Gig review: ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD, CANDY KANE BAND, TEXAS CANNONBALLS – Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 12 July 2015

Royal Southern Brotherhood -  Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 12 July 2015

As Candy Kane tells the crowd, the French have always supported music and the arts, and tonight it seems they are supporting an American blues export drive it.

Texas Cannonballs do what it says on the tin. You can take the boys out of Texas, but they never lose their musical heritage.

Hector Watt is a magnificent rhythm guitarist with a lived-in, growled out vocals and Chicago native Dave Herrero bring presence to bear on roadhouse rocking with muscular solo’s and a resonant voice.

Texas Canonballs -  Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 12 July 2015

The whole unit is held together by the formidable Austin based player/vocalist Bret Coats. They play the real stuff that originally gave Austin its name as a musical hotbed. They also play a rocking number called ‘Texas Tumbleweed’, which neatly sums up their style.

Texas Canonballs -  Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 12 July 2015

Candy Kane is a crowd pleaser, big on image, essential communication and good time rocking. She’s a self confessed white trash girl with a limited vocal, but she surrounds herself with a mighty band. Laura Chavez, is surely one of the most underrated rocking guitar players on the planet.

She explores gnawing, sparse and ringing tones and contrasting bass string licks of such resonance, that you patiently wait for them to complete an arc above your head, before they gently return to earth and the band returns to the song.

Candy Kane -  Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 12 July 2015

Her ascending guitar lines are intense enough to transform even the most mundane song into something essential, while man mountain Bobby Abarca’s booming bass shakes the stage to its foundations.

All the band’s elements are perfectly captured on ‘Superhero’, the kind of inspirational song that perfectly defines the unique persona of Candy Kane.

Royal Southern Brotherhood -  Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 12 July 2015

If Royal Southern Brotherhood had a mountain to climb, they did so with plenty to spare. Put simply, they came, they saw and they conquered.

If they regard the summer festival season as a test drive for the new model, it doesn’t, show, their blistering set is big on solos, tightly wrapped dynamics and lots of soul.

Royal Southern Brotherhood -  Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 12 July 2015

They strut, they funk, they rock and roll and above all they ‘Don’t Look Back’. Tyrone Vaughan is an object lesson in cool – all fluid solos with intricate notes, while Bart Walker is a blunderbuss guitarist with an angelic, soulful voice.

The band light the blue touch paper as the dervish like Cyril Neville launches himself into ‘Don’t Look Back’ and the band take thing up a level on the huge sounding ‘Reach My Goal.’  If there’s a better band on the blues circuit at present I haven’t heard them.

Review by Pete Feenstra
Photos by Anne Pioton

Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 12 July 2015


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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)

Power Plays w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

MILES NIELSEN AND THE RUSTED HEARTS Hands Up (indie)
THE FARGO RAILROAD COMPANY Something In The Water (indie)
THE DARK ELEMENT If I Had A Heart (Frontiers)
LIBERTY LIES A Thousand People (indie)
DIRTY SHIRLEY Here Comes The King (Frontiers)
CARRY THE CROWN Runaway (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 WORK OF ART Exhibits (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SIGN X Like A Fire (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 JACK BROADBENT Moonshine Blue (Creature Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)



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