|The Urban Voodoo Machine - Bristol, Maverick Studios - 28th June 2013|
|Written by Nev Brooks|
|Thursday, 11 July 2013 03:00|
We are big fans of The Urban Voodoo Machine here at Uber Rock, which means that usually wherever they play there is at least one of the URHQ massive present. For this intimate show (the band’s Glastonbury warm up) we were out in force, and I for one was glad to see that our man from out West back in the saddle and rocking out with the best of us.
So why, are we so impressed with The Urban Voodoo Machine? Probably it has something to do with the fact that they are out there on their own, playing music for themselves, not following any trend, and in doing so picking up a following of like-minded individuals UK and now worldwide. This is due to their refusal to compromise on what is a fantastic rock n roll show the usual modus operandi of how the band draws you into their fraternity. That’s because live every member of The Urban Voodoo Machine gives 110%, and as part of the audience you would have to be dead not to get involved!! The band’s sheer energy picks you up and drags you along by the collars for the ride of your life and what a roller coaster it is.
Yet again this venue is a new one for me tonight and even with Johnny H Tours on board we struggle to find it That’s because Maverick Studios is on an industrial estate somewhere on the outskirts of Fishponds in Bristol, and as anyone who frequents these types of places on a regular basis knows, signposting is normally seen as a luxury rather than a necessity, but in saying that Uber Rock’s very own Mr. Sat Nav still got us there in plenty of time.
To say this was an intimate gig would be an understatement, something I discussed with the two ladies from Leeds as we queued for the solitary cistern (seat up or down? Mmmm) but it all adds to the feel of the night, how much closer is it possible to get to the band you like? Hats off though to Big Chris the venue’s owner though as they have installed a cracking sound rig in Maverick Studios and as a rehearsal room it is acoustically superb, but more than that it just cries out for these sort of ‘up close and personal’ types of events. I’ll be looking forward to a few more in the future.
So to tonight’s main attraction and as The Urban Voodoo Machine enter single file through the crowd, dressed head to toe in black and red of course, you feel the atmosphere (and temperature) go up a notch as we’re into ‘Last Dance Of The Silver Wolf which segues rather neatly into ‘No Bail Blues’ from the band’s ‘Bourbon Soaked…’ album. There is no real let up with The Urban Voodoo Machine and the next few numbers ‘High Jeopardy Thing’ and ‘Not With You’ fly by, before the ole Louisiana Blues kicks in with ‘Train Wreck Blues’, a newie on me which if this is anything to go by the new LP (‘Love, Drink And Death due in September 2013) will be a cracker. It’s got that old Urban Voodoo Machine vibe, but time spent in New Orleans has helped shape a slightly different sort of monster.
We hit familiar territory again with ‘Rather You Shot Me Down’ and ‘Always Out’, before we have the Slim led audience participation introduction to the classic ‘Orphans Lament’. This is quite brilliant stuff, especially when with around a few dozen of you in attendance there really is nowhere to hide. Then like a flash we are off into some new songs via ‘Crazy Maria’ and “Pipe And Slippers Man”, and I must say the new stuff fits so well with the old, you’d think it had always been part of the set, talk about balanced. One thing that hit me during the usual audience watching I tend to partake in whilst collecting my thoughts for a review sitting back (so to speak) listening to just the music is just how much the fiddle is now playing a part within the overall Urban Voodoo Machine sound, and tonight the playing of ‘The Kid’ was simply stunning.
How do you follow that? Well how about red headed siren Lucifire introducing my initial introduction to the band, ‘Love Song #666’ a brooding lament of love that really should not be, and then we’re into ‘The Real Criminals’ and what a band work out this turns out to be before the set proper closes down with what else but ‘Goodbye To Another Year”.
Encore wise we had the so fragile it could almost fall apart ‘Loretta’s Revenge’ plus a cracking cover of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s ‘Gang Bang’ dedicated to Big Chris. The final bits of the encore proved to be a let your hair down type of moment for the band as they rolled through ‘Shakin’ All Over’ snippets of ‘Suzie Q’ and even a tag version of Smoke On The Water, Slim dueling with Paul-Ronney Angel, accordion to guitar of course!!!!
Tonight was my third live sitting with The Urban Voodoo Machine, and I can say hand on heart every time has been different, every time an event in itself and every time I can’t wait for the next show. If you have yet to see The Urban Voodoo Machine, then get off your arse, get out there and find somewhere they are playing, I guarantee you won’t regret it.