Review: Uke 2 and The Sleaze Brothers @ Lichfield Guildhall

Music fans enjoyed a smorgasbord of sound when two ensembles of completely different types of music played at Lichfield Guildhall.

The Sleaze Brothers

The Sleaze Brothers

The duo Uke 2 provided a stark contrast to the good time party sounds of local favourites The Sleaze Brothers.

Uke2 – Barry Shaw and Matthew Leak – played a set of covers ranging from blues, country and rock songs. Elvis, Eddie Cochran and the Clash all featured, but the highlight of the set musically was their version of the Beatles Norwegian Wood, which went past the three chord excursions of the rest of the set.

The ukulele is a proper instrument, but too often it is seen as a novelty or an easy instrument to learn, and this song pushed the duo past so many other acts that do the same thing.

The Sleaze Brothers are one of those reliable bands that offer a good time out, so they don’t play eight minute solos that go through all of the time signatures, change key with each verse, or have a three week coda, but they do what they do very well.

Songs from the established blues, soul, funk and rock repertoire were the order of the day, and with a full band of two guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, backing vocals and saxophone they provided a solid and full background to the spirited singing of Martin Derry.

Bob Dylan’s Watching the River Flow received a far faster treatment than it normally gets, whilst JJ Cale’s Cocaine was an effective showcase for the guitar playing of Tim Perks, as was Seasick Steve’s I started out with Nothing, and I’ve still got most of it left.

Soul classics such as Midnight Hour, Knock on Wood and Mustang Sally were mixed well with blues rock standards such as Old Time Rock and Roll and Gimme Some Lovin’, while Heatwave, a new addition to the set, showed the group’s ensemble playing of to good effect.