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Daddy Long Legs review: one of the most remarkable live shows in this neck of the woods for a long time

PUBLISHED: 16:03 22 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:03 22 February 2020

Daddy Long Legs perform at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Adam Aiken

Daddy Long Legs perform at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Adam Aiken

Adam Aiken

New York trio Daddy Long Legs already have something of a cult following in Norfolk, so what the audience got was of little surprise to much of last night’s sell-out crowd at Norwich Arts Centre.

Daddy Long Legs perform at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Adam AikenDaddy Long Legs perform at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Adam Aiken

But those coming along to see what all the hype is about enjoyed the treat of seeing what must be one of the most remarkable live shows in this neck of the woods for a long time.

Dressed like a dandy and spending much of the time on harmonica, the engaging Brian Hurd electrified the room all night.

The frontman strutted his stuff from start to finish - at one point getting up close and personal with us in the crowd - without coming up for air.

It's easy to see why the likes of Jon Spencer have given the thumbs-up to the Brooklyn trio's latest album, Lowdown Ways. Pink Lemonade is one of the standout songs from that record - it comes with a proper groove, and the "Wah-Ooh-wah-ooh-wahs" are a real earworm.

Daddy Long Legs perform at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Adam AikenDaddy Long Legs perform at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Adam Aiken

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On more than one occasion during the evening you could shut your eyes and imagine you were listening to Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac at the top of their game, but Daddy Long Legs are refreshingly impossible to pigeonhole.

From the country twang of Blood From a Stone to the faster numbers with a funky bounce, this is a whirlwind of a set that doesn't have a single low point.

There's something rather fitting that a band with such an eclectic range of influences should have a slide guitarist who's half-American and half-Turkish. Murat Aktürk is somewhat less flamboyant than Hurd - although just as nattily dressed - but he shines both as the sole axeman and when Hurd puts down his harmonica to play guitar alongside him, such as in Bad Neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Josh Styles is one of those drummers who does much more than sit at the back of the stage, simply keeping the beat going. Like Neil Mason in the Cadillac Three, he's very much an equal part of this trio, bringing one of his drums (and his maraca, which doubles up as a drumstick) to the front of the stage on more than one occasion to join in the party.

By the end of the night there was even the threat of a moshpit breaking out down the front, such was the high energy of this superb performance. You'd have to go a long way to find a better illustration of how the blues gave birth to rock 'n' roll.

Daddy Long Legs have been around for a decade now, so it's not been a meteoric rise. But if they keep putting on shows like this, don't be surprised to see them explode in a big way. We new converts as well as those who caught the bug much earlier can only hope that they don't outgrow venues such as this any time soon.

- For more local music check out our dedicated page every Thursday in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, our podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all other streaming platforms and follow Enjoy Music More on Facebook and Twitter

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