Two years ago, supporting Uriah Heep, Snakecharmer performed an hour of vintage ‘blues’-era Whitesnake material – not an original tune to be heard. Co-founded by ex-’Snakes guitarist Micky Moody and bass player Neil Murray, this was their right, and yet the act triggered tidal waves of mixed messages.
Frankly, for all the undoubted talent within the band – guitarist Laurie Wisefield was a member of Wishbone Ash, keyboard player Adam Wakeman tours with Ozzy Osbourne and Gary ‘Harry’ James is a drum stalwart of Thunder and Magnum – Snakecharmer still have to negotiate a minefield of unanswered questions.
Luckily, this 11-song debut is sufficiently strong to deflect those ‘glorified tribute group’ accusations. Heartland’s Chris Ousey packs the required emotion and grit to carry off the role of frontman and Accident Prone, Smoking Gun and the Bad Company-esque A Little Rock And Roll mix a classic Whitesnake vibe with pristine radio-rock sheen.