Topic: The Mentulls
About this time last year, on another board, far, far away, I made a prediction that 2011 was going to be a huge year for Virgil & The Accelerators, and my crystal ball wasn't far off the mark. To be fair though, like our host here, the lads had put in a lot of hard graft and deserve the plaudits they're getting.
Anywho - my 2012 gig account has finally opened and a young band who caught my eye last year are already jumping in the crosshairs and I'd be remiss not to drop their name even though a couple of folks already know them, and I think, share my enthusiasm for The Mentulls.
I thought it used to be a sign of getting old when ploicemen looked like schools kids, but I think it's a great sign when guitar heroes ARE school kids. Andrew Pipe, the focus of the band isn't turned 16 and last Friday I watched him go toe-to-toe with Mitch Laddie during a funky cover of Standing On Shaky Ground and Hendrix's Foxy Lady. Previously I've seen Andrew sit in with Sherman Robertson, Ian Parker, Oli Brown, Chantel McGregor and some serious jams with Virgil McMahon. Don't for one minute think of this lad as having "novelty value" for bands to have him sit in - he's a serious contender!
Jamie Pipe augments the band's sound on keyboards; though he's the older brother, he's content to let Andrew take the lead, but don't be fooled, he's just as adept on those keys, giving full backing. Finally, the whole thing is held together by some cool and deft drumming from 16y old Nick Colman. No wonder Andrew can fly with 2 such good pairs of hands behind him. The whole sound walks that line between the late 60s Blues and late 60s prog but they have the ethic and professionalism of 21st centruy Joe B. Hell, they've even been writing their own material for a couple of years.
Don't believe me? Well, until Andrew finishes school, they do tend to be tied round "home-ground", Teesside, but here's a few upcoming gigs, home and away, so you can see the calibre of the attention they are attracting. If you're fans of the main band, take time from the bar and check the lads out; you won't regret it.
24th March - Ripley Blues, Harrogate (Opening for Aynsley Lister)
14th April - Guisborough RnB (Opening for Larry Miller)
28th April - Camerons Club, Hartlepool (Double header with Glossop's guitar prodigy Alex McKown)
15th July - Clowne Rock & Blues Club, nr Chesterfield
20th July - Harrogate Blues Bar
28th July - Maryport Blues Festival (on the Trail)
30th September - Cameron's Club, Hartlepool (Opening for Dr Feelgood)
19th October - The Jam House, Edinburgh (Opening for Wishbone Ash - don't know which one...)
I don't think they'll get the acclaim VATA have by the end of 2012, but the talent is there, the commitment is there, so let's give them some support to help them on their way...