The Urban Voodoo Machine - York, The Duchess - 2nd June 2012 Print E-mail
Written by Ben Hughes   
Saturday, 09 June 2012 04:45


Tonight I could've stayed in and watched The Voice like the majority of the UK, content to be fed what the media tells us is good viewing for a Saturday night. Fortunately that is not my idea of a good night, I crave live rock 'n' roll to soothe my soul and, luckily, the Urban Voodoo Machine are in town to save the day. Paul-Ronney Angel's bunch of vagabond gypsy rock 'n' rollers are the perfect antidote to a weekend of supposed Jubilee celebrations, and one I am happy to inject into my system.


I saw these guys 18 months ago just around the corner at Fibbers, it was a great gig but since then they have released their second album, 'In Black 'N' Red', to the world and plenty of gigging has made them a finely tuned unit. Maybe it's the addition of the new songs, the fact that I know most of the songs real well now, or the added attraction tonight of the hottest saxophone and tuba playing duo ever to grace the stage of The Duchess. Whatever it is, this band are running on rocket fuel right now and show no signs of running out any time soon.


Tonight The Urban Voodoo Machine are a 20 legged groove machine, the core of singer Paul Ronney Angel and his fellow black 'n' red troubadours are tonight joined by Paul's wife Ane on tuba, a fiddle player and a saxophonist dressed like a burlesque ringleader. There is so much happening onstage it's hard to know where to look, it's a glorious technicolour mash upurban240 of sights and sounds and colour. The band logo backdrop frames the voodoo skull covered drum kit, set up for the two drummers who swap and change and keep the tribal beat.


The circus begins with the obligatory spaghetti western tinged 'Theme From The Urban Voodoo Machine', a perfect opener that leads straight into the great 'High Jeopardy Thing' followed quickly by current single 'Cheers For The Tears', both songs benefit from the full brass treatment.


'Love Song #666' is greeted with a cheer and sounds like an old friend now, as does the awesome 'Killer Sound'. On record 'Heroin (Put My Brothers In The Ground)' is a dark and sombre tune, but tonight it's been re-worked into an upbeat rock 'n' roll sing-a-long and it's all the better for it.


The Duchess has a barrier at the front of the stage which makes it difficult for Paul to get close and interact with the crowd as he likes to, yet he still manages to use it to his advantage thanks to a well placed box stage front. Throughout the show it is used as a stepping stone, from stage to crowd Paul is able to straddle the barrier mid song on this pedastal. It's not just him, as Ane and the fiddle player are coaxed into using it too. Crowd participation and interaction is always a part of the show and tonight is no different.


With a large majority of the set culled from the fantastic 'In Black 'N' Red' album there are many highlights, but if I was to pick a few then personally it was 'Goodbye To Another Year' and a rip roaring run through 'S.O.S. (Sink Or Swim)' that gets the whole room chanting in unison.


It's a long set, it didn't need to be, they could've played for an hour and people would have left happy, but the band give value for money and like to continue the party for as long as possible. They are to me the perfect festival band, giving off a Glastonbury-like vibe with every song they play.


The Urban Voodoo Machine are more than just a rock 'n' roll band, they combine elements of cabaret, blues and gypsy music to good effect and the overall emphasis is on entertainment, and boy were we entertained tonight. Live they are a living, breathing rock 'n' roll circus like no other band I have seen, and I would highly recommend joining their party.


To pick up your copy of 'In Black 'N' Red' - CLICK HERE