Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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The New Master Sounds and BluesMix: 100 Club, London 4/11/12

The New Mastersounds - Eddie Roberts: 100 Club, London 4/11/12
The New Mastersounds - Eddie Roberts: 100 Club, London 4/11/12 The New Mastersounds: L-R Sulene Fleming, Pete Shand & Eddie Roberts 100 Club 4/11/12 @bs The New Mastersounds: Simon Allen and Pete Shand 100 Club 4/11/12 The New Mastersounds (set list): 100 Club 4/11/12

Great to be in the sweaty environs of the 100 Club, so nearly swallowed up by developers a few years back but thankfully saved by the now, ubiquitous Paul McCartney. Yes this iconic venue is a reminder of just what an impact this hallowed space has had, from Ken Collier to the Rolling Stones and Macca himself - all fans of the place. An institution on Oxford street!

First up BluesMix, who warmed the crowd up nicely with extracts from their excellent and varied debut platter "Flat 9." Resplendent in lolloping shuffle drums, tight funky backbeats and languorous sax. With guitarist Rob Fleming leading from the helm with his punchy riffs and cool laid back smokey vocals - magnetising! Gigging round London constantly go check them out.....

So with some cool vibes already laid down by Bluesmix it was time for the heavyweights to enter the arena. Now on their eighth album, The New Master Sounds have never sounded better. Led by the increasingly dapper Eddie Roberts, the band wasted no time at all in laying down their inimitable and monumental grooves - yes, the lean mean funking machine was about to crank its self up!

"Hole In Bag" saw the band limber up nicely, a timely reminder of just how damn good this band really are. Simon Allen's propulsive and fluid drumming is the key here, this band don't go anywhere unless he's driving it. There's a lot of drive in this band and their ethos of "there's no substitute for hard work and experience" quickly comes into play. No one works harder than these guys, delivering grooves all day, nonstop!

NMS churn out their gems rapidly "Take What You Need", "MRG" and "Each To Their Own" send the crowd into a fanatical heap. It really is a joy to watch this cohesive unit let rip, especially charismatic guitarist and sensational frontman Eddie Roberts - a revered journeyman of the highest order. His flurry of cool funky licks denote what a highly stylish guitarist Eddie is, putting his stamp on the lesser heralded tunes that give the night it's tangiest flavours.

Special guest micro-diva Sulene Fleming rose to the occasion too. This high octane treasure of a singer strutted her funky wares, as a delightful rest from all that hot yang energy the boys were giving off! Sultry Sulene is also a consummate performer too, as the band definitely went into overdrive when fleming's tonsils let rip. Roberts, temporarily knocked off his perch, looked on quizzically realising it was time to accede on this one. Let's just say their finger-snapping-funk-sassiness was propped to the max, and especially when this young lady gets in the mix - scintillating stuff!

Requests were offered out to the crowd too... one came in the form of the magnificent "Zambezi" from their veritable vaults. Played with relish from both simon and the incredibly nimble Pete Shand on bass. This was a fireproof funk fattened floor filler which typifies the incredible breadth these guys can muster. America may claim them but they're ours! So it was good to see the boys back in ol' blighty and fuelling the flames of funk once more! A top night!!
Words Emrys Baird

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