Imelda May

Imelda May

– ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER –

When Imelda May takes to any stage, it is hard to see how anybody could possibly see past this vision of beauty that stands before you and concentrate on anything else, but this is soon put aside with the amazing talents that Imelda and her band members individually possess.

Dave Priseman – trumpet/flugle horn/percussion, Darrel Higham – Guitar, Al Gare – double bass/bass guitar and Steve Rushton – drums, are all masters in their chosen fields and can suitably impress.

As we board our rockabilly rollercoaster for the evening, ‘Feel Me’ is the first of tonight’s treats to be taken from the gold-selling album ‘Love Tattoo’. As well as the title track, we are gifted with ‘Big Bad Handsome Man’ and the skiffle sensation that is ‘Wild About My Lovin’.

Next up is a reinterpretation of the Willie Dixon-written blues song ‘My Babe’, which was a hit for Little Walter way back in 1955. As with any cover they take on, they give it the respect it deserves, whilst at the same time giving it the May makeover.

Also covered is The Beatles song ‘Oh! Darling’, which they have recently recorded for the forthcoming ‘Live at Abbey Road’. In this, the outstanding strength of May’s vocals can be felt reverberating through every bone in your body. Shortly after, she proves her range with some gentile crooning in ‘Falling In Love With You Again’, which she dedicates to a couple of attendees celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary.

The recent passing of great Lux Interior, gives them a chance to show their appreciation by rocking and rolling through ‘Primitive’ by The Cramps. Following this is the mariachi-tinged ‘Watcha Gonna Do?’. Throughout the evening, each band member at some point bestows upon us a mastery of their instruments. With each solo given, we look on with amazement and give thanks with much deserved applause.

Tonight’s set is completed with their most commonly known track to date, ‘Johnny Got A Boom Boom’. This really gets the massively age ranged crowd bouncing around as if attending a space hopper convention.

Encore time arrives and Gloria Jones’ ‘Tainted Love’ is given an airing. It’s all too soon and it is time leave.

There is no doubting that intimate gigs like this one, will soon be a thing of the past, as it is clear that Imelda May and her boys are destined to be discovered by many more admirers of their skills.

Simon Zaccagni

‘Accidental Editor’ None of this was planned; I’ve never been in a band, never been part of the ‘music scene’ and never expected to be the gaffer of a music website with loads of dedicated music loving writers. I bought my first record when I was 8 and haven’t stopped buying since. I love crate digging for bizarre and weird stuff, but equally happy ploughing through press releases looking/listening for something I’ve never heard before.