Tonight, the marvellous black and red groove family that is The URBAN VOODOO MACHINE is performing at the Spiegeltent at the Lloyds Amphitheatre on the Bristol docks. It’s bitterly cold outside, but inside the Spiegeltent, the temperature is rapidly rising. I must admit I’ve never been to a Spiegeltent before, a large wooden temporary tent with mirrors and stained glass, but it’s a great idea for a venue.
The Urban Voodoo Machine are on at 8:30 sharp, introduced by Lucifire, who welcomes “Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen”, after which the band launch straight into ‘(Theme From) The Urban Voodoo Machine’, their staple starter, which gets the crowd, which appears half fans half curious, pressing closer to the front of the stage.
The band are on cracking form, and, tracks such as ‘High Jeopardy Thing’ and ‘Cheers For The Tears’ soon get the audience in full dance mode. Newer songs, such as ‘Not With You’, with its Eastern European tinges and ‘revenge is sweet’ lyrics goes down a storm: - “Well, the sun’s gonna smile one day, there’ll be no more hell to pay/ I’ll be free as a bird, sittin’ on to of the world...And you’ll be sorry I am not with you.” This is a real crowd pleaser and hopefully should make an appearance on the next album.
‘Off To Rehab’, was also a delight, with singer Paul Ronny Angel initially changing the lyrics from “Too much cocaine, too much speed”, to the more festive “Too many mince pies” which gets a laugh from band and audience alike.
Predictably, songs like ‘Killer Sound’ and ‘Love Song #666’ grabbed everyone’s attention, the former getting virtually everyone except the bar staff up and moving! However the newer songs, such as ‘Crazy Maria’ with its skewed Latin swing, and the excellent ‘Goodnight My Dear’, an aching ballad which morphs into a sort of New Orleans funeral march, really hit the spot.
After this, there really was nowhere else to go, except to say ‘Goodbye To Another Year’, which caused so much audience vibration, that I thought the Spiegeltent’s floor would collapse. This closed the set, as there were strict time scales, but as everyone walked away from the concert floor to the bar, you could see by the faces, that everyone had had a great night out.
Hopefully, The Urban Voodoo Machine will be back in Bristol soon, because on the strength of gigs like this they’ve got a whole new group of fans. Definitely the best gig I’ve seen this year.