Monday 4th November
The Water Rats, Kings Cross, London
I must confess to never having been to the Water Rats in Kings Cross before and what better way than to catch up on some R ’n’ B during the London Jazz festival. Fortunately I managed to catch the last embers of Jon Amor’s bonus acoustic opener accompanied by some slick Blues work from Ash Wilson, on a track called 'Faith Reborn'.
And my goodness was my Faith restored by the sensational singing talent that is Sari Schorr. Is it just me, or does she not boast the same vocal range and power of Rock Goddess Tina Turner? I have not seen or read this comparison elsewhere but to me it seems blindingly obvious! She similarly has great self-effacing charm and keeps the audience in her spell.
'Demolition Man' certainly broke the crowd into a vibrant and soulful set. 'Maybe I’m Foolin' sparks a debate as to whether it’s “Maybe I’m Fallin’” and the Funk workout of the old standard 'I Just Wanna’ Make Love To You' finishes off the job, with Ash Wilson (yes the same guitarist from the opening) and Stevie Watts, on Keyboards, demonstrating their chops. I swear, I even recognised some 'Billie Jean' beats going on at one point.
Throw in tributes to Robert Johnson in the form of 'The King of Rock n Roll' and some wonderful chemistry between Ash and Sarri with synchronised moves and schmoozing. Cue, 'Aunt Hazel', admittedly a song about heroin, which doesn’t keep the crowd guessing, with full-on guitar solo from Ash’s face screwed up like a spent crisp packet.
A strong encore of 'Black Betty' and 'Back to LA' compelled this reviewer to subsequently put in his application for King Rat of the Grand Order of Water Rats. It was emotional.
Ivan De Mello