PAUL-RONNEY ANGEL AND THE MOFO’S + BASSO – THE PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 20.8.22
The Urban Voodoo Machine’s frontman Paul-Ronney Angel was back in town, no sign of The Urban Voodoo Machine this time. Sadly I personally missed the last time he was in town back in October last year, but you can read the Brighton & Hove News review HERE.
Tonight he had garnered musicians and friends to join him, a real “super group”, The Bad Mofos. Joining Paul for this five date run of shows are Tomirae Brown on vocals (widow and backing singer of the Godfather Of Soul, James Brown), Tom Spencer (who had been given a night off from The Professionals to come play some low slung bass rumbles), Rocky Rhythm of The Revillos/The Rezillos/Pork Dukes (and more will deliver the backbeat on his cocktail drum kit, and freshly obtained red sparkle Tom Tom), Slim (or is it milS, will be on the squeezebox! And a local saxophone player from Brighton).
Tonight at The Prince Albert, it was heralded that Paul and his chums would play songs from the ‘London Texas Lockdown’ album as well as some altered versions of his favourites, and no doubt to include a song or two from The Urban Voodoo Machine’s back catalogue.
In the venue tonight was Kirk Brandon – Theatre of Hate/Spear Of Destiny (thanks for the opportunity for a chat Mr B), Andy and Tony from the Witchdoktors (thanks for the hugs, love you guys), Nigel and Traci from Dead Hombres (to play The Albert in November).
Angel took to the stage to a huge cheer from an almost capacity crowd and took the first couple of songs on his own, breaking us in slowly starting with the whistle easing us into his first solo release, ‘One Ghost Town’ followed by ‘Seven Spanish Angels’. These quieter moments allowed Angel to show us some super unique vocals, kinda Tom Waits style shaped with Angel’s own unique tones and style. Not forgetting some quite stunning acoustic and electric guitar fret work. As the set moved along Paul-Ronney was joined by more musicians, but first up was Tomirae. Her vocal range is extraordinary, breath-taking at times. Up next was Slim, then Tom and Nicky. The stage was pretty full, but some space had been left for a saxophonist to join them later.
I had quite a long chat with Paul-Ronney pre set. He told me about the band line up and also how he spent lockdown, which ties in with his latest album, or “MP3 on vinyl” . A delightful musician and a delight to meet.
Angel and Tomirae just seemed to click as there was a real symbiotic chemistry going on there, an honest mutual appreciation. Their voices and harmonies when mixed were just perfect.
The banter between the members of the band was at times hilarious. Tom it’s been a while and we had a delightful catch up about The Professionals, Paul Cook and and then chatted about our friend Jordan Mooney. On stage, he was the ringleader of all sorts of mischief. Brilliant. Angel jumped out into the crowd to deliver some guitar play, climbing back onto the stage with the guitar behind his head as he delivered the final chords to the song.
Rocky Rhythm was settled in behind his percussion set. Tonight at times he was up front and even shared vocal duties with Angel. As always, a top percussion performance, but great to see him moving about the stage and sharing a joke or two with Tom.
The music was a mix up of everything promised. We really did get a joyous mix of Rock and Roll, Country, Blues and Soul. In the set Paul-Ronney mentioned the passing of his Dad. Clearly a very emotional Angel and the Mofos gave a heart tugging rendition of ‘Green Green Grass Of Home’. Beautifully delivered.
Paul-Ronney Angel is, after this first encounter, without doubt a damn fine frontman. There really are not many like him! But tonight it’s not all down to him as every member of The Mofos brings something special. From the accordion played by Slim/MilS to the guitars, percussion and vocals this all comes together to form a truly potent mix. I loved it!
Another cover was served up, and a track from the latest album was ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ (Ramones). This was performed, as I had never heard it before. It was slow, chugging guitars and Angel, Tomirae and the crowd came together for about three minutes singing our damn hearts out.
So many stand out moments from this set, but I have to include the wonderful 2020 ‘You Been A Pain In The Ass’ and ‘Will The Circle’. The whole set just oozed with that hot Texan atmosphere, backed up with sheer damn fine tunes, fun and showmanship. The Mofos rocked!
An extraordinary night. Two top bands giving us everything that they had. Superb performances and the night came to a close around 11:30pm. Bang for buck, this night will be hard to beat. Both bands are worth going to see. The Mofos – hell, what a line up!
Support this evening came from Basso! Who are Basso? Well you may not have heard of them for a while. They are made up of Long Tall Texans, a Piranha and Preachermen. Will, on drums said “we played the first gig at The Freebutt in ‘94, band finished in’ 96 and we had a 30 minute support slot last year. Three rehearsals in that many years!”
Last time we all met was Sunday 9th August 2020 at 2.30pm at the Hove and Kingsway Bowls Club. This was important, this turned out to be the first live gig, a full on rock and roll gig in Brighton since the initial pandemic lockdown. It was outside and the crowd was suitably spaced on the lawns and on the few tables scattered around. It was hot, damn hot. The temperature soared to a balmy 32 degrees that afternoon. I think I still have the sunburn remnants to this day. Read my review of that performance HERE.
Fast forward to this evening at The Prince Albert and it is clear that these guys have known each other and played for around 35 years, and it shows. They have that unique insight you only get from spending that amount of time together. They are lively, loud and well polished.
There is a nod to new wave, R’n’B, mod and a handful of almost 60’s garage sounds. One cover tonight, ‘Down Down Down’ and the rest of the set made up with self-penned numbers such as ‘Burning Some’ and ‘Lose Control’. They deliver a set packed with guitars, slide guitars and a face full of bass energy, with some superb drumming from Will. They also seem to just enjoy what they are doing and each other’s company, which is a winner.
Basso certainly entertained us tonight. They have a setlist packed with great songs. They entertained us for around 40 exciting minutes of rock n roll. Please Basso – just get out a bit more and play! A great band made up of friendly guys. I Love what they do!
Boggles ‘The Pumpkin’ Denman (vocals, guitar)
Garry ‘Cheeseman’ Watson(vocals, guitar)
Mike ‘Rock’ Roberts (vocals/bass)
Will ‘what’ve I broken this time?’ Moore (drums)