Today, we’re going to talk about a live gig Penny asked me to review this week. Let me throw some numbers at you: Voodoo Child, Sunshine Of Your Love, I Feel Free, Fire, Purple Haze just to name a few. You probably know who I’m talking about; it’s Voodoo Room, a Cream and Jimi Hendrix tribute band. I personally don’t know that much Hendrix. Well, I mean I just know all the big hits (Fire, Purple Haze, Voodoo Child, Hey Joe) and that he is one of the most famous pioneering guitarists of all time. As for Cream, their blues-rock style contributed to the creation of hard rock and metal. And as someone who played Sunshine Of Your Love on Guitar Hero for most of Year 5 they were one of my first favourite bands.
Enough of my life story, let’s talk about the actual gig. It had a good atmosphere; good lighting and the band blew the crowd away. The guitar and vocals were handled flawlessly by Pete Orr. The way he played was true to Hendrix’s style (use of the Fender Stratocaster, playing behind his back, feedback, hammer-ons and pull-offs) without copying his stage presence or looks. His voice also suited the Hendrix covers without him trying to sound like Hendrix.
The drums and bass (played by John Tonks and Andy Tolman respectively) were perfectly in time and seeing as the ground bass in Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love is a prominent part of the song it was spot on. John’s drum solo in Toad by Ginger Baker was also incredible – so fast and loud.
Andy’s bass solo in Crossroads was mega impressive. As far as bass is concerned I’m not the most educated person in the world but as the strings of a bass are much thicker than a guitar’s it requires an insane amount of skill to pull off a bass solo as good as that. The whole rhythm sounded so tight it was almost like hearing Baker and Bruce again.
Seeing as Hendrix and Cream are two of the biggest and most influential acts in the history of rock you need to be very talented to do a good job of covering them. Voodoo Room absolutely nailed it. They are also good people as well. They will stay in my books as one of the best live bands and if they’re in your area, see them live!
Stop press: Voodoo Room will be playing at Arlington Arts in Newbury Saturday 13 June. Don’t miss them!