Built For Comfort 1st March 2008
By Steve Savidge
Swindon based “Built For Comfort” are a six-piece band that just about managed to arrange all of their gear and themselves onto the confines of our stage… In fact vocalist Alec Adams looked on from the wings as the boys launched into the instrumental “Hepology” on which Billy Jones on the harp set the standard for the night, followed by “Fishnet” where Keyboard player Barry Archer filled in on vocals.
Alec then squeezed into the tight little space left for him, complete with his trademark “Van Morrison pork-pie hat”, and warmed up his vocal chords with “Up the line”.
This was followed by “Mean Mama Boogie” and “No Glue in the world” before the band started to up the anti with an excellent rendition of Johnny Guitar Watson’s “Looking Back”. Muddy Waters’ “Why are people like that” and Johnny Winters’ “Life is hard” impressed the audience and tracks from BB King, Lowell Fulson, Little Walter and Tony Bennett completed the first half.
After the usual mid-session raffle, which was delivered by Adrian Powell (What happened to reluctant MC Keith Barwood?), Built For Comfort returned with Jimmy Rogers’ “Walking by myself”. This track along with BB King’s “Shake it up and go” and “T-bone shuffle” by Boz Scaggs were the highlights of the show.
“Flip flop and fly” inspired the dancers to take to their feet and after a selection of other tracks played in the band’s comfortable style, the inevitable encore comprised of “Mess Around” by Ray Charles and Sam Cooke’s “Twisting the night away” (I have an interesting story about the origin of that particular tune but that is something best left for another time and place!).
Billy Jones wowed and inspired us all night long on the Harp, that and Alec Adams’ imitable style are what Built For Comfort are all about.
The rest of the band comprised Phil Tate on drums, Chris Goddard on bass, Barry Archer on Keyboards and John Ingleson on Guitar. These boys were all accomplished musicians, however with the exception of the occasional burst of enthusiasm from John Ingleson they did seem to lack Bill Jones’ drive and determination to entertain. You could say they remained well within their comfort zone (Sorry!!).
This for me made them seem a little pedestrian, and at times I could close my eyes and imagine I was in an elevator, however I believe the members enjoyed an evening of laid back lazy blues that along with a superb barrel of St David’s Real Ale (That inevitably ran out far too early!) passed away a very pleasant and relaxing evening.
Thank you Built For Comfort.