Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Geoff Achison - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 18 March 2018

Australian guitarist and vocalist Geoff Achison brings some much needed warmth to a chilly Sunday night in Edinburgh, and it’s not just a transfusion of Aussie sunshine.
Achison and the UK version of his Souldiggers are purveyors of a singular brand of laid back, soulful funk.  Stylistically and vocally the richness of Chris Rea springs to mind, and Dire Straits on some levels, and – er, Steely Dan?  Okay, well, we’ll get to that.
Opening up with ‘Crazy Horse’, what’s immediately apparent is Achison’s inventiveness as
Geoff Achison - "Yay, tell it man!"
a guitarist.
  Fresh and unusual tones are coaxed and teased from his six-string as a matter of course, with the strings picked from all angles to add different accents.  It’s a theme that continues throughout the evening.  He’s ably abetted by the Souldiggers too, with drummer Sam Kelly in particular bringing da swing to proceedings – along with vocal exhortations to his main man of “Yay, tell it man!”
Paul Jobson on keys is an effervescent presence too, but in a different vein offers some nicely liquid piano accompaniment to the mellow ‘My Work Is Done’ (I think), before Achison cranks it up, before adding some suitably wiry slide to the loose funk of ‘High Wire’ before his band take five as he straps on an acoustic.
On ‘Stoned Again’, by his Dutch-Australian mentor Dutch Tilders, Achison delivers a nifty bit of picking on his solo – and there’s another Knopfler echo.  ‘Delta Dave’ meanwhile, from his latest album Another Mile, Another Minute, ripples and weaves with ease as it pays a tasteful tribute to a famous Melbourne blues busker.
With the band back on stage they get into Muddy Waters’ ‘Sugar Sweet’, turning it into a funky jam.  It’s blues man, but not, I’ll warrant, as Muddy knew it.  And hey, Kelly, bass man Andy Hodges and Jobson on keys cook it up pretty damn good.
They close with ‘Working My Way Back Home’, also from the latest album, which exemplifies Achison’s classy songwriting – oh yeah, and his knack for some Steely Dan jazzy chordings.  Told you I'd get there.
The shuffling ‘Summer Time’ is a good time encore, and what better title to sum up the warm and mellow tones of Geoff Achison and the UK Souldiggers?  Get out and see them, and bask in the rays.

Look up details of Geoff Achison's UK tour dates till mid-April here.

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