“We’ve come back for more fun,” growls Henry’s Funeral Shoe singer/guitarist Aled Clifford, in a manner that implies a fairly serious kind of fun. But for the midweek audience at this third residency night this is exactly what’s needed – and what’s delivered, with robust, slide-tastic blues rock.
Henry’s Funeral Shoe are not pandering to the mainstream. They’re not worried about being trendy (they’ve called themselves Henry’s Funeral Shoe, for God’s sake…). And yet they do have an ear for a hit, which gives them proper edge over other ‘noisy blues rock’ duos. The foot-stomping Overflow, packing a riff so deliciously meaty it’d make vegetarians wince, is being used by Marshall to promote their new headphones. The steelier Dog Scratched Ear featured in a 2012 Fiat advert starring Charlie Sheen. Others, such as Janice The Stripper, are devilish and rootsy and very moreish. The Shoe deal in killer, not filler.
Clifford might be a small guy but he roars like some mythical beast from the Valleys, by way of Mississippi. He once told Classic Rock that drummer Bren (his younger brother) only really listens to The Who. Watching Bren’s wide-eyed theatrics, clearly it has worked out well.
At the end of the gig, previously solemn punters look rejuvenated; transported from Camden to Clarksdale. Not bad for a Wednesday.