Throw open wide the doors of the Lion pub and let the bhurgers of Hampton Wick share in the good news that is Little George Sueref, his rockin’ harmonica and probably one of the most distinctive and powerful voices in modern British blues.
'Do not leave or enter whilst music is playing' reads the sign on the door. Apparently the neighbours have complained. It earns a wry 'Don’t make too much noise now' from the diminutive maestro before he launches into a kicking Catfish.
Inside, the mood is that of a jumping juke. The drink is flowing, and George’s tight three-piece has wrenched the audience from their seats. There’s all manner of dancing going on. The mood is upbeat; the beat compels the body to respond. A good time is being had by all.
It’s a tribute to both George’s captaincy and the professionalism of his backing duo that they hold it together so well. Drummer Bomber Wade got the call the night before. And Adam Blake on bass hadn’t played with the band before this evening. But you can’t see the joins.
This was a tight set - blues stripped down to the basics and delivering the business to an audience of fans. George’s masterly harp dominates the first half. He picks up a guitar for the second. A storming version of Finger lickin’ gets the audience up and dancing again.
But above all the voice dominates, and what a voice it is. If you wanted to make a comparison, you’d be hard pressed: there simply isn’t one like it around, at least at this quality. Falsetto blues; it punches you in the heart.
And showcased toward the end of the set in slower numbers like Walter Horton’s Little Boy Blue it commands the hairs on the back of the neck to stand to attention..
Here is one the most talented blues artists working in the UK but one problem: just one album (eponymous, 2001) released so far. Surely some mistake?
In the meantime: people of Hampton Wick, you should have gone down the pub last night. You don’t know what you missed!