The Thomas Atlas Band
The Thomas Atlas Band

Funk and blues were on the menu when singer-songwriter and guitarist Thomas Atlas and his band performed for an enthusiastic audience.

As well as Thomas on lead guitar and vocals, the rest of the group consisted of some of the better and most in-demand players from the local circuit.

With Andre Masine on keyboards, a rhythmically supple musical unit of drummer Jack Bowles and bassist George Cook, and a brass section of saxophonist Sam Rodgers and trumpet player Nick Dewhurst, musical fireworks were promised – and throughout the evening they were delivered.

Although the lead guitar playing owed a massive debt to players such as Eric Clapton and at times Buddy Guy and Nile Rogers, there was also plenty of originality in the band’s sound, which took influences from a wide range of genres.

Although much of the evening’s music were originals, there was also time for some choice covers, such as the upbeat jump jive blues of Magic Sam’s You Belong to Me, or the most recent cover, I Need A Dollar by Aloe Black which closed the first half of the set.

The originals were all strong songs, with A Change in You and the slower ballad Sweet Angel being particularly well received.

The instrumental sections of Juice were particularly well thought out, with some incendiary keyboard, guitar, saxophone and trumpet solos featuring throughout.

Run, one of Eric Clapton’s lesser-known songs, was given a rigorous workout, and Get The Funk featured probably the best single solo of the night from keyboard player Andre which started simply, before building into a band performance of such feral intensity that many far less talented ensembles couldn’t even imagine, let alone execute.

There was also time for some slower more reflective moments, such as the Curtis Mayfield-like ballad guitar part that opened Halfway to the Moon.

The inevitable encore for a band that had played so well was Long Train Running by the Doobie Brothers which saw some audience members dancing.

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