Wee change of my normal heavy pace in Bannermans tonight for Mick Ralphs Blues Band, but first up we have the support band – Rabbit Punch from Inverness.
Rabbit Punch were late in tonight due to traffic on the way down from Inverness, explained guitarist/lead vocals man Alexander Rennie when I caught up with him after their set. The band have been labelled Blues Punk and you can kinda see why, with everyone from Motley Crue to Black Flag listed as musical influences. They reminded me of The Doors at times with their classic rough Blues sound.
Alexander has a real old school classic voice that goes well with the band’s style of music and he can play that guitar. I am not forgetting the rhythm section in the form of cool, calm bass player Fin Walker who kept those bass lines flowing. At the back on the drums we have Adrian Macikowski who played a blinder, I have to say.
The band played with a great Rock/Blues feel about them with Alexander looking every bit the seasoned veteran on stage. The band tear through a short but intense set which the less than full crowd really enjoyed, making the trip down from Inverness all worthwhile I hope. I am looking forward to their album which will be out soon, one for Moshville to review I think. When the boys from Rabbit Punch appear in your area go see them. Support these bands, people. They are the future of Rock n Roll.
If you don’t know who Mick Ralphs is then shame on you. In-between playing for Bad Company and Mott the Hoople, Mick Ralphs is at Bannermans. Both Christian who runs the pub/venue and myself are bemused by the low turnout tonight given the actual legendary status of the man but onto the gig itself.
The band rip through an amazing setlist of original tracks from the band’s fantastic new album If it Ain’t Broke, starting with “I Don’t Care” and covers from the likes of Freddie King, Robert Johnson, Albert King etc. The Blues Band are all veterans with their fingers in many famous pies including “The Voice” that is Adam Barron (pun intended) who carried all the tunes with the reverence that they all deserved.
We are treated to Bad Company in the form of “Feel like Makin’ Love”, “Can’t Get Enough” and “Too Bad” which Mick tells us Bad Company have never played live. The band tear through an amazing version of “Shakey Ground” by the Temptations and even a J.B. Lenoir cover, “Mama Talk to Your Daughter”. This is Mick and the band having fun with themselves and Jim asked all of us our names which was funny – that is how busy it wasn’t! Regardless, they had fun with that all night and I tell you what – you would never guess there was only a few here given the noise which even surprised the band.
When you watch a legend like Mick up close and personal, watching his fingers flying over his Les Paul from a couple of feet away, it makes all the difference compared to those big lifeless halls like the Glasgow Hydro where he will be playing in Scotland next with Bad Company later on this month. I could go on and on but watching him play right in front of me makes it all the more special and you get to watch every finger movement and every facial expression you can see how much the Blues mean to the man.
The band were amazing from Jim Maving playing slide guitar with a empty pint glass (which may have been a sly plea for a refill) to Dicky Baldwin’s relaxed bass playing, Damon Sawyer on the drums kept the beat going in a way only a blues drummer can and I will let Adam off with appearing on The Voice as he carried the night along with his soulful vocals. This was a night for true Blues fans and the few who came along were treated to a right royal night of Blues and laughter from a man who truly loved getting back to the smaller club scene to play the music that inspired him.
If you get the chance and he plays with the band near you, don’t just sit at home, go see him and the boys play as he ain’t going to be around forever. For those of you sitting in the gods watching Bad Company in a few weeks, who never turned up tonight, this was definitely your loss to see the man, the legend up close and personal… and to easily meet and chat to him and the band afterwards at the merch table which will not happen at the Hydros of this world unless you pay for meet and greet. Which you get all for free tonight.
All photos by Gary Cooper.
- I Don’t Care
- Born Under a Bad Sign
- Shakey Ground
- Well Connected
- Feel Like Makin’ Love
- Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me
- Roll The Dice
- Same Old Blues
- Hide Away
- Instrumental break from Mick
- Cross Road Blues
- Tennessee Whiskey
- Just a Little Bit
- Too Bad
- Should Know Better
- Going Down
- Mama Talk to Your Daughter
- Can’t Get Enough
- Sweet Home Chicago (encore)