Every now and then a buzz imperceptibly builds up around a new band on the circuit and by the time Mike Brookfield Band hits the Boom Boom Club they waste no time in clinically dispatching any weight of expectation with a mellifluous rock-blues set that has something for everyone. There’s rock, blues, funk, soul, great songs and virtuoso guitar playing to match Mike’s accessible vocal range.
Armed with little more than a batch of great reviews for an impressive self released debut album ‘Love Breaks The Fall’, Mike makes the most of the opportunity of opening up for the award winning guitarist Aynsley Lister.
Such is the maturity of his songs and the fullness of his tone, that it takes barely a brace of numbers to engage a receptive audience and give them the full extent of his abilities.
His fluid playing, crisp solos and dynamic arrangements make light of the power trio set-up. Backed by a fine Dublin rhythm section comprising Gordon Sheridan on bass and Ger Farrell on drums, he launches into the first of several lilting melodies with an array of deep tones that allow him to say so much without overplaying.
The cornerstone to the set appears to be the way he cleverly shapes 8 diverse self penned rock/blues songs and a cover, in such a way that they carry a familiar ring to them and draw the crowd in.
He also cleverly explores a historic lineage on ‘A Message For Willie Johnson’ and such is his confidence in the material that he premieres 5 new songs, of which the heartfelt ‘Gun Crime’ rocks intensely and the sparse ‘High Class Shoes’ is an exercise in dynamics.
He immediately connects with crowd on the ironically titled and Alvin Lee influenced ‘All My Heroes Are Junkies’ and adds some ripping slide on expansive post-Hendrix feel of ‘The Killing Line’.
He builds the set step by step and bravely slips into 7 minutes of the spacious ‘Peace For Joe’, on which his gossamer notes float round the room as if sending individual messages to the mesmerized crowd.
It’s another object lesson is taste, tone, technique and use of space, as he builds up the fabric of the solo with real feel and intensity before climaxing with a surprising feather light outro that brings warm applause from the crowd.
He finally launches into the sing-along rocker ‘Zombie Craze’, complete with a dazzling solo and a touch of wah-wah to round off the perfect introduction to a band that has just won over a new set of fans. Job Done!
Review by Pete Feenstra
Photos by John Bull/Rockrpix Photography
Pete Feenstra presents his Rock & Blues Show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, and “The Pete Feenstra Feature” on Sundays at 19:00
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