I have something of a love for jazz and swing, I first started my secret affair a number of years back when an acquaintance threw a couple of Blue Note compilations my way, since then I’ve lapped up everything from the likes of Davis, Monk and Coltrane through to Nina Simone, Dr Teeth and beyond. In recent times I devoured the HBO series of Treme where I was exposed to all manner of funky ass sounds and I’ve picked up albums here and there by all manner of artists but apart from a few exceptions (Dr Teeth, etc) there is something of a lack of really decent top notch UK swing bands, who deliver original music without (and here’s the big one) the overbearing presence (and influence) of all things American.
Now sure I understand that beat music, rhythm & blues and jazz has their roots firmly set on the US soil but I want a band that vocally and lyrically negates that tried and tested formula, I want a band that’ll talk of the Cornish riviera as opposed to New Orleans, a band that sing of the Diamond Jubilee, goddamn I want a band like The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band.
The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band are a seven-piece beat/swing/jazz/skiffle/blues call it whatever the hell you like Oxford based band that weld together numerous influences from the likes of Count Basie to Sinatra via Jerry Lee Lewis all combined with a firm tongue in cheek, punk like attitude and the gravelly vocals of frontman Stuart Macbeth.
Year Of The Rabbit opens with the groove-laden, trumpet led Cornish Riviera Express, instantly setting the mood for the album with a tight combination of horn, guitar and deep, down and dirty bass all topped off with a like gravelly vocal and a hook so big it could ground the entire US navy. As opening statements go Cornish Riviera Express is pretty damn faultless, it’s fun, infectious and full of groove.
From such an impressive opening gambit, the band continue to dazzle with the jazz meets traditional sea shanty classic in the making, PIRATES!, a delightful number that see’s the band literally frigging in the rigging as they create the first bonafide Sea-bound Swing classic. If I Had A House see’s lead singer Stuart Macbeth deliver his best Sinatra (or is it Richard Cheese, either way it’s delicious) croon as the band deliver a fine take on the big band genre with passion, class and sharp razor wit.
From here on in The Original Rabbit Foot Spams Band deliver a masterclass in blustery jazz swing infused with addictive rhythm and blues, blazing horns and galloping double bass, with highlights coming thick and fast. Lonely Record Shop and Shanghai Fanny are glorious upbeat, boisterous numbers with the former featuring sax and trumpet battling it out for supremacy, whilst the latter brings to mind prime-time Louis Prima or perhaps even Fats Waller.
Year Of The Rabbit is a damn addictive ride from start to finish, sure the band take you to places you jazz/swing lovers already know and love, but the scenery has never been this vivid, fun and full of life before, The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band offer up a unique, buoyant (and British) take on a classic style that should have jazz and big band lovers rolling in the aisles.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 10
- Babajack Need You
- Babajack Live Rehearsal @ Recon Malvern 12/5/13
- Bangor On Dee Blues Festival 10-11/5/13
- The Blues Band Live @ The Artrix, Bromsgrove 8/5/13
- Next Stop Atlanta Announce Tour
Tides From Nebula-Earthshine (8 votes)
The Dirt Tracks-Never Been To Mars (7 votes)
Dan Webb-Hyperspace Clearance (5 votes)
October Sky Release New Album And Tour (5 votes)
Huron-Mary Celeste (5 votes)
Introducing New Town Kings (4 votes)
Das Sexy Clap-So So Sick (4 votes)
Jil Is Lucky-Jil Is Lucky (4 votes)
Interview With Dana Jade (3 votes)
Rendezvous-C Sharp (3 votes)