What do you do when 25% of your band is off sick? This was the dilemma facing Butcher Blues Foundation on Friday night at The Athelstan in Tuckton.
Sadly bassist Andy Gillard was struck down by what a tabloid may call a 'mystery illness' but whatever it may be it meant that BBF turned up shorthanded. A less accomplished band may have pulled the gig but not BBF. Not only is this to their credit but the large gathering at The A wasn't disappointed.
Kicking off with a great version of 'Superstition' it was clear from the start that we were in for a quality night. What was notable about their set was that although they were doing mainly cover versions the band put their own spin on them. Admittedly the sound may have been influenced slightly by the lack of bass but it showed much more that they are a talented band able to interpret rather than parrot songs.
Rich Dean provided vital back up in a kind of hybrid rhythm/bass sort of a way with Steve Merrell eschewing a traditional kit for a pair of brightly coloured congas. Killers 'I've got soul' followed by an exemplary Chelsea Dagger maintaining the crowd participation aspect.
It wouldn't be a G&B review without a bit of 'constructive criticism'. Only one thing stuck out. Call me Mr Picky but I thought 'ever fallen in love' was too slow. I prefer it played at manic pace of if not faster than the original. It is however a tiny point that is pretty subjective.
Looking at my watch I realised that time had flown by and this is always a good sign and proof positive of an enjoyable night.
The band finished with their own 'Ride it out'. A superb guitar rock anthem that hints at the talent that lies beneath a far above average covers band.
The set started to feel like a tour round all the best guitar based bands of the last 40 years with renditions of Dakota by the Stereophonics and the Arctics 'Look good on the dance floor'.
It's probably worth noting at this point that unless the frontman has a strong, powerful voice then this kind of set list can fall disappointingly flat. Not so in the case of Dave Crowfoot who carries off all of their catalogue with aplomb and not a little amount of audience banter.
Around halfway through the crowd started to get all 'singy' and the foundation duly obliged with Wonderwall which set the tone for the rest of the show.
The Athelstan officially now holds the record for the most drinks bought by a crowd for a band as a regular supply was brought onstage by a crowd that clearly like and appreciate the BBF.
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