Journeymen of Soul
So, a few weeks ago I made a point of going down and checking out some good friends of mine playing at McCabes Irish Pub called “Journeymen of Soul”.
This is a band that frequently plays around London at places like McCabes and Wortley Roadhouse to mention but a few. The band is loaded with the “who’s who” of local musicians, all of them highly in demand in other projects and all of them with very extensive and impressive bodies of work behind their resume’s.
If you want to use the descriptive of “super band” for London – this is it. The band does an impressive setlist of R&B, Motown and Funk covers that will stir any crowd but more on that later.
Sean Shreve is the Lead Vocalist for the band. A delightful gentleman with an incredibly outgoing and friendly demeanor that makes you feel on first meeting like you have been friends for years. His Smokey Robinson silky voice is not only an instrument unto itself, but his command onstage vocally, takes you away from your smart phone to concentrate on his singing at the front of this insanely good band.
James Nestor is well known for his Pink Floyd Tribute “Wish You Were Here” as well as extensive recording and live performances. He is often called upon to play guitar in numerous projects around London and is one of the most naturally gifted yet friendly musicians that can tackle pretty much any genre in existence. He also is a music teacher who even a veteran guitarist would find much to learn from someone of James’s experience.
Geoff Masse is a highly successful local musician who has played London and area clubs/events for some 30 plus years dating back to the Old Chicago days and today has a successful trio that can be seen everywhere. Geoff’s recent addition to the band gives the luxury of two excellent lead guitarists along with James, to have a veritable jukebox of songs to choose from for each gig and to be able to play to any demographic needed.
Ryan Spong aside from an elite bass player and probably the most in-demand musician in the city is the wild card in this band. Always smiling onstage, always engaged with audience and his band – Ryan has a platinum reputation of being the musician that if you a need a bassist to play jazz, blues, MOR, rock (he is the bassist in Led Zeppelin Tribute ZED) – he is your guy. If Ryan was in a place like Nashville or LA, he would no doubt be one of the most sought-after session guys in the business.
Don Paulton on keys is someone that I don’t know very well at all, actually I have only seen Don perform twice now, but both times I was impressed with his work behind a bank of keys and to be honest – if you are going to be in a band with these musicians, you HAVE TO BE damn good at what you do.
Ted Peacock on drums fills out the band, and this is where I get very biased. I know a lot of drummers and I am friends with a lot of very talented drummers, but even I have a short-list of those drummers who rise above everyone – Ted is on that list.
Ted is an accomplished drum teacher in town, but his body of work is vast and covers an immense spectrum. He played drums for the now defunct London Symphony, he is the drummer in the Geoff Masse Band and has done gigs for a long list of local artists. Ted is the Swiss Army knife of drummers, and what I mean by that is the man can play anything and play it exceedingly well. Having cut his teeth on punk music and then expanding his skill set out to include rock, jazz, blues, symphony work – the man can walk into any musical situation and take control of it. We all have our strengths and weakness’ and tend to gravitate to what we feel is within our limitations – Ted has no limitations and while he will deflect any accolades that come his way – the best part of calling him my friend is his modesty of his immense skill.
Now to the band.
If you are a woman who loves to dance, then you should catch the Journeymen of Soul (they are at McCabes Irish Pub every Friday night). The night I went, the Pub was filled with a cross over of demographics from university students to people my age. For myself I found their setlist to be cool as they brought out old Motown and Disco era songs that were the good songs of the disco era (yes there was some). The band played some funk material that while I didn’t recognize a couple of tracks, my foot did as it was bouncing along in enjoyment but what struck me the most that along with Barb, Angela and Laura up dancing, was quite a few of the university crowd on the dance floor enjoying the band. The best testament to the band was this was a one-off gig and they did so well that management gave them the gig each Friday night.
This band is FUN and even if you aren’t a dancer, the songs that they pull out will have you tapping your foot and smiling at a memory that a particular song invokes in you.
If you are a dancer – then this is your band hands down and believe me, you will spend the entire night having so much fun you might find yourself there the following week with the friends you bring.