Another memorable night at the Muse saw the very welcome return of some much-loved friends.
Bluesman Mike Francis kicked off the evening with an impressive set of mostly self-penned blues numbers, performed with great energy and commitment, with inspiration from some of the greats, including Leadbelly and Janis Joplin. His 12-string guitar work, backed up by looper and drum, helped to create a rhythmic sound that is distinctively his own.
After a short break for beer and pizza, it was time for the much anticipated return of the Achievers…
It’s hard to explain just how fantastic the Achievers are as a live band – you really do have to be there to appreciate the way that they fill a venue with such a good-time relaxed atmosphere.
Although their music contains elements of rhythm & blues, they combine this with diverse influences of Americana, old-time country, gospel, soul and classic rock & roll, to produce a sound that is hard to categorise, but incredibly enjoyable, fun to listen to, and impossible to resist dancing to. The strand of humour running through many of their songs just adds to the enjoyment.
They were on great form, their raunchy and rhythmic songs such as ‘Careful Sabrina’ showcasing their ability to play brilliantly as a tight cohesive unit, and getting the audience up onto their feet in appreciation. Their gospel-influenced songs are distinguished by some wonderfully melodic vocal harmonies that make their overall sound something truly special.
A particular mention must be made of Rufus Fry – not only for the way that his accomplished harmonica is integral to the overall sound and rhythm, but also for the engagingly wonderful trombone playing. We shall expect to hear more of that trombone next time, Rufus!
They finished off their main set with their excellent song “Noone Remembers” – but it’s safe to say we will in fact remember them for a long time. The audience absolutely loved this band, and we do hope to see them again soon.
As ever, many thanks to our compere Mr Paul Keddle, to our wonderful hosts The Muse, and to everyone involved in putting on this gig. Grateful thanks also to The Pizza Box, working hard outside on a rainy evening to keep us all extremely well fed.
Photos by Barry Hill
Review by Jim Kerslake