Review + Photography by John McEvoy

Thursday night in Leeds and it was a warm welcome back to Corduroy, purveyors of all things Acid Jazz. The venue wasn’t by any means sold out tonight, but I can safely say if you missed this gig, you definitely missed out!

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First up was Nick Corbin, who I must confess was a new name to me, but a little bit of research told me that the was formally in a band called New Street Adventure who achieved sporadic success, but ultimately folded early in 2018.

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Nick Corbin is now a solo artist, and the owner of a stunningly good voice. On stage with his electric guitar he delivered what I can safely say was an outstanding 30 minute set. His voice and accomplished playing delivered socially aware and soulful tunes and he deserves exposure to a wider audience. One of the great things about shooting and reviewing gigs is that you often discover new and talented bands/artists, and tonight’s set from Nick Corbin fell very much into this category. I will certainly make sure I catch a full set from him when the opportunity arises, and I would urge you to check him out for yourselves.

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Corduroy are a 4 piece acid jazz outfit from London made up of twins Ben and Scott Addison on drum/vocals and keyboard/vocals respectively. Remaining members are Simon Nelson-Smith on guitar and Richard Searle on bass. The band enjoyed what I think would be called low key success throughout the 90’s with the release of 5 albums and then called it a day in 1999.

But, good news… They’re back!

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2018 saw the release of their latest album ‘Return of the Fabric Four’ which confirmed that this is band that are still very much open for business. They can still recreate the swinging 60’s vibe at will with tunes that can’t fail to get you moving.

From the moment they took to the stage it was clear that all four of them are great musicians and it was a real treat to watch their set. Time may have robbed Ben and Scott Addison of their hair, but they certainly haven’t lost any of their energy or wit, and they immediately engaged with the crowd and they were genuinely funny. Simon Nelson-Smith is a virtuoso guitarist and tonight he was on top form delivering funky licks and breaks, accompanied by the equally gifted Richard Searle on bass.

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Scott Addison on keyboards ensured the 60’s vibe ran throughout the evening with that distinctive Hammond organ sound that always makes me think of the old James Coburn movies ‘Our man Flint’ and ‘In Like Flint’.

Opening track ‘High Havoc’ set the tone for the evening and immediately reminded me of ‘Man from Uncle’ with its Hammond keyboard and choppy guitar breaks. New track ‘Magic Mountain’ was well received by the audience and again had that distinctive 60’s feel with guitar and keyboard again very much to the fore, with the bass and drums providing a rock solid bass.

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‘E-type’ showcased just how good Richard Searle is on bass with some serious fretwork which perfectly complimented the perfect metronome like work of Ben Addison on drums. This also gave their super fan the perfect opportunity to indulge in some serious air guitar work!

Tracks from the new album made up the spine of tonight’s set. ‘Sambarella’ perfectly captured the Brazilian Ipanema Beach vibe, which I have to say is no mean feat on a Thursday night in Leeds when the weather is anything but beach like! They clearly had ‘The Who’ in mind with ‘Saturday Club’ which is no bad thing. ‘Sling backs Solution’ and ‘Botany Five-O’ showed that this band are still on the mark when it comes to new material.

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Of course it’s the law that bands play their big tunes as well, and tonight was no exception. ‘Mini’ with its call and response sounded as good as ever. ‘Corduroy Orgasm Club’ had the band going into overdrive, as the title suggests, and ‘Motorhead’ was given an outing to the delight of all.

I have to say I wasn’t sure what to expect at this gig but if we used a star rating at Gig Junkies I would give this 5 out of 5 stars.

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Nick Corbin was a genuinely great discovery for me, and Corduroy were still as funky, 60’s retro, acid jazzy as ever, and their new material is genuinely a treat to listen to. It’s good to see that time clearly hasn’t diminished either their writing or performing skills.

If you get the chance to see them, take it. You won’t regret it.

Honestly…

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Set list:
High Havoc
Magic Mountain
E-Type
Something In My Eye
Return Of The Fabric Four
Saturday Club
Chowdown
Clockwork Man
Sambarella
Money Is
Mini
The Sling backs Solution
London England
Corduroy Orgasm Club
Motorhead
Botany Five-O
Electric Soup

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