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Big Boy Bloater and the Limits – Luxury Hobo review

Released By: Provogue/Mascot Label Group

Release Date: 26th February 2016

Genre: Blues

Links: Official Page / Facebook

Line Up:

Big Boy Bloater-Vocals/Guitar
Matt Cowley-Drums
Dan Edwards-Keyboards
Steven Oats-Bass

Track Listing:

Devils Not Angels
It Came Out Of The Swamp
I Love You (but I can’t stand your friends)
The Devils Tail
I Got The Feeling Someone’s Watching Me
Luxury Hobo Blues
Robot Girlfriend
All Things Considered
Not Cool Man

If you’re a Big Boy Bloater And The Limits novice like me, then my friends we’re sailing into unchartered waters together.  However, hardcore blues aficionados the world over will have no problem enlightening you on the big burly mans styling’s.  And make no mistake; we’re not dealing with a chancer here.  The Surrey natives’ talents caught the eye of one Sir Paul McCartney who invited him to record at the legendary Abbey Road. And former Squeeze ivory tickler Jools Holland heaped serious praise on him by declaring him “one of the greatest bluesmen of our time”.
On those recommendations alone, I must admit that I was waiting to be blown away as the opening bars of Devils Not Angels rang out.  Despite being a toe tapper, it does at times remind you of a bad pantomime version of Status Quo.  However, Bloater’s gravel laced vocals and cutting guitar solo more than mask that.  Any self respecting bluesman with tell you Mississippi legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and John Lee Hooker are a towering influence.  It Came Out Of The Swamp tips its hat perfectly in that direction with Bloater’s ample portion of slide guitar giving the track a pure Delta blues feel.

The brilliantly titled I Love You (but I can’t stand your friends) may hit a nerve with many people with its tongue in cheek devilish content.  And for such a wicked little number it glides along with an unfazed and laid-back tempo.  The Devils Tail might come across as lethargic and annoyingly one dimensional after the first spin.  After a while, however, its slide induced groove and Edwards mouth watering solo make for a reluctantly brilliant listen.

A conventional route is taken on Luxury Hobo Blues, a no frills humorous piss take of a track, and probably one you’ll hear on most modern blues albums.

But there’s no doubting the money shot on this record.  Robot Girlfriend struts along in real Stevie Ray Vaughan style, reminiscent of the blues legends memorable take on Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.  But it’s Bloater’s guitar playing, and in particular, the sublime solo that confirms to you that this guy is clearly not a one trick pony.

Penultimate track All Things Considered lets you draw breath with its soft Motown vibes.  A classy bit of song writing that seduces with its wonderful simplicity.  Raucous curtain closer Not Cool Man will leave you in no doubt of this mans talents.  While his music will far from set a benchmark in the blues genre, you can’t deny his honesty as a songwriter and his artistry as a musician.  At times, the album is a tad predictable, but overall it’s a sturdy record and well worth a turn

Written by: Brian Boyle

Rating Brian 7/10


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