Henry’s Funeral Shoe - live in London

Blues rock from Robert Johnson’s hell-torched soul (via South Wales)

Crowd shot
(Image: © Katja Ogrin)

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“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.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.