little devils
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little devils

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Blues Classic Rock

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"Album review - Blues in Britain"

Little devils – this is how it starts….

The 14 tracks on “This is how it starts” put narrative story telling and fine musicianship to the fore. The six piece from Deptford features flutes and saxophone as well as guitar and harp as solo and lead instruments while female singer, Yoka, features among a revolving cast of male singers.

All of the tracks are either written or co-written by Graeme Wheatley who also plays bass, guitar and features on vocals. Lead guitar duties are carried out by Geoff Grange and the colourful saxophone of Vivienne Soan adds a jazz like feel to some of the tracks.

Dylan-like word play features on tracks like Little Devil, Don’t Kill the Kat and DressDown Friday. Accordion and a slow rhythm add to the lovelorn This Stranger’s Waltz and the slow blues Another Pack of Lies is about a delusional drinker in a bar. The dramatic Orphans of the Storm uses a traditional slow blues form to tell a story whereas Then U Smile looks at a soured love affair.

The musicianship is of a high quality with more than 12 bar blues being the order of the day. A Pogues like sound is on some tracks whilst the use of both male and female vocals add a lot to these everyday tales of London life.

Although the band is seen as a blues band, this is only one element of what they can do. There are elements of classic songwriter, funk, classic rock and jazz and that means the band are probably very well worth seeing live if the album is anything to go by.

Ben McNair
Blues In Britain
March 2010
- Blues in Britain


"e-interview with Blues in Britain"

E-letter to Blues in Britain March 2010

This is how it starts…..1, 2, 3, 4….

We meet in a dirty old bar – it might be called Paradise, it might even be called El Vinos – but we all know it’s really The Monty – we’ve been down here a thousand times or more, we’ve seen the beast that crouches in the shadows – and we ain’t talking Cliff Richard. It’s a cold cold night, and that’s just inside, no place for orphans of the storm – suffer little devils – but things are happening – this is how it starts. Maybe it’s that same old story – boy meets girl – try to build something in this mean old world – even when the stars aren’t shining too bright – you make your own luck round these parts, mister. Maybe she’s the cat that scratches maybe he’s the dog that bites – who knows? Is a barrow boy’s bark worse than his bite? Maybe she’s the Queen of Cheapside talking to some Lothbury Lothario as the music starts to build. You just gotta wish them luck any road up – maybe they’ll turn their hands to miracles – sell carnival balloons – run rings around the moon – all the way to uncertainty. It’s that sort of night.

Just at that moment, ivories tinkle. It sounds Nice. It is, it’s Phil Nice. He’s whispering something in Chinese – it’s just the same old brand new good news blues again – and off he goes plucking on his harp – with his teeth. Then, in walks Alex explaining the unexplainable. He puts his hands in the river to stem the flow. Trying to hold it back from where it has to go – no one makes a sound – we just live with the loss. All of a sudden, someone says “is that what you want? Lies? Lies? Lies?” Alex says no thanks – a beer will be fine. But hey, look what the wind’s blown in, it’s Bill and he’s three sheets to the wind and one over the eight – trying to stand up straight – he sits down behind some skins and proceeds to roll – on the drums – that is.

There’s a zebra sitting in a Victorian carriage at the back of the pub. It all makes perfect sense – it would be weird if there wasn’t. That skeleton sitting in the window box has got a glazed expression on his face again – it’s a tough audience – don’t let anyone tell you any different. But hey, things are looking up. Vivienne’s got a leg in the air – and that can only mean one thing. The Diva starts up the band and without warning, the sacred cow is dancing with the thief in the night – and the ghost in the machine is doing the Stranger’s Waltz all by himself – smooth mover – but the lights go up – and now he’s gone – nothing left behind – only passing thru.

We do a number in a skeleton key – still can’t get that smile off his face – he’s a double cross Judas in drag – never gives a straight answer to the question “can you keep a secret – or do you go to Hell?” Who knows – but now is not the time for mathematics – it’s late and Bill is counting 1,2,3,4 – this is how it starts – a game of two halves – and nobody wins until everybody wins – here we go again. Richard’s here now – playing the blues on a rock and roll guitar – like it should be – even the dammed skeleton is starting to loosen up. The blues is flowing on draught – the fairy lights, glitter balls, slide show projections and multi-coloured revolving spot lights that combine to create the chaos, quark and charm that is the Monty light show is in full swing – this just might be the last pirate ship to sail these waters, lads, and the Diva is the siren now – with a flute – leading all the little children off to go live outside the law. Cast off, sail away little devils – we’s all pirates in The Monty – waters round these parts got some strange currents – who knows where we are going – just follow the river til we get to see.

