Review by Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers
Pete Oliver Band: For The Love of the Poor (EP)
For anyone who’s not experienced the unique charm of the Blues Bar it may seem like any other floorboarded bar with a very relaxed attitude.
But people living far further away than the Duchy estate know this midget gem as one of the premier homes of the blues in the entire UK.
The latest EP by one of its resident acts and his band may help them understand better.
Mixing the blues with rock and a touch of soul and funk, it’s not that there’s anything startlingly original about any of these five new tracks penned largely by Pete Oliver and partly by Nathan Tooke.
Sure, tracks such as Misery Box and For The Love of the Poor are good, solid tunes with a nice, punchy sound courtesy of producer Dan Mizen at Active Audio Studio in Harrogate.
But the real strength of Pete Oliver Band’s lie in their impressive, slightly early-70s- like delivery.
The performances are spot-on throughout by mssrs Sharon Colgan (lead vocals), Nathan Tooke (guitar and wah wah pedals!), Andrew Whitaker (drums), Owen James (trumpet) and Colin Hartshorn (sax and flute), not forgetting Pete himself on bass.
Toe-tappingly relaxed and sophisticated, there’s also something deeply muscular and brassy about The Pete Oliver Band.
Then, the Blues Bar never has been a place for wilting wallflowers.