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Review: The Paul Cox Band @ Lichfield Guildhall

A blues band full of musicians who have played with a who’s who of British music’s best known names gave a sterling performance full of their own material and some well chosen covers as The Paul Cox Band made their debut at Lichfield’s Guildhall.

Paul Cox, a singer with a voice that has similarities to both Paul Rogers and Tom Jones, led the band, with Mark Sutherland on lead guitar – a late replacement for guest guitar hot shot Charlie Fabert – alongside keyboard player Roger Cotton and a rhythm section of drummer Peter Stroud and bassist Nigel Harvey, as they played deep blues songs and more upbeat material during their two hour concert.

They started with the blues shouter That’s What I Like and the hard rocking Middle of Nowhere, before calming things down with a latin tinged I Get Evil. They played Hideaway, Freddie King’s instrumental giving the band chance to show what they could do, while the melodic ballad This Love of Mine’ was a delicate song, full of melodic touches from guitar and keyboards and well honed rhythm playing.

The first set ended with another Freddie King song, a slightly slower, but still convincing, Tore Down.

They started the second set with A Big Change is Gonna Come, with its R’n’B tone and some fine soloing from guitar and keyboard.

Further slow blues was provided in Cold-Cold Feeling, while Week-End Blues Man’ was a fast, up-beat rocker, and a manifesto for anyone who has played gigs in this type of group.

The soul music classic Some Kind of Wonderful finished the set, while the encore – another Freddie King song in the shape of Have You Ever Loved A Woman? – showed how the band had gained their pedigree.

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