Benjamin Booker, 100 Club, review: An ebbing trip to the Deep South via pop punk New York

Booker is frustrated, unpredictable and unapologetically raw

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The Independent Culture

If indie music has reached saturation point, then Benjamin Booker is ready  to challenge cynics with his blues-infused rock.

Opening with Always, the New Orleans musician is a mix of the languid, dark intensity of Nirvana meets the story-telling sincerity of Muddy Waters.

With Violent Shiver came the energy of The Strokes and a not dissimilar uplifting sound, but still with an old school rock 'n' roll Chuck Berry appeal. Old Hearts had a pop punk influence, while Screaming had grimy blues roots and a maturity that bellied his 25 years.

It's rare to see a room of the sweaty young and old dance to a fiddle and mandolin but Booker and his band achieved it adeptly. At one stage, there was a full on jig, accompanied by mandatory pint throwing required of 100 Club.

While his raspy, raggedy voice had a quality far more memorable than most of today's crop of indie offering, he bounced around the stage like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh with an infectious, revitalising energy that made everything feel new.

What Booker does is a rehashing of an old genre, but it's difficult not to be enchanted by an ebbing trip to the Deep South via pop punk New York.

He is frustrated, unpredictable and unapologetically raw. Welcome to the new generation of blues.