It’s Independence day, OK unfortunately I’m not in America tonight, but in London for a great blues band from California.
I came across the band through airplay they were getting on a national radio station and was hooked.
The band is formed around the nucleus of Frabizio Grossi, Kenny Aranoff and Lance Lopez, and joined by longtime friend of the band Billy F Gibbons of ZZ Top fame, and tonight and for the rest of the European tour, rising star Kris Barras deputising for Lance Lopez on guitar and vocals
Interestingly Frabrizio said: I am really excited about this tour. Since by mission, we’re more of a music community than a regular band, it hasn’t been easy to get all these friends in the same place and at the same time, but finally, thanks to the overwhelming fans support and demand, we were able to start off the Machine and finally get it on the road for more than just one off Festival appearance at the time.
Opening for the show are chicago based blues-rocker Davy Knowles, Davy and his band play a great set that that went down well and made good impression on tonights crowd. TheRob Chapman Band followed playing their brand of blues, both bands play short sets that warmed the audience well.
9;15 and Kenny climbs onto his riser, as Kris leads the band out to the opening bars of I am missing you. Tonights set features songs from both albums, plus a few covers from guest guitarist’s.
Both Fabrizio and Kris play to the audience visually whether its guitar poses, playing behind the head or lunging forward towards the audience, it clear these guys love playing live, they are joined by Serge Simic. Partway in Fabrizio announce ‘this is where we enter the funk, Supersonic Funky Machine’. and launches into stranger and bad boys, the later futures an incredibly infectious bassline thats loves straight into you.
Acknowledging England’s recent success in the World Cup Fabrizio waves the St Georges flag to with the team all the best, Meanwhile a few more songs in and teases the audience ‘we have special guests tonight, someone shouts out ‘The Reverend”, but the first guest out is Davy Knowles who plays Let it Be and Sunshine with the band.
Fabrizio then welcomes Billy F Gibbons of ZZ Top to the stage explaining that Billy is a long time friend of the band and he see’s him as the godfather of Supersonic Blues Machine. The band launches into La Grange before the two songs that feature Billy on their albums Broken Heart and Running Whisky. Running Whisky, I must admit is a particular favourite of mine and made me take notice of the band. Tonights set closes with Sharp Dressed Man, and what a fantastic rousing version it was.
Kris Barras had big shoes to fill replacing Lance Lopez for this tour, he did fantastically well, the band were tight tonight, OK, its possible that many people could have been there for Billy Gibbons, but Supersonic Blues Machine hold their own and had the audience captivated, for an opening night of the tour the only thing that let them down was the sound mix in a couple of places, quickly rectified it was hardly noticeable and certainly wouldn’t stop me giving them five out of five, an awesome night of music that left me wanting more.