Tim Elliott has been piloting Blues’N’Trouble for thirty years now, so it’s little wonder that they know how to warm up a crowd on a cold December night. Bo Diddley’s ‘Cadillac’ may be a rather prosaic set opener, but they hit their stride with the soulful ‘In My World’ and the country blues ‘Travellin Light’.
The template is Chicago R&B with a shot of boogie, and in that vein ‘Five Long Years’ is a perfect fit, though ‘Rock The Joint’ sounds like just what it is – a forerunner to ‘Rock Around The Clock’. But when they build up a head of steam, as on the self-penned ‘Try Anything Twice’ and the jump blues of ‘Downtown Saturday Night’, the temperature starts to climb. And the more the sound becomes infused with Feelgood-ish energy, the hotter it gets, with Elliott reaching for a Howlin’ Wolf/Lee Brilleaux growl on vocals and harp. Meantime Angus Rose adds some piano and organ frills to the solid foundations.
‘Watermelon Baby’ and the brief but bonkers ‘Up Against The Wall For A Quickie’ add a further dash of roguish pub rock sensibility to the mix. The odd song along the way may not quite hit the bullseye, but it really doesn’t matter. B’N’T know how to turn up, plug in, and crank up a party.