Blues Move

Live at
The Torrington Sunday 9th February 2003

It's rare nowadays to come across a new band on the live circuit that pleasantly exceeds your expectations. That’s not to say there aren’t any good bands about. Generally speaking, the standard on the live club circuit usually surpasses the context in which it is being played.

And so it was that Blues Move made their debut at the Torrington. Relatively unknown at the outset, but kings for a night at the climax of their set, Blues Move is essentially half of Leicester's Mick Pini band plus Howard Smith on guitar/vocals (late of The Razors) and of course the brilliant Roger Inniss on bass (Ruby Turner/Steve Gibbons/Climax Blues band).

But before waxing lyric about Inniss and his 6 string cricket bat bass, let it be said that the whole band also comprising Julian "bithday boy" Crudgings and drummer Michael Hellier were his musical equal. As a unit Blues Move were tight, and as the first of two sets progressed they slipped into the realm of the inspired.

Front man Howard Smith comes on like a demented Wilko Johnson figure, but confusingly plays guitar like a cross between Sonny Landreth and Lowell George. "Get Out Of Jail" for example had a New Orleans feel and Smith worked his Sonny Landreth style groove to great effect on "Slow Train". With JC offering some lovely keyboard embellishments and the railroad rhythm section of Hellier/Inniss pumping to the max on the majestic "T-Bone Shuffle", the band seemed to visibly go up a notch as the audience roared them on.

Blues Move may lack what marketing parlance call a sexy angle, but as this gig demonstrated there's no substitute for class. And Blues Move have it in abundance.

Oh and Roger Inniss? Well the inevitable bass solo when it came, was simply spell binding, but subtle enough to carry the song on to an extra dimension, before the band slipped back into the groove. Moments such as these were once the preserve of top visiting sessioneers. In the context of this gig, Inniss's dexterity was one of several spell binding moments on a memorable night.

Click here to visit the BluesMove page, where Rob White has put video clips of Roger's amazing bass solo. And please let us know how you get on with the video experiment.

Pete Feenstra - Soundcheck Magazine