Blues In Britain Magazine, Issue 208, April 2019, Live Review, 100 Club, LondonA different level of class ... Zoe's vocal: powerful yet vulnerable ... Rob, Pete and Paul turned out a masterclass in Schofieldesque sophistication
Double headlining with The Sharpeez, plus support from the Stoned Crows.
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion displayed the different level of class experience brings. That's not to say they didn't do energetic themselves: in swinging organ-rich grooves like 'I Wonder Who My Next Man Will Be'; Lulu-ish 60's boppers 'I'll Do Anything' and 'Hold On'; and punkier-edged raucousness in the jerky 'People'. Slower numbers 'I Believe In You' and 'You've Changed' showed off the emotional edge to Zoe's vocal: powerful yet vulnerable, defiant yet pleading. They also allowed plenty of room for stylish keys and guitar from Pete Whittaker and Rob Koral, who came to the fore in the proggy 'Angel Of Mercy': a mesmeric Procul/Focus reverie driven by Paul Robinson's rim shots; Zoe's vox building from soft and confessional to searing, with fantastic Bach-tinged organ; and in the forgotten gem 'Lucifer Is Blue' where Rob's always inventive guitar was given free rein in a complex multi-rhythmed extravaganza. 'Way Down I The Caves', the hymn to the 60s music scene with lyrics by Pete Feenstra (in the house tonight) mixed an urgent beat with a spacious chorus, and included more atypical intricate guitar soloing. The sensuous slow blues closer 'Don't Hold Back' had Zoe switching from coquettish playfulness to climactic oomph while Rob, Paul and Pete turned out a masterclass in Schofieldesque sophistication.
- Words by: Moray Stuart, Live Reviews editor