunkE etc. I played the videos I found and then it was on to Amazon to buy the album, Battles.
So I did finally get the ironing finished whilst listening to the new found joy of an album. The next quest was to find out if I could get to see this guy in the flesh. The internet had now furnished a website, Facebook and Twitter but these showed a preponderance of gigs in the south east and certainly nothing in the Lincolnshire area. Gig announcements came and went over the summer – a trip to Cambridge was considered, a gig in Nottingham was sadly missed and, due to prior commitments, a last minute gig in Lincoln couldn’t be made. And then, at last, a return trip to Lincoln. So on Friday I dragged Heather down to The Jolly Brewer in Lincoln for a pint and a chance to watch the man in action. As we sat just a few feet from two mics and an array of foot-pedals a familiar face appeared round the corner and the main attraction wandered in with a half drunk pint in his hand. Whether he recognised me from Facebook or Twitter but he seemed pleased to see a ‘familiar’ face and asked to join us. We chatted for 10-15 minutes before the gig began and again during the interval and I’m glad to say he’s as nice as he is talented.
And boy is he talented. Tap dancing his way across various loop, chorus, reverb and god knows what else pedals he builds up songs from layers of guitar, harmonica, voice, tambourine and stomp box. Be it his own songs or a choice selection of covers from Dylan, Led Zep, The Beatles, John Lee Hooker, Fat Boy Slim and The Stones everything is imbued with massive energy and belted out in a voice that belies his slender frame. All I can say is if you ever spot him playing near you then make the effort to go along – you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse of a singular talent which is deserving of a far wider audience.