Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1088

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Live

Smoove & Turrell + Izo Fitzroy: Archspace, London 24/05/18

John Turrell (Smoove & Turrell): Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com
John Turrell (Smoove & Turrell): Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com Smoove & Turrell: Archspace, London 24/5/18 @bluesandsoul.com Mike Porter + John Turrell (Smoove & Turrell): Archspace, London 24/5/18 @bluesandsoul.com Smoove & Turrell + Izo Fitzroy: Archspace, London 24/5/18 @bluesandsoul.com Mike Porter (Smoove & Turrell): Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com Mike Porter (Smoove & Turrell): Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com Izo Fitzroy: Archspace, London 24/5/18 @bluesandsoul.com John Turrell and Mike Porter (Smoove & Turrell): Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com Smoove & Turrell and Izo Fitzroy: Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com Smoove & Turrell and Mike Porter: Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com John Turrell (Smoove & Turrell): Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com John Turrell (Smoove & Turrell): Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com Smoove & Turrell and Izo Fitzroy: Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com Smoove & Turrell and Izo Fitzroy: Archspace, London 24-5-18 @bluesandsoul.com

The Jalapeño family were out in full force with Izo FitzRoy and Smoove & Turrell, two popular acts on their roster plying their wares to devastating effect on an unsuspecting Shoreditch hipster crowd.

Opener FitzRoy has grown in stature tremendously since I witnessed her coming of age show at London's 229 Venue last year. Her voice just gets better with the live experience and backed by a well-rounded rhythm section and a trio of backing vocalists, just made the material from her sterling debut “Skyline” sound extra strong and enjoyable. Her new disco edged track “I Want Magic” also showed future potential for this enterprising artist who is beginning to make inroads not just here in the UK but France, Germany and Italy too.

So, with appetites whetted but unsatiated, it was on to the boys next, the one and only Smoove & Turrell promoting the critically acclaimed “Mount Pleasant”. A joyful, rose-tinted paean to the birthplace of singer, John Turrell a man always close to his proud working-class roots and rightly so! Tougher, jerkier rhythms prevailed and keys player, the wonder that is Mike Porter, is still treating his keyboard as a kid's climbing frame, talk about the monkey & organ grinder rolled into one! These antics underlie the confidence S&T have in their new batch of tracks. Take for instance the euphoric rendition of their cracking new single, “You’re Gone” with Izo FitzRoy. It remains the shining light of their recent and very productive output, which includes the banging “Mr Hyde”. A souped-up Kinks style jam with a Kraftwerk influence! The excellent “Will You Be Mine” got a welcome airing too with an extended guitar solo that delighted JT who waved him on for extra choruses, the band is, it's safe to say, a well-honed funking machine as they hammered through their punchy new material and fortunately, the Archspace sound was particularly good on this exceptionally balmy summer evening.

This excellent band are no one-trick pony either, the laid back, summery feel of “A Deckham Love Song” is a sheer delight with poignant lyrics from a sage experienced singer and writer - such is the calibre of JT a musical social historian who along with his partner Smoove exhibited good humoured Geordie bonhomie all night, leading up to the copper-bottomed classic and early career corker “Beggarman” sending the audience into a frenzy, followed by the equally catchy “Could Have Been A Lady” which topped off a great night perfectly. Peerlessly lovable and entertaining their creative appetite appears undimmed well into what is now their fifth album together, that's some feat. Bravo boys 'twas a stonking show!

PHOTOS MICHEL MASSIMINO
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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