on 8 June 2002
There are some contemporary blues bands who are just wanabees, some who are mediocre, a rare few who are quite superb ... then there's the Climax Blues Band, the pinnacle of talent in the genre. There aren't many bands who can equal their depth and diversity of skills, from no-frills pure blues, to slow blues, hard driving blues, or ripping into jazz riffs and scorching instrumental solos in Climax originals.
I've been a fan of the Climax Blues Band since the mid 1970's and own several of their LPs (that's the old vinyl Long Play records that still work on a low-tech unit called a turntable). My favourite album has been FM/Live, a real gem that continues to stand the test of time and will never grow stale. It was rare to find an album where most every cut was memorable, with such variety, style mixture and top-notch musicianship and vocals.
I'd lost touch with what the band had been doing years ago and figured they'd more or less faded into obscurity. But thanks to the Internet, I was able to find their website and catch up on the band and the latest news. I was initially disappointed to read that guitarist Peter Haycock was no longer in the band, and that it was virtually a new lineup except for front-man Colin Cooper. So when I checked into the CD "Blues from the Attic", I was leery that the latest band might be merely a watered down version of the old magic. Boy was I mistaken.
The new lineup is laced with talent and they sound fabulous on this CD. There are the distinctive gritty, bass-end vocals of Colin and his blues and jazz-influenced sax solos ... plus he plays a mean harp. Lester Hunt shows some real dexterity on guitar with some very impressive licks. The rest of the band rounds out the tight rhythm section and adds nice riffs. I especially like the juiced up version of "Let The Good Times Roll" as the closing cut. Overall, this CD is an excellent taste of many familiar Climax songs, mixed with cuts I hadn't heard before, played in a smaller, live-venue setting. Another gem after all these years!
This is one of my favourite live albums of all time and the kind of concert i enjoy the most,with an appreciative intimate crowd.The songs,with their variety,just roll along,from classic blues standards such as Evil,Dont Start Me Talking,Seventh Son to Climax favs, Couldnt Get It Right to the sublime Last Chance Saloon.Ive seen these guys a number of times over the years and it never fails to amaze me the quality of the musicianship.Sadly Colin is no longer with us but i will forever be greatful to him and the many many enjoyable gigs and hours of cd magic from him and the boys.This album is a great introduction to a fab band at their best..LIVE!!!!
on 8 May 2010
Now and again, and very often when you least expect them, some very special moments happen. . . .
Thursday 6th May 2010 I was having a nice pint of 'Bitter and Twisted' in my local pub, the Quiet Woman in Leek staffordshire and the act of the night (a couple of old fellers like me) were quietly warming up at the back of the pub as usual, the ambiance was nice the beer was good and another pleasant night was anticipated and the act started to play. . bam the moment had arrived. Like a Rolls Royce, a bottle of st Emillion or a Rolex Watch the unmistakable mark of quality was immediately recognised, chatting stopped, supping paused and heads turned, Lester Hunt and Duncan Wood were performing . . in my local WOW
Those of us who have grown up with legendary bands like The Climax Blues Band will obviously understand what a moment like this means and in such a small venue a private performance like this is something very special.
Fans of the Band will not need to be sold on the music on this Album, but for those of you who are new to The Climax Blues Band (after all these years) you will find this album very rewarding and a great introduction to a band that has always provided rich, entertaining and quality Blues music.
Oh and if anyone is interested the Band will be playing at The Swan public House during the Leek Arts Festival on 28th May 2010 - Dont miss it.
on 18 June 2006
Can't remember the exact date, but it was one of the best gigs I'd been to in a while!. More or less the exact track list. Got it on audio tape from a mate who saw them in Germany a few months previously and bought the cd over there before we both went to the live gig at the Robin,and ever since I've been trying to locate a copy in the shops. No chance! Is that why the price is so high on Amazon? The price is the reason I'm not buying from this site. Drop it a bit and I might. So might a few more. Or explain to me why you can't!
The versions of the Willie Dixon songs on the album are passable, and the whole gig was a rockin' good night. Those who like Willie Dixon cover versions might try "Big Blues" (CCB)
2002 cd - available in the shops (that's where I got mine).
Anyway, after all these years, I still love 'em. Go see 'em whenever you can.