AUGUST 2: BLUES NOIR FROM THE DEEP SOUTH PACIFIC
Tom Rodwell & Coco Davis – blues noir couple from the Deep South Pacific.
Doors open 8pm
RADIO NEW ZEALAND (Nick Bollinger): “You won’t find a more individual, eclectic and rhythmically compelling take on this music anywhere.”
METRO (Gary Steel): “This is no dry exercise in ethnomusicology but a subtle reinvention of the most daring and entertaining aspects of music styles long thought atrophied.”
NME: “Tom Rodwell is Sheffield’s answer to Lightnin’ Hopkins.”
BLUES IN LONDON: “Rodwell manages to eschew the cliches that beset blues music. By turns wild, angry, hypnotic and sensual, it’s as uncompromising as it is funky and some of the best live music I’ve seen.”
Tom Rodwellʼs critically acclaimed debut album LIVE HUMBLE follows years of extensive touring in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the US, Switzerland and Holland. Rodwell and his band Storehouse are now an established independent club and festival act. He appears this year in the Netherlands with his partner Coco Davis, an expert in red-lipped / black-hearted female blues; songs of vengeance and voodoo. The pair have recently appeared at the Hongerige Wolf festival in the north of the Netherlands.
Rodwellʼs music is based in hard blues minimalism, but filtered through an improvisatory, no-fixed-arrangements approach. As influences from free improv, spirituals, calypso and Juju music have filtered into his style, this flexible approach has made his guitar playing harder to categorise, yet more suggestive and resonant for audiences tired of the cliches that beset blues.
Similarly, Rodwellʼs vocals and song choice – usually half-remembered fragments of traditional lyrics – have deliberately mixed messages, with the sacred and profane competing for space on the dancefloor. “The feeling is the only content of this music,” he is fond of saying, focussing attention on subtext, accentuation, and social function.
Rodwellʼs reinvention of blues as a dance form, (his raucous live show has appeared in hundreds of clubs, festivals, galleries, rent parties and dive bars internationally since 2003), upsets purists, but also those who see this apparently ʻeasyʼ music as one-dimensional and static. It is instead, he insists, music that is still mutating into new shapes, away from the modern gaze, somewhere where rock and roll never happened.