Music Friday, January 22nd

Review: As Mamas at The Booth Hall in Hereford

It’s all about that bass Megan Trainor once told us but as As Mamas proved that’s not necessarily the case.

When I see a band set out like the White Stripes – just guitar and drums – part of me fears for the outcome.

But John Hales of Porkbelly Promotions knows a good thing when he hears one and this was certainly the case when the duo – consisting of Harrison Baird-Whitman on guitar and vocals and Joe Devine on drums – played at The Booth Hall in Hereford.

For me a band requires bass to propel music forwards and fill out the sound but in the case of As Mamas I didn’t miss it at all.

The band’s set included a number of covers including a medley of The Stone’s 'Jumping Jack Flash' and 'Superstition'.

Kudos to Harrison for attempting a Stevie Wonder vocal - it’s a lot to live up to and he more than held his own.

There’s no doubt the band have some impressive originals and they certainly have something to say.

The best of the bunch for me was ‘Ain’t It Sad’ which takes a swipe at Westminster parliamentarians.

It’s good to see young bands writing lyrics with a bit of punch and I’d love to hear more of it.

But highlight of the evening for me was their cover of ‘54-46 Was My Number’ by Toots and the Maytals.

The band were totally invested in this and Harrison delivered his best and most animated vocal of the night.

As Mamas were in no way intimidated at supporting a signed artist like Troy Redfern or a band with a growing reputation like Raptor from Leominster.

The evening was topped off by a visit from Mott the Hoople’s Verden Allen and Martin Chambers of The Pretenders.

After the gig Kurt Fletcher said he was honoured to play in front of Verden and hopefully this is a sign of the baton being passed from generation to the next.

And John Hales, of Porkbelly Promotions, take a bow. You are putting the buzz back into Hereford’s live music scene. We salute you!

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