Then, Betty’s calling last orders and Stan’s saying “haven’t you buggers got homes to go to?” The trance breaks and the music stops. The bass player says “same time next month then?” and shuffling feet emerge from shrines of newspapered shop doors – it’s a New Day in New Cross – living with the loss.

The answer to these questions and more can be found at The Montague Arms, Queens Road, New Cross Gate, SE15 on the 3rd Saturday of each month – join little devils and their special guests at “The Blues Boom @ The Monty”.

www.myspace.com/littledevilsmusic for details of gigs, album, last known whereabouts of THE DRUMMER and so much more.

Album available on itunes, all good download stores, at gigs and CD on Demand – email littledevilmusic@btinternet.com

There’s nothing that can be said, that’s not been said before – this is how it starts…..

little devils
- Blues in Britain


"little devils - "This is how it starts...""

Blues Matters – issue 54 – May 2010
Little Devils
This is how it starts…..
World Domination Music

This is a relief from the predictability that pervades modern day music. It is an imaginative and cohesive presentation; from the classy artwork to the music itself. This group of experienced players is led by Graeme Wheatley main writer who works in partnership with guitarist Alex Brewood. Their crowning glory is vocalist – Dutch Diva – Yoka – a charismatic performer who is well worth catching live. For once the lyrics to the songs are really worth a read, they tell stories and introduce us to a range of quirky characters and events. Most importantly they have depth and ring of authenticity. There is a range of influences in the music, in particular (for me) Dylan and the Band, the Stones, Doors and much else. There is also a nice French Café music influence and a very welcome excursion into old-time waltz tempo. Altogether an interesting album that warrants repeated listens. Stand out tracks are the opener ‘LITTLE DEVIL’, ‘THE RIVER’ an excellent ballad, and the slow blues ‘ORPHANS OF THE STORM’. The sound quality is very good although for this writer it was a little too smooth; I would have preferred a slightly rougher edge reflecting their live sound. I also think that Yoka’s vocals could have been better further up in the mix – don’t hide your light under a bushel chaps. In summary this is a very good and interesting debut.
Vicky Martin
- Blues Matters


Discography

"This is how it starts...." The debut album from little devils was released in late 2009 to great reviews and continuing sales. The album is available as a download on itunes and all good download stores, via the website and members of the band.

Blogs & Reviews of the Album:

Ben Macnair, Blues in Britain
"Dylan-like word play, narrative story telling and fine musicianship to the fore"

Arthur Smith (TV & radiobroadcaster & comedian)
"I like it…I'm listening to it all the time."

Anna Harvey, Backstage Pass (on-line magazine)
“little devils have their own brand of blues on this album - solid song writing and good old-fashioned blues musicianship.”

Ronnie Golden (comedian, musician)
"Good songs played with fine musicianship."

Vicky Martin, Blues Matters
“a relief from the predictability that pervades modern day music - the songs have depth and the ring of authenticity. Altogether an interesting album that warrants repeated listens.”

Photos

Bio

little devils are:

– Yoka “The Dutch Diva” - lead vocalist. From the Netherlands, a model and pro singer with experiences in jazz as well as blues and rock;

– Vivienne Soan on saxophone. Cousin of legendary music producer Gus Dudgeon, Vivienne has played with many luminaries including David Gilmore, Richard Thompson, BJ Cole and Billy Bragg;

– Phil Nice on vocals, harp and keyboards. Phil is an established actor and comedian having worked extensively on TV, radio and stage with such notables as Rowan Atkinson, Frankie Howerd and Arthur Smith. Recent TV includes My Family, Broken News and Love Soup;

– Graeme Wheatley on bass. Graeme played bass with Tenpole Tudor, Lena Lovitch and has written songs for Blue Bishops and currently has songs with Craig Eddie (WetWetWet) and James Yeates (Harry Potter films). Graeme is also the main songwriter;

– Bill Austin on drums. Bill has played for several years with legendary punky/gypsy/Balkan folky band “Walking Wounded”;

– Joe Poulton on lead and slide guitars – Joe joined little devils in 2010 and brings a new attack to the lead guitar – new influences are seeping thru keeping the music alive and ever changing.

little devils play - 21st century blues – the sound of good times, bad times; highs and lows. The noise of rattling against the banging stable doors of yesterday – with a wake up call for tomorrow - the sound of little devils making mischief in the machinery. A hall of mirrors in the madhouse – shadows and silhouettes reflected on broken walls and dreams.
We are all in the same boat – let’s get rocking.