Lewis Taylor at Ronnie Scott's
Friday 07 March 1997
No wonder his record company, Island, likes him so much. The potential equation whereby tuneful funk in a Jamiroquai vein is crossed with the American appeal of guitar rock brings dollar signs to the eyes. The club was sold out, Paul Weller was at the bar and there was a distinctive apres-Brits feel. Opening with the beautiful "Whoever", the quintet stroked out the subtle street-soul rhythms in a quietly masterful manner. It's a song so good that it makes the blue-eyed soul comparisons come true, but subsequent numbers proved that Taylor is nobody's clone. An insight into the enigma of Taylor comes from a chance encounter with one of the Barnet posse on the guest-list. Che ("Yeah, really, my dad was a communist") says that Lewis, together with his brother Matthew, who plays bass in the band, has been making music in his bedroom since he was a kid. "His mum wanted to put him on Opportunity Knocks when he was eight, but he wouldn't do it. He was into Deep Purple before all this soul bollocks." The intriguing opposites of sanctified soul and base metal, Memphis and Middlesex, are inscribed deeply into the music. When Taylor calls out an aside of "Won't you talk to me baby?", the Barnet posse answers with a response of "Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi", baffling the soul buffs in the audience. Lewis Taylor is a great find, but he's his own man, and what exactly has been found remains to be seen.
At Ronnie Scott's, Frith St, Soho, Sun, 16 and 23 March
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food