The Limelight Theatre,
To quote their
Formed in 2013 Blacktop Deluxe's current four piece line up of Keith Howe - guitar/vocals (ex Blue on Black), GB Bartlett - guitar, Jamie Fyffe - drums and Dean Saunders - bass have been together since May 2016. Apparently the silent fifth member, a yellow plastic duck, is another story! They treated us to a preview of the pending third album with a rendition of the single ‘Robinson’s Shaft’, a song about Cornish mining and nothing to do with Poldark.
After the break in the 2 hour set were a couple of tracks from the debut EP, 'Dark Horses' with the laid back beat of ‘Money in My Pocket’, reminiscent of Free, and ‘The Wine’, apparently a favourite of Joe Bonamassa.
Liberally dispersed were tracks from BTD’s first album ‘Turn Up, Be Nice, Play Hard’. A change of mood was offered with ‘Out Of The Red’ and ‘Voodoo Slide’, the pounding drum and bass giving a southern rock edge to the music, akin to early ZZ Top. ‘Mustang 429’ had more muscle, just like the car and to me had more of a hint of AC/DC about it.
The rearrangement of Blue On Black’s ‘Man Down’, a homage to guitar heroes, featured Keith’s majestic solo. The lyrics offered a great game of ‘Spot The Legendary Song Title’…..
“He ‘Couldn’t Stand The Weather’, but he is ‘Alright Now’. ‘Hey Joe’ and ‘The Stealer’ come in to take a bow.
‘Angel Eyes’ watching him, down at ‘The
A change of pace was well received with a superb rendition of JJ Cale’s 'Magnolia', dedicated to absent friends. There was a switch of lead vocals when GB took us down to the delta with ‘Sweet Home Chicago’, and Canned Heat’s ‘Let’s Work Together’ finished a great evening’s entertainment with great music and great sound.
Words: Bronwen Harvey
Photos: Laurence Harvey