So a trip to the Robin 2 on a Monday night must mean something a bit special and indeed it is as Crow Black Chicken are making a welcome return during their current tour. A band who we first caught in Ireland about four years ago and were instantly drawn to the music which is pure raw-dirty blues and who in their own words “play blues from the deep south”, south of Ireland that is.
A tight three-piece who over the past few years have pulled off some great gigs, most recently two sets at Hard Rock Hell Blues in Sheffield where they went down a storm. Pulling influences from around the music scene they lay down a sound that moves around genres and tempos leaving you wondering what coming up next.
Christy O’Hanlon takes care of the guitar and vocals and seamlessly moves from whispering tones to a voice so rough it can strip paint. He is also equally at home playing slide acoustic or ripping out a string bending solo. Stephen McGrath on bass makes the stage his own as he throws out bluesy funky bass lines whilst Gev Barrett on drums is the steadying force to keep the others in line.
‘Skin Deep’ and ‘White Lightning’ show the funkier side of the band whilst ‘Jessie Mae’ shows the band shift the dynamics to subtle slide. “Rumble Shake” is CBC through and through, with its driving rhythm and deep wah on the bass, a style that you hear though a number of their tracks.
Christy is a fine storyteller and he throws fills between the tracks including how a dead deer became the logo for one of the tshirts and how they ended up with a song named after the Professor Pat McManus.
Bands like CBC play music that is not just there to be a filler but to make you think and push boundaries and break the rules, their sound is ever evolving and challenges the norm.
After a blisteringly good set they pull out a great cover of the Sun House classic ‘John The Revelator’ to bring the show to an end.
Due back over in November for a series of dates and they will certainly be on my hit list to see again.
Review and photos by Simon Dunkerley
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 March 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 March 2021.
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Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)
Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
HAYES & Y Empty Orchestra (indie)
KELSEY BOVEY Another World (indie)
NEPTUNE RAIN We Breathe The Same (indie)
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