The Blue Devils at The
New Inn, Whitstable. Saturday 13 June 2015
They say 'the Devil
has all the best tunes' ... if so, he's given more than a generous
slice to The Blue Devils. While we know that Jim Leverton's
beautiful bass lines, and the wonderful tone and guitar skills
of Richard Studholme are the results of decades of hard work,
commitment, inspiration and experience, perhaps like Robert
Johnson, a gift from that big Blue Devil at 'the Crossroads'
helped things along a little.
Either way along with the terrific
Graham Walker back on the drummer's seat, the 'Devs' were an
inspired choice for the newly refurbished and managed New
Inn to lead the charge for both 'roots' and self penned music of
the very highest quality on a humid June night.
The Blue Devils
never let you down as they present top notch music with vigour
and freshness every time. They play from the heart and soul,
and that's exactly where it's received.
The dedicated music
area at The New
Inn has just the right laid back intimate ambience
for music of this calibre; a lovely wooden structure with music
images clad walls, candles on the tables, and room for dancing,
seemingly fine acoustics, and great sight lines of the full
Of course Jim's, Graham's, and Richard's music credentials
can be Googled, and it's a very worthwhile thing to do, but
far better to see and hear them. As for example their rendition
of Hendrix's The Wind Cries Mary when you feel with
the body and emotions the musical lineage they bring, Sometimes
it's implicit as per the music connection and friendship between
Jim Leverton and the late Noel Redding (bass player in The
Jimi Hendrix Experience) as those stately bass lines are played.
Meanwhile Richard doesn't imitate Jimi Hendrix but instead
imbues the affecting melody and lyrics with a deep blues
sensibility that has the power to evoke timeless themes of
love, wonder, sex and death; preparing everyone to dance
on the next number in their own chosen way, whether it was
the fine jive moves on display or a discrete tap of the toes
to the uplifting likes of Chuck Berry's Carol or Promised
Land. The Blue Devils music defies you to keep still,
and will definitely embrace and move you.
A good hearted crowd
of 'Devs' aficionados came out to welcome them to this vibrant
and buzzin' addition to the already impressive local music
scene, and to feel the spontaneous joy of when The Blue Devils
strut their much loved stuff.
As we travelled together through
their superb, eclectic sets of self written songs, and touching
base with the blues, country rock, rock'n'roll, Dylan, Stones,
and many points between, as always with the Devs wide repertoire
it's hard to identify stand out numbers, because to use an
over worked phrase (but in this case true), "It's all good!"
... however, the sensual blues philosphising of Willie Dixon's
The Same Thing has become a highlight. Also a fabulously
appropriate Gloria played on the same day the News had announced
Van Morrison's knighthood had the crowd virtually levitating
to such an extent that had the famously grumpy Sir Van popped
his head in the door I could imagine him being well chuffed
By the time The Small Faces All Or Nothing was delivered,
elevated as it is by Jim's long musical association with Steve
Marriott, it seemed to define the essence of a night with The
13 June 2015 Blue Devils; there are no half measures with this
band, it really is All Or Nothing. Jim's bass playing and
vocals take this writer and I'm sure many folks to a place
where words don't serve, but a German record producer tried
when he told Jim "We are liking ze groove!"
was completely in sympatico subtle connection with the musical
force of nature that comprises Messrs Studholme and Leverton,
and did I mention the great vocals ? showcased as they were
on the ever popular Gram Parsons song Ooh Las Vegas and on
Contract from the wonderfully named 'New Riders Of The Purple
With such a great night you don't want it to end, but
end it must, and with Richard's exhilarating take on the the
convoluted vocal of Bob's Subterranean Homesick Blues sung
with sincerity and panache, while the band hurtled through
some thrilling riffs, the sweat was well and truly rolling
from both band and punters. Encores were yelled for and generously
given with Dead Flowers to 'slow things down a bit' and
a righteous Mona to raise us up again and out into the night.
A wonderful time was had by all, and it bodes very well indeed
for the future when the fairly new venture that the revamped
New Inn is,
can set the bar so high by hosting a gig of such engaging
and professional joy filled music.
Submitted by Nigel
Find their next gig: The