Now on their sixth record and with most recent addition Blair Williams (drums) providing some youthful enthusiasm, The B-Side Band get back to doing what they do best. With Paul Parkhouse (vocals, harmonica, saxophone and percussion), Simon Elton (vocals, guitar) and Mike Kirk (guitars) completing the line-up, there’s a real sense that the band aren’t just running the motions, there’s a genuine rejuvenation to be found.
Rockabilly at heart but with blues in the soul, songs like The Jazz Police see the band breaking cliche, flirting with more dramatic moods. The Elton penned All For Love, could easily rate amongst their standout moments, whilst Williams’ addition I Like The Way You Do will no doubt be a favourite over summer. Recorded by Nigel Masters and produced by Paul Parkhouse at Boatshed Studios north of Tauranga, mastered by Tim Julian at Colourfield Studio, there are moments where the production value and instrumentation fall short of the mark. The band’s lack of a bass player sees Masters adding acoustic bass on all but two tracks. Thankfully Kirk’s virtuosity goes a long way to cover any of the disc’s shortfalls with brilliantly placed blues homage licks, most notably on the Juke-inspired, Little Walter tribute Little Walter, Big Beats. Fans of rockabilly, country and blues should find something pleasing here, but perhaps not those looking for something that challenges and pushes either genre.