Blues!

The hour-long musical and cultural immersion created by the Blueswater Collective would have received a perfect five stars if they had started as strongly as they finished. There was a feeling of irritation with the time it took the band to get going. It almost felt like they had forgotten to warm-up in the panic of the get-in and, as a result, the energy was lost at the beginning. Despite these teething problems, musically this is an amazing show. The small venue gives the audience a feeling of intimacy you would normally only experience at a jam session, yet the songs were performed with a sense of the epic. The show follows a vague plot, whizzing the viewer through a blues tutorial that spans the best part of 80 years. They begin with the soft acoustic notes of the lead singer, and develop into a range of rock and roll, and funk. The set features many timeless works by Eric Clapton, Elvis, and Big Mama Thornton before finishing on Muddy Waters. The group also get progressively bigger, jumping from a two to a twelve-person band which included the fittingly soulful vocals of two female backing singers and a stick-twirling drummer. Music comes naturally to the band as the guitarists’ instruments seem an extension of their own arms and the brass component brought glorious warmth to the overall performance. Their engagement with the audience was equally effective as their professional but relaxed style was rewarded with a standing ovation at the end of the night, and there was a modest but eager crowd gathered outside the venue in order to catch a glimpse of the band.Despite a few glitches, everyone in the audience was beaming by the end of the night; even the grumpy old men in the front row could not resist singing and clapping along. I overheard one audience member say they wished there had been a dance floor, a suggestion Blueswater should perhaps consider for their career after the Fringe...

Reviews by Louise Hemfrey

Cluedo

★★★

The End

★★★★

Broken Wing

★★★★

Mah Hunt

★★★★★

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The Blurb

Ninety years of blues. Sixty minutes to play it. From Robert Johnson to Stevie Ray and everything in between, Blues! is a gig covering the history of the genre that is sure to get your mojo working. www.theblueswater.com

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