|Elvis Fontenot & The Sugar Bees @ Old Brown Jug, Newcastle-Under-Lyme|
Many thanks to good friend Mark Shed for the invite to go to the Newcastle Under Lyme Blues & Jazz festival. It takes place at various venues (Pubs) around the town over the May bank holiday weekend. Most of the venues are free and some charge a small amount as they get packed into the evening.
We arrived mid afternoon and got to see various bands throughout the afternoon/evening of various styles and of various abilities whilst sampling some local beverages. The absolute stand out of our visit though for me was the mighty fine Elvis Fontenot and The Sugar Bees - "Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp 'n' Roll from the bayous of Staffordshire" — at the Old Brown Jug.
They were quite simply brilliant with a well practised set which was captivating, foot tapping and with an energising intensity which you don't find often. Vocal and instrumental duties were split and swapped between all members of the band so there is plenty of variety to keep you interested.
After a break which was longer than expected, as the drummer couldn't be found, the second half saw the temperature rise and the dancing/jigging/foot tappin catch on throughout the crowded venue.It ended with everyone wanting more which is a testament to their appeal.
Subsequently bought their Cd "Three" from their website and I have been playing it an awful lot. As with the live show it combines originals and their interpretations of standards. I've never been a fan of Tom Waits but their version of "I don't Wanna grow up" is excellent. It doesn't quite catch the intensity of the live show but it will more than suffice until I can get to see them again.