St Paul And The Broken Bones

St Paul And The Broken Bones

Oran Mor, Glasgow

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Jonathan Geddes

Don't be fooled by his church background, for Paul Janeway is a flirty sort of chap. "We're on a date right now, Glasgow, and maybe we'll consummate it later," he declared at one stage in this gig, the first visit by the hotly tipped Southern soul group to Scottish shores.

They make the sort of classic, stirring soul that was at its most prolific in the late 1960s and the early 1970s (debut album Half The City was even recorded in Muscle Shoals FAME Studios), and they do so in fine style. The seven-piece's 65 minutes on stage were musically tight, raw and powerful, but it was Janeway, their slightly tubby, bespectacled front man, who provided the most magnetism.

He slid across the stage relentlessly, and while at times it was like an accountant at the work's Christmas do discovering his inner James Brown, it was but a side dish to the main course of his voice.

His throaty pipes alternated between lascivious and wounded, and hit the high notes often, notably on the powerhouse, slow-burning Broken Bones And Pocket Change and the ballad of Like A Mighty River, while energetic fire-and-brimstone proclamations whipped an already upbeat crowd into continual dancing.

They were aided there by groove-ridden, purposeful tunes such as the strutting 99 1/2, Call Me's thumping tone and a raw run-through of Sam Cooke's Shake, with the sprightly brass playing of Ben Griner and Allen Branstetter deserving particular credit.

Unquestionably the band are not re-inventing the wheel here with such tunes, but if this is revivalism then it was performed with such gusto and skill that a long-term relationship seemed likely to result.