Three local acts from the Lichfield area played for a small but enthusiastic audience when The Alfie Romeo Blues Band together with solo singers Nick Dalmedo and Tom Woodman performed.

The Alfi Romeo Blues Band
The Alfi Romeo Blues Band

The evening was steeped in the blues but still allowed for other genres, ranging from folk to elements of rock and roll, some jazz and some classic rock from the past 50 years.

Local singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player Nick Dalmedo opened proceedings with a set that encompassed the greats of American songwriting, with numbers by Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Neil Young and Paul Simon all featuring.

In a set that encompassed the folk of Dylan’s Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, the swagger of King Bee, the singalong hits of The Weight by the Band, Neil Young’s Heart of Gold, and the highlight of his short set, He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother, Nick also found time for one of his own songs, the quietly political Sugar and Salt.

He finished his performance with Paul Simon’s Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, complete with kazoo solo.

Second act Tom Woodman gave an equally committed performance, with old favourites such as Fallin Street by Tom Waits, Robert Johnson’s Walking Blues and Son House’s Death Letter Blues all featuring in stripped-down versions, allowing for the complexity of his guitar and the strength and pathos of his vocals to be heard.

He was joined by Simon from the Alfie Romeo Blues Band and the drummer for the set-closing Voodoo Child, which although eschewing all of the signature parts from one of Jimi Hendrix’s best-loved songs, allowed for a performance of feral intensity to develop.

Led by lead guitarist Simon, the Alfie Romeo Blues Band closed the night, with all three of the front men taking it in turns to deliver the vocals.

The setlist included such favourite blues songs as Rock Me Baby and The Thrill is Gone – a more rocky version than is often heard – while set opener St Mary’s Boogie was an exciting roller coaster of blues guitar licks and rhythmic interplay.

Red House by Hendrix and Robert Johnson song Sweet Home Chicago were also well received.

A rollicking version of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s The House is Rockin’ lifted the tempo and even got some of the audience on the dance floor. Things were slightly more thoughtful during Lennon’s Imagine and Bruce Springsteen’s Tougher than the Rest, which featured some interesting fretless bass work.

The highlight of the set musically was probably the band’s version of The Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What you Want, which allowed for some sensitive singing and playing from the band as well as some lively audience participation

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