Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Cracking hour of blues rock from one of Scotland’s high-voltage ensembles.
Down to the half-light of the Chambers Street Jazz Bar for an evening of blues. But at least these days you can actually see what’s going on. Roll back ten years, pre-smoking ban, and there’d have been a fug in there denser than the London smogs of the 1950’s. The irritant these days is far more visible – a plethora of smartphones focused on the stage, their holders too busy to give their full attention to the wonderful sounds cascading all around them, too intent on capturing a moment in time to post somewhere in the ether that is the internet.
And giving your full attention to Main Street Blues was essential to appreciate their up-tempo electric blues and top quality rhythm and blues which they imbued with their own stamp of soul and funk influences. The band came together about five years ago and have quickly established themselves as exciting electric blues band with the energetic Derek Smith on lead guitar and vocals, the laid-back John Hay on bass, the Falstaffian Ian Hanna on keyboards and George Logan on drums.
Another packed Jazz Bar was treated to a set including Hard Luck Woman, Before The Bullets Fly, Fade To Blue, Tin Pan Alley, Cold Bed, Big Legged Woman and many more, including hits from BB King, Mike Zito, Freddie King and others who have influenced the band’s development and style.
Arrangements were tight and balanced with Smith’s husky vocals and guitar riffs backed with solid bass and drums together with occasional forays on the keyboard from the gifted Ian Hanna that created an overall effect that bounced off the walls, getting the audience tapping its collective feet in time to the pulsating music.
Four very talented musicians, some great blues with some interesting twists all delivered in an atmospheric venue just made for this kind of entertainment. Can’t really ask for much more. There’s one more gig on the last day of the Fringe (28th). If you fancy going along, I’m sure it will be worthwhile.