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Issue 1088

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Review

The Boom Band: Deluxe Edition (Boom Band Records)

Boom Band CD cover pic

8

6.2

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UK release date 13.04.2015

With every CD, DVD or book that drops through my letter box for review, there is usually a wad of PR bumph to tell me all about the artist and the new âproductâ they are flogging.

Most of this PR stuff is utter drivel, long-winded waffle and OTT claims about this being âunique," âamazingâ and destined for a clutch of awards and record breaking sales. Yawn, yawn. Yadda yadda.

When this one arrived, I stuck it on the CD player and began to read the two sides of A4 and a tour list sheet. It was 17 lines down on the first page that caught my eye. ââ¦â¦â¦â¦.at the same time there are no egos.â Fuck me, musicians without an ego? Thatâs a first; a claim akin to the new Tory Government promising to honour its General Election manifesto? LOL.

So, what we have here is a bunch of top UK players with stacks of pedigree (I always want to add the word âchumâ after pedigree!) and experience, playing as part of some big name bands and sought-after session guys on lots of different tours and albums.

Matt Taylor on guitar and vocals, who started this band with his colleague Steve Rushton, on drums. Matt has his own band The Motives and has played with Snowy White, Long John Baldry and a host of others. His debut solo album âRadio City Blues,â dropped in 1995.

Steve has played with Jeff Beck and Imelda May. The pair met at a Swiss festival and came up with the idea of a star-studded UK Supergroup. When the hangovers had subsided and they were back home, they had not forgotten that idea.

After jotting down their dream team wish list, a few calls and emails later and The Boom Band was born. Featuring not one, not two, not three but four, yes four lead guitarists.

Matt is joined by Jon Amor, Marcus Bonfanti and former England cricketer Mark Butcher on guitars and vocals. Jon is a member of UK blues legends The Hoax and has his own successful solo career. Marcus toured the world for 10 years as a session player, before releasing his debut solo album âHard Times,â in 2008. His subsequent albums have won him critical acclaim, and in 2010 he joined Ten Years After as their front man.

Mark was a very successful International sportsman and is no slouch on guitar. âButchâ started playing guitar at 13, and used to take his guitar on tour with the England cricket squad. His 2010 debut album, âSongs From Sun House,â prompted Mr Clapton to declare it as: âGreat stuff.â

Paddy Milner provides piano, organ and vocal, and is the go-to keys man in the UK. Touring with Jack Bruce until his death in 2014. Vastly experienced bassist Scott Wiber has now moved back home to Canada, after 12 years in London. He has played with many big names including Larry Carlton, Joe Bonamassa and Boy George. Since the album was recorded, drummer Steve Rushton has moved on too.

The album was recorded in a week. All four guitar men take turns at lead vocals too, and contributed to the songwriting. Bassist Scott Wiber offered up two of his songs: âSweet Alberta,â and âWaste My Time.â

The format for session guy ensembles making their own record, can often turn out to be a calculated, clinical, over-produced and sterile sound. With about as much atmosphere and feel as a Monday night in November in a Skegness disco bar.

Everyone trying to out do the next guy, lots of over blown solos and a musical wank fest! Usually, as soon as I read all about âthe Ex factorââ¦.this player is ex this band and ex that singerâ¦it usually turns me right off. I had an open mind with this one, knowing who these individual guys were.

Back to The Boom Bandâs PR sheet and I am told that: âEverbody brings something to the party, there are no weak links. And, perhaps remarkably at the same time there are no egos. Everyone has the experience and temperament to be able to sit back and let others shine and then step up and shine themselves when the time is right.â Iâll let you, dear reader, decide if that statement is factually accurate or not when you grab a copy and take a listen.

The band aimed to make the songs King, and not to give any one member a brighter spotlight than anyone else. The material is eclectic. Southern rock of Taylorâs âWe Can Work Together,â and dirty blues of Bonfantiâs âDiamond In The Rust,â before the cool soul of Butcherâs âUnder My Skin, âand the restraint of Mr Amorâs âMoonshine.â

The instrumental âMontyâs Themeâ penned by Matt Taylor gives the lads a chance to tear it up and let loose, a guitars and piano battle where the end result isâ¦â¦â¦again, you decide.

âButchâ wrote âFavour Bank Shuffle,â Marcus supplied âWhen You Come Home,â and the Matt Taylor cut, âRed Eye Of The Devil,â closes proceedings.

We get 10 tracks, a bunch of solid and respectable songs, plus four bonus acoustic cuts from Jon, Marcus, Butch and Matt. Some tasty vocal harmonies on these unplugged tracks. Two covers among them: Ray LaMontagneâs âYou Can Bring Me Flowers,â and Stevie Winwoodâs âCanât Find My Way Home.â Plus the tradâ track, âNobodyâs Fault But Mine,â arranged by the four guitarists. Plus an acoustic version of the previous Taylor-penned track, âWe Can Work Together. The CD was produced by Matt Taylor and the band.

The Boom Band are not just a studio outfit. They won many new friends at the Carlisle Rock & Blues Festival last year where they headlined, and as the house band for BBC Radio 2âs Paul Jonesâ annual charity concerts, where they backed Van Morrison and Robin Trower. They also played the main stage at a major festival in Holland last year. The recent CD launch was held at the Half Moon venue in London.
Words SIMON REDLEY

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