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The Urban Voodoo Machine live in Guildford *****

“Welcome to the show ladies and gentlemen. It’s good to be back!” enthuses Paul-Ronney Angel, the master showman of these fine purveyors of bourbon-soaked gypsy blues bop’n’stroll.

Angel struts the stage with a confident swagger, fronting a close-knit musical family which for this show is two drummers, double bass, keys, guitar and violin.

Kicking off with the high energy High Jeopardy Thing and into the rollicking Cheers For The Tears the band had the enthusiastic crowd at Guildford’s Boileroom dancing and clapping along. Despite Angel claiming that he writes “miserable songs” this is feelgood music, evoking the spirit of Mardi Gras.

Angel dedicates the reggae-tinged Living In Fear to the people of Windrush and Grenfell. Old favourites Orphan’s Lament and Crazy Maria keep the mood high.

Throughout the 16-song set the guitar-slinging Paul-Ronney Angel commands attention with his compulsive presence – a combination of sneers, grins, facial contortions, wise cracks, duck walks and high kicks, whilst delivering his gravelly vocals to maximum effect.

Goodnight My Dear in memory of absent friends was preceded not by a minute’s silence but “one minute of noise” as Angel demanded of the willing audience.

The group’s first single Always Out was followed by the newest, Empty Plastic Cup. Closing the show, the evergreen Goodbye to Another Year had the staff dancing behind the bar.

Speaking to BOON Paul-Ronney Angel commented: “It’s great being back out playing live again after an unexpected 18-month break. We all enjoyed the show last night at the Boileroom, great crowd and very cool staff who looked after us very well – hope to be back next year!!”

The band has several dates before the end of the year and a new album $nake Oi£ €ngine due in February 2022.

http://theurbanvoodoomachine.com/

WORDS: Chaz Brooks

PHOTO: John Hudson

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