REVIEW: 24 Pesos, Blakeney Harbour Room

A few days before this engaging energetic four piece band exploded into the quiet harbour village they were rocking a 5,000-strong festival crowd in Canada.

There were less than 50 people at this intimate club venue, which was a shame because the stay-aways missed a musical treat.

The band has only been recording and gigging for three years, but are getting rave reviews across the UK, Europe and the States - which I am about to add to.

Their music is a rich blend that embraces traditional Delta blues, with funk, jazz, rock even a dash of rap in the massive Live My Life To Sing the Blues.

Front man Julian Burdock leads with some nimble fingered guitar work, breathless blues harp playing and a strong voice - but the strength of the band is their tight togetherness.

Bassman Silas Maitland projects every note with his pigeon-strut neck, while Moz Gamble's expressive face echoes the screaming solos from his Hammond keys, all under-pinned with some slick drumming from Mike Connolly.

Burdock and Maitland first combined to write a produce a record for legend Geno Washington in 2006 then decided to do their own thing and formed 24 Pesos two years later.

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There is the odd cover - from Ray Charles to Jimi Hendrix - but always with a twist, such as their rocked up version of Red House, but much of the material is self-written including some cracking songs from their last album Broken Busted and Blue.

The band worked hard in the difficult surroundings of a sparsely-populated room - with Burdock wandering around the dance floor playing unplugged Dobro slide guitar.

But setting aside the size of the crowd, it is the size of the performance that really matters. And, while the pound and euro continue to wobble, the currency of the Pesos is on the rise around the world.

Richard Batson

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