The Cinelli Brothers

Thursday 8th September 2022

Temple of Art and Music, Elephant & Castle, London

The Temple of Art and Music; a hidden gem amongst Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle gave a warm welcome to the returning The Cinelli Brothers recently. Whilst the day will live in infamy from the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, this stage in South London looked to raise spirits whilst respecting the audience around them.

The Cinelli brothers, baring the name of their founding members; Marco Cinelli (guitarist, pianist and lead singer) and Alessandro Cinelli (drummer), brought their love of Chicago and Texan Blues, expressing in the style of Chess, Stax and Motown records. They are joined in this project by Streatham’s finest son Tom Julian-Jones (guitar, harmonica and vocals) and Stephen Giry (bass, guitar and vocals).

The brothers put together an excellent and expressive act. Their remarkable talent to read the room means that they started slow, lifting the crowd with them as the first half of the set played on. Fan favourites such ‘Married Woman’ got people leaving their sorrows behind and dancing. Given that the members of the band are yet to reach forty years of age, it is an interesting contradiction that the band can be so playful and fun, whilst showing exceptional maturity with the crowd. It is a cliché, but they know exactly how to toy with their pray.

Another exceptional part of this band’s repertoire is the way they can integrate guest performers with little to no effort. Turns by Tommy Hare and Paul Shine of Dead Writers were fantastic (the latter being such an exceptional talent himself), but the star of the show was Dana Gillespie, who performed with grace and energy that only cements her place as a queen of the Blues.

As the second set went on, covers of ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode’ kept the crowd moving, whilst original songs including ‘Last Cigarette’ (with Marco dictating the song from the piano), and ‘Choo Ma’ Gum’ (a romping song with a guitar hook that could make a statue dance), brought the energy in the venue to fever pitch. It’s now that looking around the room, you notice people coming in from the food market via back door and fire escapes unable to resist the magnetism of this band.

The Cinelli Brothers are not to be missed. For a Blues band, they bring a remarkably diverse fan base with them wherever they play filling the room with young and old, from all different backgrounds. I’ve gone from casual photographer to fan myself in only a few months.

Fresh from their recent win of the UK Blues Challenge 2022, The Cinelli Brothers now look forward to a tour of the Czech Republic before returning to the UK before Christmas. From there, they will be representing the UK upon the international stage in Memphis, Tennessee. Here they will go against other national champions for the chance to win the International Blues Challenge.

Chris Griffiths