Urban Voodoo Machine – Live in Reading   ***** – Live Review

Headlining the first night of the Reading blues festival at the Purple Turtle, the Urban Voodoo Machine took Reading by storm. “It’s the first time we’ve played Reading in 16 years” says frontman Paul-Ronney Angel. “What a superb venue – we’ll be back.”

With copious amounts of beer, prosecco and, appropriately, a bottle of Cassillero del Diablo, the group processed slowly onto the voodoo-themed stage to the tune of The Godfather.

The Urban Voodoo Machine is a musical collective like no other, a theatrical experience and kick-ass blues band to boot. Bourbon-soaked gypsy blues bop’n’stroll is how the band defines its music and on this occasion there were eight musicians on stage.

Police Paranoia opened the set and it was soon party time. The band were on fire and soon tore up the venue with the rock and roller Cheers For The Tears. The emotional Fallen Brothers brought the tempo down and up again to a Gogol Bordello climax. Orphan’s Lament and Crazy Maria continued the frenzy and by this time the crowd was dancing.

New song, Johnny Foreigner made the set and Help Me Jesus brought a lively and irreverent crowd singalong and walkabout by Angel. Closing with the gospel hymn I’ll Fly Away the band processed off the stage New Orleans marching band style into the audience in search of more bourbon and beer.

Once seen never forgotten. Classic Rock Magazine described a show as “Quite possibly the best live show you’ll ever see.” Is this really the best live band you’ll ever see? Quite Possibly.

Review and Live Photo by Chaz Brooks

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