google5fdb2843fc4f1b5b.html Rock Chic: The Congo Faith Healers: Grill Stock Festival

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Congo Faith Healers: Grill Stock Festival

Are you ready? A question you’ll need to ask yourself when the Congo Faith Healers are about to perform. Here is a band who describes themselves as 'savage, swamp infested gypsy blues', cultivating a mix of cultural styles and sounds to create a unique display of musical talents and showmanship.

Headlining tonight at the 2011 Grill Stock festival on Bristol's harbour side, they unsurprisingly are going down a storm. The waft of BBQ ribs, brisket and any other meat you can fling on a grill fills the air as whiskey swilling punters, eager to heighten their Deep South experience, gather to see what the fuss is all about surrounding this Creole curiosity.

The four piece hit the stage with lead singer Sonny West, the ultimate Sharp Dressed Man, in full length pin striped jacket and white hat, kicking off proceedings as they mean to go on. Giving us Latin American, rockabilly and swing flavours, plus their own 'voodoo vocals', the atmosphere becomes electric. After all, it is end of the day and the crowd are looking sluggish, sunburned and beery eyed, but with a boosting injection of trumpet and bass from the Congo Kings, not one person isn't tapping along.

With this mix of great atmosphere, food stall smells and the unique all round entertainment show this band is giving, it's easy to imagine yourself at a street party in the heart of New Orleans.

The Healers don’t do covers, just originals, and with their obvious popularity this evening, there’s no need for anything but undiluted Congo magic. The title track from their new album ‘JuJu Mix’ is exactly that; a blend of pure exhilaration to captivate every sense. A sassy, swinging compilation that hypnotizes the crowd. The place becomes a mass of knee-lifting, jazz handing zombies unable to stand still, being drawn closer and getting lifted higher.

The band relies heavily on their influences, which are rooted within blues grooves, swing and Latin vibes, which creates something unusual and totally compelling, without a cliché in sight.

If you are ready to get down and dirty with the Congo, get your dancing brogues ready. If not? Look out, the voodoo will get you eventually.

Rating: 5/5

1 comment:

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