Rhythm & Booze NOV 18 - Poor Boys Of Worcester @ The Lamb And Flag, Worcester The Poor Boys Of Worcester are a six-piece band featuring the unlikely line-up of four Ukekele’s, double bass, banjo (actually a banjolele apparently), harmonica and vocals (shared between the various members of the group). The band were making their live debut and as you might imagine with any group making their first bow, their were mistakes, forgotten vocals and at times indecision, to the point of being ramshackle….…but…..didn’t they entertain. Despite the stop-starts, the band’s set was a varied collection of covers done in a unique style that was both infectious and a barrel of fun.
The band ran through a number of songs from the songbooks of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash (including a wonderfully ragged Folsom Prison Blues), a rustic Way Back When by Ronnie Lane, a handful of genuine rock classics in the shape of Fade Way by The Stones, Hotel Yorba by The White Stripes and a brilliant Bad Moon Rising (it really shouldn’t work on uke’s but the some of the finger picking by Tom Doc Watson was sublime) and a folk blues classic by Leadbelly all re-imagined with strummed and plucked uke’s and banjo often complimented by parping blues harmonica and thumping bass.
Talking of bass. I really should mention here ,the rather tasty Shane MacGowan cover drawled and delivered delightfully by double bassist Mick ‘The Hat’ Morris as another set highlight, again proving the band’s diversity and ability to straddle genres.
Like I alluded to at the beginning of this write-up, The Poor Boys aren’t the tightest of bands out there (and it’s early days), but they know how to deliver a fun-filled set, both the packed out back room of the Lamb & Flag and the band themselves were left with a collective Cheshire cat like smile welded on their faces and a song in their hearts. I can forgive and overlook any missed lyrics or musical indiscretions when a band know how to entertain and those “boys” sure know how to entertain.
If your idea of live music is faithful, tight renditions of your favourite songs, I suggest you look elsewhere, but if you want some fun The Poor Boys are the band for you.