Brothers’n’sisters! Raise your hands in the air! A plantation has taken root in a basement opposite Great Portland Street tube and the spirit of southern US rock’n’soul is burying the January blues. Or at least that’s clearly what the Koots and their duelling keyboards, preacherman vocals and wowsa lead guitar breaks hope.
Looking like hairdo ’70s guitar roadies, with singer Graeme Kyle giving ‘the look’ a contemporary [a]Grateful Dead[/a] trustafarian spin, they declare themselves shamelessly with the opening ‘Mississippi Soul’, a two-word mission statement which they sustain well enough.
So, let’s not mention mid-Dixie-phase P****l S****m at all. There are sultry bits and there are hovering strings. They do gruff Dr John-isms with conviction. The keyboardist raises his tambourine aloft at just the precise moment when the gospel choir sample bulldozes in. Even the [I]”oooh”[/I]s and [I]”awright”[/I]s emanating from the convulsing Graeme lodge into the band’s ass-shaking, Fender-Rhodes-authentic rockin’, without causing too much embarrassment.
Such is the power of their Led-Zep-as-if-mixed-by-Norm-Cook climax ‘Lay My Brother Down’ that you can pretty much forgive them their massive obviousness and, as Graeme jumps from the stage to land a triumphal kiss on his girlfriend’s lips, the desire to shout for something (original-ish) by, oops, Primal Scream circa 1991, is crushed by their guilelessly effective boogie-ing ardour.