Imelda May’s last minute addition to Later…with Jools Holland is one of those trips of fate that abound in rock’n’roll and it’s got the Dublin born singer loads of attention and the release date of the debut album rushed forward.
She performed the opening track from the album, the rocker ‘Johnny Got A Boom Boom’ (not often you see a bodhr?°n in a rock and roll band) and to show off the their range, the second track on the show was the ballad ‘Falling In Love with You Again’ with Jools joining in on piano (as he does).
In fact ‘Falling In Love with You Again’ is the closest here that hints of any Irish background. Inspired by jazz greats such as Billy Holiday, Dinah Washington and the undisputed queen of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson, May has hit on the birth of jazz-a-billy and she’s a shoe-in for support spots for the likes of Mr. Holland and Van Morrison’s live shows.
As Michael Parkinson is a fan, there’s bound to be comparisons with Jamie Cullum and his ‘piano jazz’; especially when they do something so downtempo and soft as ‘Meet You At The Moon’. These guys should still with the jump blues and keep it fast and rockin’ like the title track, ‘Big Bad Hansome Man’ and the killer ‘Johnny Got A Boom Boom’ (no relation to Paul Gonsalves Quartet’s classic ‘Boom Jackie Boom Chick’ as featured on Impressed 2 With Gilles Peterson)’
So Ms. May might not Keb Darge and Cut Chemist’s list for the next Lost & Found: Rockabilly & Jump Blues or the the street cred of wunderkins of the scene Kitty Daisy & Lewis, but I’m sure that they would have been more than happy to have come up with a track like ‘Smotherin’ Me’ or ‘Feel Me’
You can hear folks say, “not everyones cup of tea, but there’s some cracking songs on here”. Apart from the Charles Sheffield Northern Soul hit ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working’ and the traditional ‘Wild About My Lovin’, the other ten songs are all May originals; so there’s more to her than her singing and good looks.
Add there’s an impressive band behind her. Dave “Prizeguy” Priseman’s trumpet and flugelhorn can be traced back to the start of Acid Jazz and “superstar” DJ/producer Chris Bangs (remember the ‘The Bottom End’ story of a couple of years ago, see HERE), the drums of Dean Beresford (“nicked” form Richard Hawley’s Lady’s Bridge of last year), Al Gare (bass), Danny McCormack (piano, Hammond) and the rockin’ guitar of Darrel Highman.
I love Priseman’s trumpet on the last track ‘Watcha Gonna Do’ and the band are real disciples of rock and roll (as an aside, if the Johnny Cash Tribute ‘Ring Of Fire’ is in town, worth checking out). And talking of the man in black, if you believe the Imelda May “fan club” think of “a sexed up Dita Von Teese married with a sultry female Johnny Cash!” Hmm… I don’t think I can and lets hope that the music will be getting all the attention.
After a summer of festival dates (including Glastonbury) they’ve loads of live dates coming up in the next couple of months (see HERE) so well worth seeing them live by all accounts.
P.S. Why the album cover in pink? Surely vamp red for a love tattoo!
Reviewed: Imelda May – Love Tattoo (Ambassador Records) Cat. No.: AMBA1004 Release date: 3rd November 2008
1 Johnny Got A Boom Boom (3:01)
2 Feel Me (3:00)
3 Knock 123 (5:30)
4 Wild About My Lovin’ (3:17)
5 Big Bad Handsome Man (2:46)
6 Love Tattoo (2:58)
7 Meet You At The Moon (2:49)
8 Smokers’ Song (2:39)
9 Smotherin’ Me (2:45)
10 Falling In Love With You Again (4:09)
11 It’s Your Voodoo Working (3:14)
12 Wathca Gonna Do (3:42)
Various – Now Hear This! 65 (Word Magazine) Cat. No: CD 45 Release date: July 2008 www.wordmagazine.co.uk
7. Imelda May – Johnny Got A Boom Boom (3:01)
Later…with Jools Holland (BBC2 Tuesday 10pm & Friday 11:35pm). Imelda will be performing 2 songs from her current album Love Tattoo. First up is the foot-stomping riot of ‘Johnny Got A Boom Boom‘, a rip-roaring affair bursting with hi-energy, lust for life that has had crowds rocking across the UK. Her second performance of the night shows her vocal dexterity, a slow, tender and silken-voiced ballad ‘Falling In Love with You Again‘ www.bbc.co.uk/later/artists/imeldamay
http://www.theringoffire.co.uk The Barrington Centre – Sat, 18th October 2008, 7:30pm, RING OF FIRE (TRIBUTE TO JOHNNY CASH).