Matt Henshaw Recommends … The Bobcats

Seeing as we’re having a bluesy Christmastime my next recommendation is for the blues explosion that is The Bobcats. Rural raucous country blues is the order of the day, rumbling toms, rolling basslines and crunchy licks seems to be the soup du jour.

Rocking behind the drum kit it Art Pridmore who looks every inch as though he’d be as comfortable behind the wheel of a combine harvester as he does effortlessly knocking out solid loops of rhythmic fury, and Dan Fraser-Betts plays the bass like a nimble and dexterous jazz musician who’s somehow stumbled into a blues band, and probably feels kind of how Jack Bruce must have done playing with Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton in Cream. A very solid and talented rhythm section indeed.

Frontman Stu Crown I had had the pleasure of seeing acoustically a couple of times before I saw the Bobcats and whilst his howling blues and seeming attempts to saw the guitar in half with his hand whilst playing was a pleasure to witness and behold, it didn’t prepare me for how much I would enjoy watching the full electric blast of The Bobcats.

Stu, with a wealth of knowledge in blues music and a voice that had me believing he was many years my senior I was further shocked to learn he was two years my junior at a subsequent meeting ! A tale of alcohol and drug abuse there for you kids from myself and Stu, you might get a nice unique voice but you’ll probably look as dishevelled and hairy as we do in our mid-twenties (and that’s a joke before anyone starts suggesting that I’m recommending drugs and alcohol to improve your vocal skills, tone and resonance, because that is simply not true … listen to Liam Gallagher circa 1994, 2004 then next year in 2014 for a reference on that theorem).

It seems fitting that I’m writing this with some home-made bread, tomato soup, peppermint tea, a fruit smoothie featuring apples, melon, pineapple, oranges and unpeeled kiwis – so much nutrition in the skin of those little hairy bad boys – that Mr Crown and I have had many a discussion on all things rural, rustic and pastoral, a keen craftsman and ardent follower of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra I feel as though I’ve found somewhat of a musical kindred spirit, excellent stuff, and it always helps when someone like The Beatles too. Plus, he’s in a musical power couple with a young “protest singer” by the name of Meri Everitt from the joyfully entitled band The Flying Kangaroo Alliance, hit them up if you like a little punk and/or grunge in your bowl of musical nutrience … personally I’m feasting on the hearty blues and full of soul sound of The Bobcats and I hope you will too.

And now because I’m not one for scouring links and putting other people’s tunes up on my blog here’s my heaviest bit of blues rockin’ for you all this Boxing Day … you’ve all got Google, do it for yourself … you won’t be disappointed …

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