Here we go again. In under a week I visited Camden’s Barfly twice. While the first time I witnessed a hail of infectious metal riffs from Stoneghost, this time it was time for some blues from Nashville’s blues trio SIMO. JD Simo dislocated his knee during his performance in Paris (while supporting Monster Truck) but that did not stop him from continuing the tour which will go ahead throughout Europe and then America with only three or so days rest at home. Without listening to the music, you can already tell that there is a strong passion for music in that guy. Admirable indeed.
The Second Echo were the first act to go on stage. They put on an impressive rock ‘n’ roll show with a country edge to it which welcomed everyone to dance to. The vocalist had a good stage presence and danced around the stage with his moves sometimes resembling Bobby Liebling of Pentagram. I will have my ears open for more music from these guys.
The next act on stage was Fred Abbott (formerly of Noah and The Whale) and his band. Their performance reminded me a lot of 90s-noughties alternative rock which you would could hear on film soundtracks such as 10 Things I Hate About You or Loser. On the one hand, it felt like 90s-noughties rock but on the other hand it was also quite bluesy. An awesome mixture of styles if you ask me! The riffs and melodies all felt positive and uplifting. Abbott also impressed the crowd with his astonishing guitar solos. Definitely recommend it if you happen to like these styles.
What a show. I was left speechless. JD Simo took the stage despite his dislocated knee and along with his two other bandmates, Adam Abrashoff on drums and Elad Shapiro on bass, they delivered a top class blues jam show. While most songs on the new album, Let Love Show the Way (Provogue/Mascot Label Group), are near the 5 minute mark or under, on stage the songs were a never ending jam. Their jamming out reminded me of a Gov’t Mule show which is all about the improvisation, however, SIMO was far more energetic. Sometimes it also gave me the impression I was watching The Doors. Maybe I was? I couldn’t see anyone on stage anyway (other than the guitarists’ and bassists’ curly hair going up and down) because they were sitting down and it was a sold out show so the Barfly was packed. The band members showed off the power of their music and skill when they all delivered solos on their instruments; whether it was JD or Adam, I can assure you everyone’s jaw in the audience dropped out of astonishment. Adam pounded some heavy metal drums at times as well. Rock ‘n’ roll, man!
All in all, it was a fascinating performance from SIMO. I hope to see them at a bigger venue next time with a better view of the stage. Good luck to JD Simo in continuing the tour with his knee. But I’m sure the power of rock is with him anyway.