REVIEW – Pink Torpedoes @ Long Street Blues Club, Devizes – Saturday 28th December 2019

For One Night Only

Andy Fawthrop

Only a week after John Coughlan’s Quo’s rousing set, it was back up to Long Street Blues Club for another great gig. If you needed the Christmas blues blowing away, this was the gig to do it.

Support act for the night was Jamie R Hawkins, aided and abetted by his sometime collaborator Phil Cooper. I suppose you could say that this was two thirds of the newly-formed Lost Trades, but we’ll have to wait until later to hear their new songs. This set was Jamie and Phil classics from their back catalogues, taking it in turn to take centre stage with mic and guitar, then to drop back onto cajon to provide backing beats and vocals. Of the two, Jamie’s presence and performance is the stronger, and his songs stand up much better. And it was great to hear Jamie belting out his rather non-PC “Hope You Have A Bloody Good Christmas”, with enthusiastic audience participation, to finish up with.

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Then an amazing, raucous almost two-hour set from the The Pink Torpedoes. Fronted by ex Dr Feelgood Pete Gage, backed up by former Hoax drummer Dave Raeburn, with guitarist Paul Hartshorn and bassist Pete Lowrey, this four-piece really delivered the goods in this one-off gig.

Keeping the chat to an absolute minimum, the boys launched straight in and played their way through an enormous song-book of rock, blues, R&B, boogie-woogie – you name it. Sounding as tight and professional as if they were gigging every night of the week, the set was full of excitement, raw power and incendiary licks. Pete, on vocals, harmonica and keyboards was the dominating presence up front, but the rest of the band absolutely played their parts.

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At times there was a definite “feel-good” factor in the room, and the dance-floor filled up number by number. There was no tin, but if there had been a tin it would have said “open with care – raw, undiluted and powerful”. And the band did exactly what that tin would have said. Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Pride and Joy”, Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie-Coochie Man”, Little Richard’s “Lucille”, Bob Troup’s “Route 66” and Albert King’s/ The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” all came tumbling out, one after the other. This was R&B at its very best.

And it was clear that the band thoroughly enjoyed their outing playing together again – the smiles and the laughs, and the audience rapport were great to see.

Another amazingly good gig, another bargain night’s entertainment at Long Street Blues.

Future 2020 gigs at Long Street Blues Club:

• Saturday 25th January Kirk Fletcher (Fabulous Thunderbirds)
• Sunday 26th January Billy Bremner’s Rockpiles
• Saturday 7th March Ian Parker Band
• Saturday 4th April Mike Zito Band
• Saturday 18th April Mark Flanagan Band
• Saturday 30th May Antonio Forcione Quartet


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