This is one of those rare records — ones we actually buy. In this case via a tweet from bluesman Son Of Dave, whose single we recently reviewed.
Boogie Beasts play a style of blues that seems to be particularly European. When the Rolling Stones played Hyde Park a few years back we were far more excited to see Triggerfinger, an Anglo-Dutch band who play the blues with a punk edge: imagine Lemmy joining Dr Feelgood.
Boogie Beasts are from Belgium and are in similar vein, playing scuzzy blues with a punk feel. This is not the blues of self-indulgent guitar solos and clean playing: the beats are distorted, the guitars more so and the harmonica howls. It’s more early Black Keys than Feelgood. Like Triggerfinger, Boogie Beasts are past the first flush of youth but can still rock.
Mathias Dalle plays guitar and his dirty riffs lead the way, with Gert Servaes on drums backing him up. Jan Jaspers sings but we couldn’t really make out the lyrics.
Opener Inside has a simple and repetitive beat, brought to life by the grungy guitar and occasional breaks for delta-style blues riffage or howling harmonica (Fabian Bennardo). Emotion follows and it’s more of a rock tune, while Mad is bluesier, with an addictive little guitar riff.
It’s all pretty much the same; it doesn’t vary but it’s all top quality. Standout is the tribal Gonna Be Your Man, which shows that they can be more nuanced, but also goes a bit mental towards the end, the drums holding steady while the guitar reaches a crescendo.
The slower No Good is perfectly paced and has some really nice slow guitar.
Fans of traditional blues will hunt in vain for the sound of BB King, but fans of scuzzy rock, Motorhead, BRMC, even Nick Cave, will find much to like. While it rocks, it’s also pretty laid back. Well worth seeking out.
They play the aptly named Over De Top Festival, Lichtenvoorde, Netherlands, on 8th June, the Be-Mine Blues festival in Beringen, Belgium the next day and the Mañana Mañana Festival in Vorden, Netherlands, 14th and 15th June. None of you will go, and the dates may be history when you read this, but great names for festivals.
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