Ralph's recently been listening to a lot of 'proper' music for 'grown ups' and in this category comes the recently released EP King Of Crows by Sheffield band Braver Than Fiction. It's a collection of four live tracks that set off vocalist Mel's bluesy infused vocals against some snazzy Steampacket-esque Hammond organ-ising.
It's music for the headphones on, with a glass of red and being transported to the Monterey Jazz Festival back in the day when Johnny Otis would put on another of his infamous discoveries (like Etta James).
The EP is a mini classic of atmospheric retro styled, blues soaked, soulful tracks written and sung by Braver Than Fiction's Mel whilst ably assisted by the musical stylings of Adam (bass), Jason (keyboards), Paul (drums), Martin (guitar). Obvious similarities will be drawn to early Fleetwood Mac, although I'm more drawn to the comparison with a young Elkie Brooks in her Vinegar Joe days.
From the start of lead track Candle Blind, with its thrumming bass leading into that Hammond organ and sultry vocal through the more upbeat Mr Jones (Fear Of Falling) to the excellent, classy Once Bitten, Twice Shy it's evocative of the best of the 60's blues bands but with a more current edge. The eponymous King Of Crows is available only on the EP if you're downloading from Braver Than Fiction's Bandcamp and it rounds off the release in style with its soulful, uplifting sound being all the more enjoyable having been recorded live (yet with no loss of quality).
Take your chance to experience the tracks live as Braver Than Fiction are gigging from next week so keep an eye on their Twitter for updates. In the meantime all current dates are below...watch out for Ralph at their gig on The Wirral...