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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - Dec 7

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (vocals, harmonica); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Half an hour before the nine o'clock start the joint was jumpin'. Moonshine ordered by the bucket load, you'd be forgiven for thinking prohibition was about to come into force at midnight. 

The opening bars to Got My Mojo Working brought the packed house on to the dance floor then, after one chorus, the band called time. Billy Bootleggers went wild, deafening applause, hootin' and a-hollerin'...this had been King Bees' last-minute soundcheck!


First set, Scott Taylor straight in, harp wailin', vocals to die for on Sonny Boy's I Don't Know. The dance floor awash, sweat dripping from the walls, yer typical Friday night at Newcastle's number one American dive bar, Billy Bootleggers. Not to be outdone, frontline partner Michael Littlefield insisted he was going Cuckoo, the audience definitely going crazy. 

My Babe (Taylor's harp and vocals), Walking By Myself (Littlefields's guitar and vocals), this was King Bees in top gear. Here I come sang Dominic Hornsby, Kansas City, here I come. The numbers kept on coming, thick and fast, and, in South Side tradition, each one summarily brought to an end, leaving the masses crying out for more. 

Automatic bellowed Littlefield, his heavy vibrato ricocheting around the Nelson Street basement juke joint, then the set closer - Caldonia! All seats taken, dance floor staked out, no one was going anywhere. 

Locals know a good thing when they see it or rather hear it. King Bees play to full houses wherever they go, no more so than here at Blues Central (NE1 5AN). A couple down from Berwick weren't going anywhere, they'd worry about getting home later. Hey! More moonshine!

Hard Hearted Woman - this is why so many get along to King Bees' monthly residency; Scott Taylor's simply spine-tingling, devastating vocals, there's no one on the blues scene doing anything as good as this. Sit Down Baby (Otis Rush) implored Littlefield, then Taylor again, this time insisting, just as Sonny Boy did, Keep it to Yourself. More Sonny Boy - Lonesome Cabin - added to the pad, let's hear this one again! It was gone eleven but no one was going anywhere. More! More! Several encores later, with Muddy Waters at the heart of it all, King Bees promised one more - Mojo - then that would be it 'til next month. It was twenty minutes to midnight. 
Russell      

1 comment :

Patti said...

Blues Central in the Toon! Yeah - Billy Bootleggers is the place, and after this gig, the King Bees are the tops. Cliche, I know, but we could have been in Buddy Guy's bar in Chicago's Southside, c. 1984 ....... the place was hot, heaving and sweaty, and the band were cooking! They do it for real - Muddy, Otis, Jimmy, Sonny Boy et al would be beaming their approval.

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