21/3/2015 Ian Siegal Band Review by Liz Aiken

Tonight Ian Siegal hit the stage, with the company of three talented young men from the Netherlands, Dusty Ciggaar (guitars) Raphael Schwiddessen (drums) Danny Van't Hoff (bass) strode on stage with a swagger you knew that the night was going to be an entertaining ride of the music that makes Ian Siegal the leader of the pack as he bends and melds genre's creating a sound full of energy and artistry.

The performance of Brandy Balloon was very free-form, full of sassy licks and hooks for Dusty to pick up and develop with his distinctive stylish manipulation of the six-strings on his guitar of choice. A favourite, and also included on his current album with the band, I Am The Train, an award-winning song that in every format I have heard it zings tonight into was an electric combo of Ian's voices and Dusty's guitar that adds a new dimension to the sound – it is brilliant!

How I adore the track Ripoff Raskolnikov's; Temporary; but live wow it has that intimacy and energy that even a live album just doesn't deliver. As ever there was a wide selection of tempos feels and clever little moments that get the audience engaged and connecting with the music, so we had some Latino beats, country, jazz and some of Ian's brand of the blues. The music cascaded hot as a sultry night with a crescendo of sound that excites with Ian like a pirate troubadour who owned the stage and sailed the good ship flowerpot on a path of musical delight.

North Mississippi Hill Country style dedicated to Robert Balfour who Ian had played with and recently died dedicated to a man in his nineties who drank him under the table, She Got The Devil in Her was recognizable as the great live track and recorded on Meat & Potatoes, yet again tonight it was refreshed and re-scripted she may have the devil in her but Ian definitely did as he teased and communicated with the audience who were hanging onto every note and word.

Tonight was hot and Ian left the stage for a few minutes and we were treated to a stylish instrumental full of funk, blues and a twist of harmonizing jazz that acted as the warp and weft of the form of this track a snippet of what they do as The Rhythm Chiefs, leaving you in a quandary more of this or have Ian rejoin them and this he did with a Gold cowboy shirt as he picked up the guitar and Dusty changed to his Baritone Guitar, with its tuning to a lower pitch and longer scale length adds a sound, recreates the superb song Gallo Del Cielo; the lead breaks from Dusty are a knockout this version is full of wow factor. The music played on we had Hard Pressed and audience participation everyone wanted to be part of the music tonight and the Prince outtake was electric and the guitar playing of Dusty shines through as he swapped seamlessly throughout the songs from using a plectrum or his fingers he makes the guitar strings dance. Queen of The Junior Prom, a long track on the latest album and such a great track live co-written with Nottingham based musician Tommy Harrison, and inspired by Sylvia Plath, close your eyes, shut your mouth and your other senses become more powerful tonight you could taste the metal of the guitar strings, hear the emotion and the music touched your soul and the hairs on your skin became electrified with the music you are literally drenched in lyrical musical enchantment and not a pedal insight!.

Too soon it was the encore and the last music was Take A Walk In The Wilderness a song Ian fills with personal emotion as he remembers the artistry of Glaswegian Big George, the curfew won and the music fell silent but memories of tonight will live on.

I have heard Ian play live many times with many bands, duo, solo but tonight was special there was an extra charged layer of energy, Ian and the band were thrilling, and they ensured every track had an extra dimension. It wasn't just the guitar playing from Dusty that adds a sexy overtone it was the controlled drumming from Raphael that work so well with Danny the other half of the rhythm section. Tonight, was a display of an album One Night In Amsterdam, and Ian playing at the top of his game it was a stellar live music experience – has got to be a real contender for gig of 2015 big thank you for RAW Promo putting on another great gig at The Flowerpot.