The MIKE SANCHEZ Rhythm and Blues Revue
April 2001 – 13th Burnley Blues Festival
THE 13TH BURNLEY BLUES FESTIVAL - MONDAY 16TH APRIL 2001 -
THE MIKE SANCHEZ RHYTHM 'n' BLUES REVUE
Easter Bank Holiday Monday saw the debut performance of a show at the Burnley Blues Festival that Mike had been planning for the last few months. The show featured 12 of the finest rockin' artists from the UK R'n'B world.
Mike opened up the show with his 7 piece band and stormed through a selection of Sanchez favourites before announcing on stage the fabulous London doo wop trio the Extraordinaires who knocked everyone out with their versions of Rockbottom and Rock'em 'n' Roll 'em. Then Mike introduced the beautiful blues songstress Imelda Clabby for renditions of tunes such as Let the good times roll and Till the well runs dry. Following this, it was the turn of the great Paul Ansell (of Blue Rhythm Boys and Number Nine fame) who sang I'll go crazy and Clyde Mcphatter's Lover Please. The show continued for 2 hours in a vintage Johnny Otis/Alan Freed style revue with artists coming and going on stage.
Mike's band featured the legendary Chicken Shack/Savoy Brown bassist Andy Silvester on guitar, ex Biscuit Boys bassist Al Gare, Mark Morgan on drums, Al Nicholls on tenor, Dave Priseman on trumpet and the Extraordinaires saxman Olly Wilby on baritone.
It was a night to remember for everyone involved and will most definitely become a highlight on a lot of European festival stages in the future. Look out!!
Review of show - from Rockin' Robbin'
Bopping at Burnley
The 13th Burnley National Blues Festival came to a rousing climax when the charismatic Mike
Sanchez brought his twelve-piece Rhythm & Blues Revue to the main stage of Burnley Mechanics.
After his old mates the Big Town Playboys made their Saturday evening showing, it was down to their former frontman to bring the curtain down in style on Easter Monday, with cameo appearances from a number of surprise guests.
Accompanied by guitarist Andy Silvester, bassist Al Gare, drummer Mark Morgan and a honking three-piece horn section, Mike delivered the goods in frenetic fashion, pumping powerful boogie-woogie from the piano in his trademark baggy red suit.
Much of the material was taken from his brand new album Blue Boy, a return to his rocking
roots after the experimentalism of Just Can't Afford It.
Joined after a few numbers by the Extraordinaires, the young black doo wop trio from London, moved the show up a gear with a jumping Rock Bottom.
As if that wasn’t enough, the appearance of raven-haired songbird Imelda Clabby raised the temperature even further.
The gorgeous 24 year-old Dubliner was a sight for sore eyes and what’s more, she sings up a storm. Imelda dueted with Mike on For You My Love before they were joined by another stalwart of the vintage rock ‘n’ roll scene, former Blue Rhythm Boy Paul Ansell, resplendent in ten-gallon titfer, who tootled James Brown’s I’ll Go Crazy.
Mike’s Baby Please allowed Andy Silvester to wield his Fender for a couple of choruses, until finally the whole ensemble teamed up for a rocking rendition of Chuck Berry’s Almost Grown.
April 2001 – 13th Burnley Blues Festival – Juke Blues
JUKE BLUES Magazine No 49
13th Burnley National Blues Festival
Monday night and The Mike Sanchez All Stars (Mike Sanchez, pno, gtr, vocals, Andy Silvester, gtr, and how!, Al Gare, bass, Mark Morgan, drums with the Harlem Horns), put together an absolute extravaganza, their customary display of urban R'n'B excellence punctuated by the appearance of their guests, the constantly shifting line up giving real pace to the show.
They started with a song from Mike Sanchez' Big Town Playboys days' She Left Me Driftin'' and everything was rocking. Despite a throat infection, Mike still gave 100%, covering a whole range of songs, from Brook Benton's 'Hurtin' Inside' to rockers such as 'Fast Train' on which he played guitar.
The Extraordinaires exploded on to the stage wearing pure heaven-born suits, jitterbugging, doin' the splits and singing 'Rock Bottom' like it's 1955. 'Let's Rock It, Let's Roll It' and 'Heart Of A Fool' showed they had the harmonies down too. 'If That Don't Prove I Love You' sounded great, the dance moves redolent of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers.
Extraordinary is right!
Imelda Clabby was introduced and added her considerable vocal skills to songs ranging from Lavern Baker's 'Voodoo Voodoo' to Wynona Carr's 'Till The Well Runs Dry'. Shirley and Lee's 'Let The Good Times Roll' saw her and Mike singing in sweet harmony as the band showed their understanding of New Orleans dynamics.
