Concert Review – The Stumble – Lichfield Guildhall – December 21st 2012

Concert Review – The Stumble – Lichfield Guildhall – December 21st 2012

Reviewed by: Ben Macnair

A set of finely honed songs, and the spirit of the eternal Saturday night were both present when the blues rock band The Stumble made their debut at Lichfield Guildhall.

Touring to promote their third album, ‘Lie to me’ the six piece band played a selection of songs from their three album career to an enthusiastic audience.

Led by singer Paul Melville, and featuring saxophonist Simon Anthony, guitarists Colin Black and Rob Livesy, and the dextrous rhythm section of Boyd Tonner and bass player Cameron Sweetnam the set ranged from slow atmospheric blues pieces, full of virtuoso soloing, to more upbeat pieces that borrowed elements from any number of genres.

The concert started with the title track from ‘Lie to me’ with its unison guitar and saxophone parts and rock groove, whilst the mood was changed for the more brooding ‘World is Tough’. ‘All over again’ was a mid pace song, but the highlight for many during the first half was ‘My Life’ which started life as a slow, stylish pop ballad, giving full rein to Paul Melville’s voice, and sympathetic support from the rest of the band, before a coda, which had something of a ska/raggae backbeat. The upbeat ‘The Houngan’ saw some sharp singing and playing, whilst ‘Jumping of the Loving Train’ was a brooding, minor chord song, featuring some fine soloing from Rob Livesy. A reading of ‘Meet me at the bottom’ finished the first set.

The second set featured some shorter songs, played with the intent of getting the audience dancing, and once again incendiary soloing from the guitars and saxophones. ‘Little Margaritta’ was an upbeat jump jive piece, whilst ‘360 degree blues’ straddled the stools of blues and moody rock.

The concert was finished with two cover versions. ‘Bring it on home to me’ was simplified with a heavier groove, but was a fine performance, whilst the encore of ‘Give me back my wig’ featured some fine slide guitar from Colin Black and good support from the rhythm section who changed pace and intensity with each chorus. The band is well worth seeing live, and will be appearing in Shenstone in 2013. Visit www.thestumble.com for more information.

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