The Lewis Hamilton Band – 6th December 2015 – The Caves, Edinburgh.
Few people enjoy every day at the office; less are able to say they love their job and fewer do it well – The Lewis Hamilton Band talk the talk and walk the walk. Touring Europe as working musicians, with their sights firmly set on the States – award-winning singer songwriter Lewis, drummer Ben and bassist Nick supported Aynsley Lister and his band at The Caves in Edinburgh this month bringing their rocking brand of Blues back to the Capital.
Arriving to the venue, Lewis was already onstage commanding attention seconds into a hair-raising rendition of “All Along The Watchtower“.
For a man with four studio albums under his belt an appropriation of such a timeless classic is entirely unnecessary but shows both his love for musical heritage and a refereshing self effacing attitude.
With nothing to prove, his deft mastery of the Dylan number alayed any doubts of his incredible pool of talent as a player and a grave singer.
Dynamic range is quite often forgotten by performers amid the adrenaline of a stage show – not so with Lewis and company who (several times) took the room from an absolute thunder to a pin-drop silence, stepping off the gas and stepping back from the mikes utilising the inherent reverb in the arched exposed stone. Fully engaging everyone in the room simultaneously by laying down a crescendo of tsunami size proportions before wrong footing the crowd with a four to the floor kick which bolstered several rapid medleys and unassailable “stand-up-and-take-notice” solos, reminiscent of Rory Gallagher and his band.
To say this band are tight is a gross understatement. Walking basslines, rockhard grooves and funky licks from the adept rhythm section provided the crowd with something tangible to hold onto as Lewis vocally rode his thourghbred riffs away, punctuating each line with verve, running the fretboard with his eyes tightly closed. “Down to the river” and other self-penned titles go down to applause and with each passing song cementing the bands capabilities and affirming their peer status to the elite rhythm and blues realm. I surely was not the only one in the room who became one of their newest fans.
Cat and I caught up with Lewis during the intermission. We talk of homes, holidays and life on the road, hair-care routines, work and the legendary delta bluesmen. When asked why he sings the blues his reply was “I guess it is because it feels so natural… It seems like the right thing to do.”
Lewis tells me he grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant influencing him in his formative years; bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers holding his interest as a teenager – we briefly discuss the Chili’s “One Hot Minute” album then unfortunately it’s time and to pack up and go as the band have at least a hundred miles to drive that evening. I congratulate him on a fantastic show and complement him on his great range and ask if he has any forthcoming material we should look out for, I’m told we should expect the five track “Cellar Door EP” anytime soon which will be available from all major download sites on Lewis Hamilton Music – a move away from their regular Clapton-esqe driven electric sound to a fully acoustic offering from this humble and versatile outfit.