Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Live

The Newmastersounds, Bluesmix + DJ Corrina Greyson: Borderline, London 6/11/13

Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds): Borderline, London 6/11/13
Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds): Borderline, London 6/11/13 Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds): Borderline, London 6/11/13 The New Mastersounds: Borderline, London 6/11/13 Corrina Greyson (The New Mastersounds): Borderline, London 6/11/13 The New Mastersounds: Borderline, London 6/11/13 The New Mastersounds: Borderline, London 6/11/13 Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds): Borderline, London 6/11/13 The New Mastersounds: Borderline, London 6/11/13 The New Mastersounds: Borderline, London 6/11/13

Mick Jagger once described the Beatles as a 'Four Headed Monster', meaning that the power of the foursome was indeed awesomeâ€Â¦the collective creativity and energy mustered was a wonder to behold - well guess what? WE have a new monster off the leashâ€Â¦and that is The New Mastersounds! Now in their 15th year and still going great guns. It's the fourth time I'd seen them and like fine wine they get better with age!

To kick the night's proceedings off, Bluesmix set the mood with a polished display of old school bluesy funk. Rob Fleming, now adorned with a brace of girl backing singers and a nifty horn section, was relaxed and confident as he churned out the repertoire in a most effusive fashion. A highlight being "Turn It Loose." A churning, burning humdinger of a tune, bolstered by a ship shape and raring to go rhythm section. Things are converging for this lot making them required listening. Next, DJ Corrina Greyson span some great 45's classic northern soul, rarities and even some turkish funk got in the mix-nice! She's a great addition to any nightâ€Â¦

So onto the headliners Leeds anti-heroes New Master Sounds wasted no time capitalising on the good mood set by openers Bluesmix, bursting into "Soulshine," from their sterling album "10 Years On" (2009). Picking up the gauntlet most admirably where the meters left off, they play this greasy-funk better than anybody on the planet!

As british as Sherlock Holmes, which is just as well, as guitarist Eddie Roberts is still donning his Edwardian Toff look, and would be suitably placed if Jude Law doesn't want to make a third sequel. Guy Ritchie - check him out! Ok back to the gig, I digress, needless to say they had the crowd in the palm of their hand - the relaxed vibe suited the band who went about their business with vim and vigour. Roberts is one helluva player, mixing Ivan Bogaloo Jones with Grant Green and a dash of Wes Montgomery - his octave playing is simply sensational. This lot are on top of their game as they dispatch tune after tune from some of their iconic albums. "Gauntlet" gets a welcome airing from the eponymous "Breaks For The Border" - now that's an album worth checking!

This lot just sound greasier, heavier and slinkier than ever before, talk about paying your dues dude! Yes, this well oiled, perfectly honed bunch of hombres hit like a howitzer to the heart - cool as f**k and deeper than a depth charge could ever go!

Joe Tatton lets rip on the ol' joanna as well as the hammond, he has a nice New Orleans touch when he is hammering the keysâ€Â¦melodic inventive and the harmonic anchorman to the band. Bassist Pete Shand, a lean mean pumping machine spits out basslines in his cool effortless way, giving us more bounce to the ounce that no hard core funksters can overlook. Ground shaking deliveries every time!

Which leaves the engine and the bus driver drummer, Simon Allenâ€Â¦a groovester of the highest order, this man knows the intricacies of funk drumming. His pocket is so deep, there's a ton of loose change down there he doesn't know about! Motoric, relaxed and hitting the sweet spot every time not even a falling apart drum kit phases him. As he gets the job done by hook or by crook and is a useful foible to Roberts's song introductions - a double act still in tact!

With only two vocal songs in the set I'm amazed at how they keep the crowd's attention. Their new whistling song certainly entertained the masses and is a new tune from the new album, of which I know zilch, except it was recorded in 4 days in Colorado. They seem to be sticking to what they do best, funk which drips off the walls and exudes a healthy smell! A two hour set leaves us satiated and in aweâ€Â¦and a grand finale of "Make Me Proud" - a sh*t kicking, finger licking, chicken picking peach of a tune which sends us on our merry way.

Surely their time is now. The novices in the crowd loved them and the aficionados purred sweetly at their idols. They're back in April for an outstanding evening, go see them, there are few who can pay tribute to the old school like these guys.
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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