Paul Lamb and the King Snakes
Live at the 100 Club (2002)
British R&B the Way it Should be Played
Recorded on May 14th 2002 at the world famous 100 Club in London Town, then re-polished and re-released in 2013, Paul Lamb and the King Snakes were a band right at the top of their game; finally finding a sound that suited them and the public alike.
Playing a form of Blues that was deemed ‘old fashioned’ at the time; and too old to ride the coat tails of a burgeoning Mod Revival market, the King Bees continued to plough a long and lonely furrow to a hardy bunch of loyal fans all across Europe and it all paid off with a blistering set of raw Blues worthy of anything that ever came out of Memphis, Klooks Kreek or the Club a GoGo that night.
After an introduction worthy of 5 Live Yardbirds, the band come out of the blocks like a 100m sprinter on steroids and whisky with a rip-roaring Mad About You.
The band are as tight as a drum all night; but songs like To Keep a Woman and I’m Going Down are truly exceptional even when judged against the likes of Them, The Stones and the Manfreds who all sounded like this 40 years previously.
Although not radio friendly; everything comes together on Hootin’ and Screamin’ with Lamb sounding like the most Blues Wailing harmonica player in the world while the band keep time like a £2000 Rolex; and the crowd sound like they are having an absolute blast as they call out ‘Hey’ on the chorus. This, my friends is what live music is all about.
As you’d expect many three minute album tracks get expanded upon and the final three songs of the evening clock in at a total of 24 minutes; but the time sails by in an instant, with The Good Stuff sounding 10x better than anything Jools Holland or Van the Man have done in years; then every band member gets to shine in the spotlight on all eleven minutes of the sultry and soul filled Open Up.
The set and the album closes with the celebrated Makes You Feel Good which is exactly what this album and Paul Lamb and The King Snakes do with bells!
Paul Lamb may be the greatest living Blues harmonica player in the world and the King Snakes may also rack up awards like wallpaper; but for this lad; nothing will compare to those night when he was playing in the Blues Burglars at the much missed, Broken Doll in Newcastle.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way let’s see them do it all again on Sunday at the Stanley Blues Festival!