Saturday 6th June, 2009 @ King George V Playing Fields, Hereford, ENGLAND.

The Electric Blues Reaction

The Electric Blues Reaction were the surprise of the festival – and as late replacements for a band that pulled out at the last minute – they were a complete phenomenon of professionalism, experience and obvious talent and taking things to a higher level by a number of leagues to anything else seen so far this weekend. The band is made up of just three guys who still manage to make a lot of noise despite being diminutive in numbers and played a powerful yet polished blend of blues based rock that warms your heart and soul.

It’s a performance that is essentially centred around Nick Smith who's an impressive powerhouse of a drummer but also delivers with a similar vigour the husky and tuneful lead vocals. Then adding an explosion of charismatic bluesy lead guitar was Troy Redfern, who impressed both audibly and visually with flare and elegance but also with spirit and passion. He looked and sounded every bit your guitar hero and I suspect may offer a visual treat for the girls as he draws some parallels to Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. Also, he more than makes up for the fact that their ‘frontman’ is confined behind a set of drums, and you find that you’re very much focused on Troy's playing. And last (but certainly not least) was the rock solid rhythms of bass player Stuart (Mac) McDonald, who despite throughout the set not being able to hear anything from the rest of the band through his stage monitors, still maintained the tight rhythmic backbone of the songs along with Nick. It has to be said that Mac has led a very interesting musical life, he was a founding member of the legendary 60’s/70’s British blues band Killing Floor and has played in bands with Paul Rodgers as well as with blues greats Muddy Waters and Freddy King. And that was just the cream of his experiences, but as Mac modestly said during a chat after the gig, the band isn’t about him, there's three of them in this band and so we will leave the opportunity to wax lyrical about Mac for another article.


Working through some technical problems which included the failure of the amp that Troy was using, it was a cracking set that measured a little short of half an hour but only seemed like five minutes, and had me completely captivated. They whipped up one hell of an unyielding blues groove full of swirling guitars and intense vocals, the sort of groove that will have all but the most determine dancing on the spot! It took a lot of willpower to  break away from watching and think about taking some photo’s, and it was then I noticed that the diverse crowd (covering a wide age range) were equally engrossed.  They showed eager support with easily the most cheering and applause of the afternoon.


Talking briefly with Troy and Mac afterwards (and two nice blokes they were as well), led to the discovery of their album from which the set was based. Entitled “Ain’t No Hidin’ From The Blues” it features eleven original songs and it will be reviewed very soon (thanks Troy). It's well worth checking out the bands Myspace page for more details, song samples and gig footage. This was our first experience of The Electric Blues Reaction and we will do everything we can to ensure it isn’t going to be our last.

Stuart 'Mac' McDonald (The Electric Blues Reaction)\

Nick Smith (The Electric Blues Reaction)

Troy Redfern (The Electric Blues Reaction)

Troy Redfern (The Electric Blues Reaction)

Review and Photos by Dave Yates

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