Friday, 23 November 2012

THE DYLAN PROJECT

Live Review

support

Dan Whitehouse
The Robin2, Bilston

The Dylan Project is no ordinary tribute band, for one thing, front man Steve Gibbons doesn't try to look like the iconic singer and although there are times when he slips into sounding like him the group essentially play Dylan's catalogue in their own way paying tribute rather than trying to imitate.

The familiar name which fronts the Project also gives a clue to the pedigree of the group which has a lineage which includes Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull and Pentangle.
Gibbons on vocals and guitar, bassist Dave Pegg, drummer Gerry Conway, keyboard player Phil Bond and guitarist PJ Wright have a wealth of experience most bands would die for.
Steve Gibbons fronting The Dylan Project
picture courtesy of  www.dylanproject.co.uk
He kicked off with Freight Train Blues which had more of a country/honkytonk start to it before it moved into the more recognisable blues rift.
They then cherry picked their next songs from Dylan's Blonde on Blonde with Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands which was given an almost comic ballad style with a slight Gallic undertone.
This moved smoothly into another track from the album I Want You which was given an upbeat skiffle treatment.
You're a Big Girl, which came from Blood On The Tracks, had the more familiar Dylanesque rant-style lyrics which eventually gave way to the instruments for more of a rock sound.
The Project went back to Blonde on Blonde for Pledging My Time to which they gave the Chicago blues treatment with Phil Bond coming in with a barrelhouse backbeat.
Gibbons then gave the Robin2 audience a piece of unadulterated Dylan with She Belongs To Me. 
Born In Time, from Under The Red Sky, was a heavier sound with a strong backbeat that was given a Duane Eddy colouring from PJ.
The full sound of the band was let loose for Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window which was highlighted with more than a smattering of Latin melodies.
Guitarist PJ Wright
picture courtesy of www.dylanproject.co.uk
Gibbons again went back to the classic Dylan rant for Sweetheart Like You before moving into a rocker billy sound of From A Buick 6 which then slipped into an electric solo.
They regaled their audience with It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry from Highway 61 Revisited, this went on into Handle With Care from the Travelling Wilbury's which had more of  a pop feel to it.
Towards the end of the set Gibbons got romantic with Make You Feel My Love from Dylan's Time Out Of Mind which, strangely, had a country feel sung in a tone reminiscent of a pub-singer.


Dan Whitehouse

Supporting the Project and on his home turf was Wolverhampton's own Dan Whitehouse who is building quite a following and is maturing into an impressive singer/songwriter. 
With his eponymous first album under his belt and the second one already in production it won't be long before Dan will be looking for his own support act.
With songs from his album such as They Care For You Dan gave free rein to his softer tones and was a perfect showcase for his vocal range.
Somebody Loves You had a Pink Floyd undertone and his strong lyrics were accented perfectly by his simple guitar chords.
If you want to get a proper feeling for his full repertoire then you should catch Dan at the Birmingham Conservatoire (Recital Hall) on December 15. Dan will be headlining with a full backing band.
Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £6.
For booking information visit www.birmingham-box.co.uk and for more information about Dan visit www.dan-whitehouse.com.