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Subject: HSB hit Dundee

Robert Stuart
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Date Posted: 12:55:48 11/16/17 Thu

Match Report: Hamish Stuart Band, Gardyne Theatre, Dundee 15/11/2018

“I was there, and I watched it happen. He was champion, the greatest ever seen”, well actually there were six champions on stage. From Ian Thomas’ first drum beat of the intro for ‘WorkTo Do’ we knew this one was going the distance, but it would end in the inevitable knockout … as it always does. A packed house was treated to a first half of the Isley’s ‘Work To Do’ followed up by the Hamish penned Chaka Khan hit ‘Whatcha Gonna Do For Me’ which the band make such a groove-fest you just want to get on down and shake your stuff (and I have more to shake than most !). New numbers from the 360 album – that’s ‘cos it was made by 3 guys over sixty, according to Hamish – ‘Cherry Blossom Time’ and ‘Love & learn’ came next. We could see Hamish was in fine voice, but the version of ‘Cloudy’ he delivered was, in my opinion, the best I have heard from him since the one immortalised on the Person to Person live album. Remarkable to think that his soaring falsetto can still do what it did forty plus years ago. The set closer was the Muhammad Ali tribute ‘How The Mighty Fall’, during which Adam Phillips delivered a solo which was so blisteringly hot I suspect it lifted the lacquer right off his treasured red Gibson 335. Half time, the band went off for a pie and Bovril to sustain them through the second half.

The restart saw ‘Queen Of My Soul’ followed by ‘A Love Of Your Own’, both of which had Molly Duncan return to his 1976 Soul Searching finest. The Duke of Montrose, close to home turf, blew his heart on both of these numbers but his solo lead into the latter was indeed a thing of beauty. The super funky ‘Midnight Rush’ was like a funk defibrillator and got everyone going after the quiet storm of the Soul Searching numbers. ‘Wordsworth’ from the 360 sessions was up next followed by the AWB classic ‘Let’s Go Round Again’ which Hamish has started playing again only recently. We were even treated to a couple of Steve Pearce impressions during this, a wee bit of slap bass a la Larry Graham and football/funk crossover when his boots seemed possessed as he danced all over the floor in the same way young Billy Dane did on a football pitch when he donned the boots of the legendary footballer ‘Dead Shot Keen ! (check out your late 60’s ‘Scorcher’ comics for the reference material). Barely had the cymbals stopped at the end of LGRA when Steve launched into a bassline which could only herald in ‘Person To Person’, and the groove just kept on rolling through an excellent solo by Ross Stanley on keys. And that was it … or was it ? … Not a chance.

The band came back with a wonderful delivery of ‘Some Other Time’, then it was a red hot ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ to finish. They think it’s all over … it is now !

A full Gardyne Theatre audience went home very happy indeed having witnessed another stellar performance from this bunch of happy minstrels. You can see, feel and hear just how much these guys love playing together. There is true friendship and great respect among all the players, and that joy definitely shines through in the performance.

Thank You … which seems totally inadequate, but Thank You. As a certain Mr Pearce would say ‘nicely’.

Player Ratings
Molly Duncan The veteran horn man blew his way through the set. Always makes it look easy, which is the sign of a true craftsman. 10/10

Steve Pearce From George Benson to Van Morrison to Gary Linaker (?), he’s played with all the greats. Superlatives are not adequate. 10/10

Adam Phillips Quite possibly the most under-rated player around. Those in the know understand his brilliance. How he builds a solo in layers is a joy to behold. Fantastic. 10/10

Ross Stanley The baby of the group, but more and more he is showing up everywhere. Why ? because not only is he bloody brilliant, he is that rare kind player whose quiet contribution supports those around him and makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. 10/10

Hamish Stuart My hero, and has been for the past 40+ years. I don’t possess the vocabulary to do him justice. Simply, the best – and one hell of a nice guy to boot! 10/10

Ian Thomas Apart from making a full size kit look like a kids Mattel Christmas toy, Ianto just makes it all look so easy, but his contribution is immense. Fabulous (or should that be ‘fab ooo los’). There’s Lovely ! 10/10

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