Paul Ansell bounded on and threw caution to the wind for his take on James Brown's 'I'll Go Crazy' and Clyde Mcphatter's 'Lover Please' returning later for a solid version of 'Somebody Trying To Steal My Girl'.
On this showing i didn't think there was anyone to touch them. The audience agreed, so, despite throat infection, we got an encore: Chuck Berry's rarely heard 'Almost Grown' with the Extraordinaires taking the Moonglows' parts and Andy Silvester contributing one of his peerless I-dont-do-slavish-note-for-note-solos.
And then i woke up.
Neil Thompson - Juke Blues
April 2001 – 13th Burnley Blues Festival – Scene Alive
SCENE ALIVE - Brian Smith
The 13th Burnley National Blues Festival
Burnley Mechanics, Lancashire
April 13th - 16th 2001
If it had proved to be the last festival, then it would probably have been fitting that Mike Sanchez close it, having opened the very first one with the Big Town Playboys, as well as gracing many in the meantime, both with them and as a solo performer.
Mike also has a cracking new album ('Blue Boy') out on his own label. After two largely solo outings, this latest CD features the band we had on show at Burnley, including the estimable Al Nichols on tenor and the most welcome return of fellow ex-Playboy Andy Silvester - in my book, the finest British guitarist of the last 30 years and certainly the most self effacing and undeservedly unsung.
After destroying the place last year with a bravura solo set, for this festival Sanchez augmented this new band with a fine set of guests for an old fashioned rock 'n' roll and rhythm 'n' blues revue, which was a sclose to the Apollo and Brooklyn Paramount as any of us is likely to get!
Realistically an aggregation for festivals only, it featured the usual varied, incendiary set from Mike himself (in top form despite a cold), interspersed with spots from the wonderful Extraordinaires - a trio in the Treniers mould, with impeccable harmonies (including a terffic 'Almost Grown' with Sanchez) and acrobatic dancing;
and guest soloists Imelda Clabby (also gorgeous, by the way!) and Paul Ansell who punched out, respectively, some Lavern Baker and Clyde McPhatter numbers, Imelda also duetting ideally with Sanchez on Shirley and Lee's 'Let The Good Times Roll'.
The result was the best spot of the weekend and brought it all to a storming climax - and it was so good to hear Andy whomping that Ike Turner whammy-bar again - Ike never did it better himself!
The welcome closing announcement of next years festival merely added to the feelgood factor. YOU'LL feel good if you see this bunch!
April 2001 – 13th Burnley Blues Festival – Steppin’ Out
BLUES & RHYTHM
13th National Blues Festival. Burnley, April 13th-16th 2001
Mike Sanchez has played Burnley many times before, both with and without the Big Town Playboys. This time he had promised something really special.
Launching straight into 'Driftin' it was almost like turning the clock back 15 years as the 7 piece piece band rocked along behind him, including former Playboys Andy Silvester and Al Nicholls on guitar and tenor respectivley.
The rest of the band were all luminaries of the UK blues scene and played like they'd been together a lifetime, After a couple more numbers including the excellent 'Kiddio' and 'Undecided fool', the first of the special guests were brought on - and special they were too!
The three man Extraordinaires ran on to tumultuous applause and launched straight into an early 50's Doo Wop routine with a superb version of the Flairs/Rams 'Rockbottom'. With their great vocals, zoot suits and nifty footwork, they had the crowd standing with their first number!
The next guest was Imelda Clabby and this young stunner won the crowd over straight away with a great version of Lavern Bakers 'Voodoo Voodoo' before launching into a solid duet with Sanchez on 'Let The Good Times Roll' - and roll they did as the third guest Paul Ansell was introduced.
Another unknown name (to us), Paul proved that he has what it takes on a scorching version of James Brown's 'I'll Go Crazy' - Not too many people can get away with JB numbers, but this was superb - not least on account of the great band.
This was the theme for the rest of the show, Mike and the band doing a couple of numbers, then each of the guests reappearing in turn for a couple more.
Standouts were Imelda on another Lavern Baker number, 'Act Right', the Extraordinaires on more Doo Wop classics - the bum-grabbing ballad 'Heart Of A Fool' and 'Do You Wanna Jump' on which they really did - all over the stage! Where do they get that energy?
The finale and also the highlight of the show was a stunning version of Chuck Berry's 'Almost Grown' with Mike doing the lead and the Extraordinaires - joined by Imelda and Paul providing note perfect backing vocals.
What a performance!
-- Tony Watson