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Review: Ricky Cool and the In Crowd at the Lichfield Guildhall

With a repertoire of classic soul and blues songs, musical talent, charisma and Jamaican grooves, Ricky Cool and the In-Crowd turned Lichfield Guildhall into a heaving sixties club.

Ricky Cool and the In Crowd

Ricky Cool and the In Crowd

The six piece of lead vocalist, harmonica and saxophone player Ricky Cool, guitarist and vocalist David Parry, animated drummer Harry Weston Cotterell, bassist John Roy Porter, keyboard player Nigel Darvill, and saxophone and flute player Ted Bunting played songs and instrumentals by the likes of Bobby Parker, Booker T and the MGs, the Skatelites, and Ramsey Lewis.

The first half of the concert was really a capsule history of the Flamingo club, set up by leading jazz singer and keyboard player Georgie Fame, who played the latest sounds coming from America in the fifties and sixties. It fed the music of the blues boom into an eager audience of Mods, who in turn bought their own interpretations to the music, with the grooves of Jamaica being an equally popular draw.

Starting with the classic grooves of Sounds Like Locomotion, to the blues stomp of Is Everything Alright? this was music where the ensemble sound and danceable rhythms aimed at getting the audience on their feet took top priority.

Pieces like Time is Tight by Booker T and the MGs, or their own song, The Coconut Question mixed easily with original takes on the themes of such films as From Russia with Love and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The In Crowd, which featured Nigel Darvill’s fleet fingered piano playing, was a highlight of the second half, as was a novel version of Keep on Running, replacing the urgency of the Steve Winwood version, with a laid-back groove.

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