The Stumble

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Six piece blues ensemble The Stumble played a lively set of original material and covers of blues,soul and jazz songs to a large and appreciative audience when they appeared at the Lichfield Guildhall. With a lively sound that took in influences from BB King, Freddy King, Booker T and the MGS, and Maceo Parker, they played songs from their three acclaimed albums and new material from their forthcoming album. Vocalist Paul Melville, guitarist and harmonica player Colin Black, drummer and vocalist Boyd Tonner, saxophonist Simon Anthony Dixon, bassist Cameron Sweetnam and guitarist Ant Scapens played a lively set, that ranged from epic six minute slow blues numbers to swinging jazz grooves that got the audience on their feet.
The Stumble
Lie To Me, the title track from their most recent release, started the evening in good order, the song’s insistent groove and unison guitar and saxophone lines melding seamlessly with each other, while Just Stop, a new song was a funk blues piece. But it was the slow blues song Freedom that allowed the musicians to show off their pedigree. Fluent saxophone and guitar solos were underpinned by some fine drum and bass parts, and the duet for saxophone and hand drums that finished were the song had to be seen to be believed. Small World was a livelier proposition, as was The Hougan – a tough, jazz song, full of spiky interjections and a characterful vocal performance from Paul Melville, who also shone during the set closer Evening. The second set featured some well chosen covers and was started by The World is Tough, the title track from their first album. The jump-jive stylings of 360 Degree Blues were appreciated by the audience, before BB King’s You Upset Me Baby was a good version, with its fast beat being in direct contrast to the slow blues of All Over Again, which featured some fine vocals from Paul Melville, and long, technically accomplished guitar and saxophone solos that received rapturous applause from the many blues fans in attendance. Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home To Me bought up the tempo and featured audience participation, before set closer My Life started out deceptively as a slow blues song until a lively encore bought up the pace. An encore was inevitable and was delivered with Hound Dog Taylor’s Give Me Back My Wig, which was a good time upbeat song. The Stumble are rightly seen as one of the country’s leading blues bands, featuring a talented singer/frontman, a tight rhythm section, and three fine soloists, and are well worth the entry price.