Saturday 26th April 2014
Smokin’ The Profit’s Album Launch
Tonight at Sumo: Paddywax, Smokestacks, Blunderbuster and Smokin’ The Profit
Joel Hanson and Rajiv Mohanlal are Smokestacks, one of the most celebrated bands in the city and two prestigious musicians. Both of them sing. The band’s set of songs brought us the richness and resonance of blues, jazz, country and folk idioms. Like other blues bands, the artists of Smokestacks have a chemistry that relies on years of playing together; songs are made using improvisation, within a musical framework that they have created as a group. Tonight Raj was on guitar and Joel on a full double-bass (just the two of them, their usual drummer not being present.) They gave us a set of quality songs, demonstrating their considerable abilities as artists, two gifted musicians whose work is always impressive. A superb start to a night of magnificent musical offerings.
The five members of Paddywax assembled on the stage to provide a set of delightful musical confections that were, as always, completely enjoyable. The band’s uplifting music was coloured with an Irish brogue and was delivered with a variety of instruments, including a violin, box drum, mandolin and tin whistle. In a varied set they played some well-known folk songs and alongside some that were their own.
Things took off and crazy dancing broke out when Blunderbuster started up. Various members of the band ran around the room playing their instruments. Folk songs like you have never heard them before, fuelled up and rocket-propelled with chanting and shouty vocals. “I see the girls go by dressed in their summer clothes” left the folkier elements of the set behind, accompanied by hair twirling and head-bang on the stage as well as in the audience. Another plethora of instruments were brought into use – keyboard, electric violin, flute – for this manic production of frenetic, fervent and fired-up half hour of super-charged music-making.
If you don’t know Smokin’ The Profit yet, all I can say is “where have you been for the last eight years.” One of Leicester’s longest-serving bands.
On the “skamonica” tonight, the latest addition to the STP fraternity – Sean Clutterham and Hilary Fox provided stunning work on the guitar strings, for which she has become well noted. Andy Morgan on bass. In front of them all, the distinctive and notable voice of the lead singer whose presence invariably singles him out – the magnificent Tommy Bee.
Together they provided a set of songs that few other bands could equal. Even more dancing in the crowd than before. Today’s STP songs are somewhat heavier than was the case with their set from when they started. Harder and even more fulsome, the discography of STP is exemplary. They might have moved on since their early days but their offering is still as compelling as it always has been. Pulsing rhythms, catchy breaks and melodies are the hallmark of this band, whose years of song-writing and performances have given us a band that can draw people into their music like few others.
I finish with a few quotes from things I have said before about Smokin’ The Profit:
Smokin the Profit, a well established Leicester band, presented their new set of songs, now with a harder edged sound but still retaining some of their well-known and much-loved songs. Delivering a set of songs with their distinctive style and characteristic riffs, the band was led by the vibrant vocals of Tommy Bee, ably backed by Hilary Fox on guitar and vocals, Sam Winterton on the drums and Andy Morgan on the bass.
Big banging tunes were the order of the night, interlaced with compelling dancy numbers and the crowd quickly got up to dance. Sparkling with glorious guitar work and stylish beats, this ace band brought the room to life and delivered a crackin’ set. Excellent! [Arts in Leicester magazine, 8th October 2010]
The band also came joint third in the Pavilion’s Battle of the Bands competition and rocked Glastonbudget Festival in both 2008 and 2009 respectively. In 2009 they performed live on Demon FM Radio, rocked Oxjam and saw the legendary Pump & Tap pub off in style with a memorable gig in the smokin’ garden! In 2010 the band have continued to gig, recorded a live album titled, ‘Chalk and Cheese’ (coming soon) and recorded latest EP ‘Keeping it tight, Rhythmic fight’. The band has become well established, as one of the most popular in Leicester. They have an admirable back catalogue of their own songs. Their on-stage presence is exhilarating. [Arts in Leicester magazine, band of the month – August 2012]
Keeping it tight/rhythmic fight EP
Having followed this band for some years now, they are, in my opinion, one of the most musically talented bands in Leicester. Their live shows are always totally enjoyable. Originally a funky, punky band with a bit of a ska edge, their sound has moved on as they have grown and developed. [Arts in Leicester magazine, record reviews, 2011]
Smokin’ The Profit won the 2012 I Wanna Be A Rockstar competition.
Along the way, the band has played innumerable gigs, supporting such legends as Ed Tudor Pole (of Ten Pole Tudor and Crystal Maze fame), Sonic Boom 6, Random Hand and Roddy Radiation. [Music in Leicester 11th January 2014]
CDs I have in my collection:
2013 Hand out EP
2010 Keepin’ it tight/rhythmic fight
2007 It’s easy when you know who…