Last night at the wonderful Staines Riverside Club we witnessed rare magic when WILLY FINLAYSON AND THE HURTERS came to town bringing their smooth quality rock and soft ‘n’ soulful covers.
The last time we saw Willy in Staines was with his band project HALF MEAL TICKET, then with Steve Simpson (now in retirement) and Dean Barnes (much missed.)
Edinburgh born Willy is a talented guitarist, composer and extraordinary vocalist and he fronted Bees Make Honey (1974 ) and later the famous country rock band Meal Ticket. They provided the theme for the brilliant play-for-today “Dominick Hide”.
In staines The Hurters played songs like the award-winning “She Will Be Loved” [Maroon 5] with its insistent chorus.
These were emotionally rendered, and even at times perhaps overwrought. Though Willy’s smouldering carnation-cream and tobacco voice helped alleviate any anguish.
Classy blues numbers, such as “Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile (Every Woman I Know)” (Ry Cooder, 1980) had good rebound and veritable trim.
And for the many upbeat numbers (Bruce Springsteen is a favourite songwriter) Willy provided eloquent slur to go with that amazing golden brogue.
The great revelation of the night was the “new” guitarist Dave Colquhoun.
Dave is actually an experienced session man, currently with Rick Wakeman’s band.
He has his own band projects and previously worked with Go West, Paul Young, Belinda Carlisle, T’pau, Bananarama and, of course, Bucks Fizz.
Dave added bullets of masculinity and power to ballads such as “Hungry Heart” or dark twists of sadness or tiny bee stings of articulation… In other words, he provided nuance and fragrance to every soulful song. Such was his impressive play that he earned several bravos of his own during the evening.
Tempo was provided by acclaimed blues bassist Malcolm Hoskins who was a firm and steadfast rhythmic-energy maker.
Towards the end of the evening we were treated to a few songs from “surprise guest” LIZA MARSHALL.
Her husky chocolate-syrup voice always wins applause, and her smooth song-choice included the singalong gospel number “People Get Ready” [Curtis Mayfield 1965.] This allowed Dave to express his more imaginative and jazzy side.
As usual, a very fine evening of quality musical entertainment in Staines.
Words & Images: @neilmach 2017 ©