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Butcher and Friends Hit Eel Pie for Six: The Boom Band

17 June 2017

The Boom Band

The Eel Pie Club,

The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham 15th June

Review by Cliff Tapstand.

It’s very rare to find a renowned performer in one form of entertainment playing a leading role in another totally different and unrelated pursuit.  But, there we were, at The Eel Pie Club greeting The Boom Band, who were making their first appearance at the venue with former Surrey and England Cricketer, Mark Butcher playing lead guitar.  But the surprise didn’t stop there.  Most groups have one lead guitarist, some will have two and very infrequently there may be three, but, The Boom Band have four, and every one of them highly talented musicians.    To complete the front line of the stage there was a stand-in bass player.   But, this was no ordinary stand-in, his name is Malcolm Bruce, son of the late, great Jack Bruce of “supergroup”, Cream.  The full line up was completed by Paddy Milner on keyboards and Wayne Proctor on drums.

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Photographs by Pat Stancliffe 

It’s easy to think that four guitarists on stage at the same time could get a bit competitive, or even confusing, but nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s obvious from the moment they walk on stage that they enjoy playing together and are having just as good a time as their audience.  Their play list for the gig was drawn almost entirely from their excellent album, The Moon Goes Boom: Live in London, which is a well balanced mix of their own compositions and blues standards.

The Four Guitarists

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First up on the playlist was Terraplane Blues, a song by the American blues legend, Robert Johnson.  We’re then into the first two album tracks, Diamonds in the Rust, and Under the Skin.  Next up is Junko Partner, a song written by Bob Shad, and first released by James Waynes in 1951, later to be covered by The Clash, Dr. John and many others.  Some great keyboard playing on this by Paddy Milner, twice winner of the Best Keyboard Player in The British Blues Award.  Two more ‘home produced’ songs, Moonshine and Red Eye of the Devil follow,  Before, Get Outta My Life Woman, first recorded by Lee Dorsey in the early 1920’s  and subsequently covered by Gerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead, and The Byrds.  Monty’s Theme is next, an instrumental that really shows the musical skills of this talented outfit.  Space doesn’t allow me to cover every song, but both When You Come Home, and Can’t Find My Way Home are well worth a mention, the latter written by Steve Windward and released during the short life of “superband” Blind Faith.  The penultimate song returns to the blues with Lightnin’ Slim’s, Rooster Blues,  before a rousing final ‘anthem’ We can Work Together, with plenty of audience  participation, all of whom, I’m sure, hope it won’t be too long before The Boom Band  are back at The Eel Pie again.

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Wayne Proctor and Paddy Milner 

 

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Malcolm Bruce 

A little more about the band: Matt Taylor played in The Snowy White Blues Project, and the late Long John Baldry said he was the best guitarist he ever shared a stage with!  Jon Amor was a founder member of The Hoax, one of the top rhythm ‘n’ blues bands in the country. Marcus Bonfanti, toured with and opened shows for Robert Cray, Chuck Berry, Jack Bruce, Beth Hart and many others. Paddy Milner, founder member of Ronnie Scott’s Blues explosion, played for years with Jack Bruce and is Sir Tom Jones piano player of choice.

Mark Butcher hit 8 centuries playing for England, the highest being 173 not out against Australia at Leeds in 2001.  He hit just the one 6, but he and the band hit us all for 6 at this gig.

Cliff Tapstand

June 2017

Photography by Pat Stancliffe

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From → Gigs, Reviews

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