Wednesday, 4 November 2015

BABAJACK

Live Review

Robin2, Wolverhampton

When you see Babajack on stage, the way they make music and the energy they put into the performance at the Bilston venue you realise how they became the British Blues Award winners for this year.

Becky Tate
And that is just one of several they have won for their gutsy, bluesy and roots music.
Singer Becky Tate is sexy, sassy and a real live wire with her hips swaying and her wild auburn hair swishing madly about as she plays the cajon.
As if that wasn't enough she has a really cool voice which switches between blues and their version of folk seamlessly.
On stage with drummer Tosh Murase, bass guitarist Adam Bertenshaw and the incredibly blues infused dude himself, Trevor Steger on a Bo Diddley style cigar box guitar and harmonica, they put together a romping stomping show that was full of real mojo.
The only disappointing part of the show was that there were only about 30 people there to enjoy the gig but enjoy it they did.
They opened with a thumping version of The Money's All Gone originally from their Rooster album and is the first track on their new Babajack Live disc, with Murase hammering out the beat before Steger's gobiron came in like a steam train.
This segued into the throb of Coming Home with Tate even sounding a little like Janis Joplin on this one.
Falling Hard, a love song written by Tate came rumbling in after their introduction.
There is no two ways about it their albums make great listening but you really need to see them live because they beef up and improvise on nearly all of their songs, especially Steger who plays the harmonica almost constantly even when Tate is introducing the songs or addressing their fans.
Steger's harmonica and blues guitar are just superb and they cover a wide range of genres throwing in some rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and the odd strand of jazz with tracks such as Falling Hard, Death Letter Blues and Religion.
Bertenshaw, Tate, Murase and Steger
When Tate is on percussion, most noticeably the cajon she is like a woman possessed emulating the writhings and head whipping you see in old footage of so-called voodoo rituals where the participants are being whipped up into a frenzied and trance-like state.
 It all makes for a great spectacle when they are hammering out songs such as Gallows Pole, which is an old English folk song which through a transatlantic journey ended up as a blues riff
Tate really got into her stride with the stomping Hammer & Tongs followed by the faster and funkier Sunday Afternoon with Tate spitting out the lyrics like a machine gun spits bullets. Then they moved to another which features on their live album, Back Door, which came with a deep throbbing bass, hammering drum playing and Steger's slide chords cracking back and forth like a bullwhip.
Some bands were just meant to be seen live and Babajack is one of them, buy their albums of course and get a feel for them at home or in the car but if you want to hear the real grit, guts and downright dirty blues of Babajack you have to see them on stage.