Part Stereophonics, part Pink Floyd and part The Grateful Dead was how guitarist/singer, Brian summed up the Bushman Brothers during inter-song banter at last Saturday’s gig; and it’s hard to image a better description: hooky, blues-based rock – check; proggy, instrumental flights of fancy – check; extended jams -check.
My girlfriend and I don’t always coincide with our musical tastes, but The Brothers gig at Brighton’s Ranelagh pub grabbed us both by the earballs and, shaking off our creeping exhaustion, we ended up staying and hour and a couple drinks later than intended. The Ranelagh is well-known locally as a live blues venue, but almost inevitably, the style and quality of the entertainment varies considerably: open-mic hopefuls armed only with acoustic guitar or piano and professional, full-band outfits; folksy to rockin’.
The BBs fall firmly into the second camp. Their set encompassed familiar staples of any self-respecting blues-rockers repertoire – J.J. Cale‘s Cocaine; Hendrix‘s Fire and Gary Moore‘s Parisian Walkways – as well as original BB compositions. Of those, Urban Madness, Whale Song and Travelling Man made a particular impression on the night. All of those appear on the 2012, all instrumental release, Tone Tonic. Persuaded to purchase both that album and their latest, the Condensation Fear EP, it’s the latter which has impressed me more on repeat listening. Whilst TT has more of a Joe Satriani/Steve Vai kinda virtuoso vibe, CF leans in the Stereophonics’ direction: ‘proper’ songs, aided and abetted by guest singer Paul Fulker. At £15 for both discs, value for money isn’t an issue and showcases two sides to the band. Brian Kellner possesses both David Gilmour‘s fluidity and Satriani‘s mastery of lightning-fast picking; along with a more than passing resemblance to Clapton on the vocal side, albeit grittier, which my girlfriend, a huge fan, appreciated. His chemistry with brother Steve on drums was clear to see: they were seriously tight; and I even managed to enjoy the latter’s drum solo, which is rare for me; generally finding percussion breaks something of a bore. They performed as a duo, with bass and keyboard backing tapes, though a full-band performance is scheduled for September 4 at Brighton’s Albert,with further dates to follow
Brighton residents but half-year-round (they spend the remainder surfing and jamming in Hawaii) catch ’em while you can…