London Vauxhall Tavern

[B]The Delta 72[/B] are the band [B]The Black Crowes[/B] should be...

He hugs the microphone stand for support, sweat-drenched and understandably so. In the preceding 90 seconds, Gregg Foreman has leapt from the stage, danced on the bar, swooped to the floor and back-flipped up into a perfect kneeling-prayer position, bounded back onstage and executed the latest in a series of eye-wateringly impressive splits. Look deep into his wired eyes and you can see the flicker of disappointment as he realises there’s no lighting rig to swing from.

Dressed up like five stax-heeled Keefs, The [a]Delta 72[/a] daub every corner of this seedy dive with gold-lami star power, laying down a blistering 40 minutes of Hammond-powered, old-style dance music that begins as ‘I Feel Fine’ (off their new ‘000’ LP) and ends in pretty much the same manner. Stealing liberally from Funkadelic’s murkiest jams and the Stones‘ most strung-out junkie-rock, these Philly souls aren’t exactly trailblazers of a new sonic dawn, but their murderous intent, their all-or-nothing delivery, more than compensates.

Less arch than Make Up, more organic than the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Delta 72 are the band The Black Crowes should be, burning up in their own fevered revivalism instead of jamming with burnt-out embers. Fiery testimonials to rock’s ever-living gospel.