Belfast City Blues Festival Weekend
Belfast City Blues Festival Weekend
Belfast City Blues Festival Weekend
=     REV DOC  

The band is fast becoming known as one of the best high octane Blues acts around. People talk about their vitality, uncompromising toughness and their complete lack of reverence. If you've heard Rev before, you will know the kind of excitement to expect. If you haven't - you are in for an enjoyable and startling introduction!

"Great band, hat's off to them. Rev Doc's harp skills left me astonished! I didn't think some of that was even possible. Now I know better."

"Rev Doc and the Congregation have managed to rekindle some great soul-stirring fire for me and I betcha you'd leave one of their gigs feeling much sexier than when you'd arrived:'

The Running Horse, Nottingham, Saturday 23rd October 2004.

Hoots Mon, or should I say, Holy Smoke!? If I didn't know the walls were painted black for the filming, I could have sworn they'd been done specially for this lot. Think Robert Mitchum as the sinister preacher in "Night of the Hunter", add a touch of Freddy Kruger ... that's the visuals sorted.

The sound was scary, too ... scarily good, that is ... stripped down and dirty, nail-hard juke-joint rhythm 'n' blues that grabbed you somewhere vital and didn't let go all evening.

Rev Doc's unearthly vocal style perhaps owes something to Skip James and his fabulous harp-playing (not a note more than needed) recalls Sonny Boy Williamson - great version of "9 Below Zero" - though we also got the Eastern European style tour-de-force "Gypsy Wind". Add guitarist AI Brown's gorgeous rhythm playing and constantly inventive lead breaks, new member Jim Cox's solid but expressive bass runs and Davy B's subtle percussion ... tell you what.

I can see why Hadrian built that Wall .. Keep these guys out, they're too damn good! Other standouts ... Wolf's "Moaning At Midnight", Charles Brown's "Driftin and drifting", Eddie Kirkland's "Man of Stone" .. , and their own stuff cooked too. Cracker o' a neet. ye ken?!

Dave Kingsbury

REV DOC AND THE CONGREGATION at Alexanders Jazz Theatre, Chester 2004.

It was almost two years to the day since Rev Doc and The Congregation last appeared at Alexander's - much too great a gap as far as both the band and the punters were concerned.On the positive side, the hunger generated by the inexcusably long hiatus guaranteed a belting night.

The occasion also allowed the introduction of the band's relatively new bass guitarist. Jim Cox, who proved himself to be admirable addition to the Glasgow-based ensemble.

Guitarist AI Brown opened the proceedings with a customary, jazzy instrumental as a prelude to the entrance of The Doc, who eventually strolled on to rapturous applause to deliver "Blackbird Blues".

The fast-moving "Seen Your Baby" briefly picked up the pace before making way for a slow shuffle that enabled Al Brown to weave more guitar magic."Poor Boy" and "Nine Below Zero" continued the series of fast-slow combinations, with AB and Doc vying for best soloist.

After the heavy rocking beat of "Man of Stone", with Davy B driving remorselessly on the drums, Rev Doc then concluded the first set with a magnificent rendition of "Parchman Farm".

The second set opened with another slow blues and Howlin' Wolf's "Moaning at Midnight", which was topped by a tremendous version of the Billy Boy Arnold hit "Rockinitis", featuring another blistering contribution from the outrageously talented Al Brown.

Three shuffles followed, including "Boneyard Man", one of several numbers played from the band's excellent. recently released album, At Your Service.

Finally, a rocking boogie was contrasted with Doc's brilliant. solo delivery of "Gypsy Wind:, which evoked the customary cries of approval from the entranced audience.

Two encores - a slow blues and an upbeat. funky soul number - completed a magnificent evening's entertainment. The wait had been well worth it, but there'll be trouble if it's another two years before we can indulge ourselves again.

Uonel Ross Blues in Britain Vol 1 Issue 34 Oct 2004.

Belfast City Blues Festival Weekend
Belfast City Blues Festival Weekend