Deram 1974 / Esoteric 2013
Coming to roost ain’t curtsy: the last, yet lasting, breath of the British blues stalwarts’ first lease of life.
With a live reputation so strong, it was only a matter of time before Stan Webb’s ensemble delivered a concert recording, but when this album came out the time wasn’t right, as the band had ceased to exist and their mastermind joined competitors SAVOY BROWN. Not that his decision to thwart things is reflected in “Goodbye” that saw the guitarist surrounded with a new line-up and discarding the artful fabric of the recent "Unlucky Boy" in order to focus on the loose brilliance of standards like “Tutti Frutti” or “Everyday I Have The Blues” where the audience engages in a catchy call-and-response.
A different sort of reflection comes out of the “Poor Boy” rumble and “Thrill Is Gone” that pack desolation as tight as it gets for an axe to cry and the voice to weep. There’s anguish in the spare muscularity of “You Take Me Down” and a heavy sense of doom in “Going Down” that bulges with Rob Hull’s bass and Dave Wilkinson’s bopping piano, but then there’s panache in the improvisational vibe that surges through “Webb’s Guitar Shuffle”, a hurricane rehash of Bert Weedon’s tune, and “Webb’s Boogie” as instruments do the talking – eloquently to the hilt. As far as farewells go, this one is a brilliant bow. A classic.