Barrence Whitfield & The Savages live at The Blues Kitchen, Camden, 26th September 2013.
I first witnessed Barrence Whitfield at the 100 Club during the late 90’s when Jeff Horton, the venues owner enthused about him. “You’ve got to see this fella Dave, he’s one of the best acts I’ve ever seen down here.” And if Jeff says that’s the case, then I was game and so it turned out, it was indeed a fantastic night.
Fast forward 15 years and I’m standing in the Blues Kitchen in Camden for the 2nd of two gigs he’s playing at the venue. I have to say that it’s not a venue I’ve ever warmed to, the sounds good and there’s been some great bands on but the layout just doesn’t work for me, you just can’t seem to stay in one spot for more than a minute. But for the chance to see Barrence and his Savages again, I could suffer for one night. Preceded by The Untouchables, a competent house band at the venue playing straight forward Chicago R&B, the venue was close to full as Barrence Whitfield took to the stage and demanded the air conditioning is turned off, “I wanna sweat my adrenaline off” he announced before the band took off with their fusion of low down blues, rock ‘n’ roll and garage punk. Highlights of the 21 song set included The Corner Man, Blackjack, Willie Meehan, Oscar Levante and The Hangmans Token, the pace was almost non-stop bar a couple of plugs for the new album (Dig Thy Savage Soul) and a few words of thanks to the audience. Fittingly the four song encore finished with Shake It All Night Long and I think he really would have carried on shaking it all night long at the Blues Kitchen if he could have.
Click here for a clip of the band from Later With Jools from 24th September.
For more info on the band click here http://www.barrencewhitfieldsavages.com