Thursday, August 03, 2017

C C Adcock and the Lafayette Marquis in London

C C Adcock may well be Louisiana's finest guitarist. He is a swamp pop enthusiast and has backed many Louisiana swamp artists over the years, as well as being the leader of the brilliant and much lamented L'il Band of Gold and its successor the Mama Mama Mamas. He is known as the Lafayette Marquis and this name has now been adopted as the name of his band, which played the second of two London dates at the Lexington in Pentonville Road last night.
Charles Adcock brings a swagger to everything he does and is not afraid to turn up the volume, the reverb and the amplification on stage. The band comprises a drummer, a stand up bass and zydeco artist Curley Taylor (pictured below), who alternated between playing rub board, accordion and filling in as a second drummer. But it is C C Adcock who dominates with his stunning guitar work and two microphones which add a great deal of echo to his vocals. The band kicked off with an instrumental and a couple of rock orientated numbers whose titles escaped me. The crowd enjoyed it, but I was hoping for more in the way of subtlety, with more Cajun and zydeco influences. I can remember previous L'il Band of Gold gigs where C C's swamp rock style gradually gave way to Steve Riley's Cajun influence and David Egan's lyrical songwriting style and I was hoping that this would happen during the Lafayette Marquis set.
To an extent it did, and numbers like Maison Creole and Joe Barry's I'm A Fool To Care were more to my taste. A new song called, I think, She Knows It, was particularly good, with  a strong zydeco influence. Its lyrics, bringing in references to London landmarks such as Portobello Road and Ladbroke Grove, were appreciated by the audience. Shake It was another song that I thought showed the band off to to good effect. When the band left the stage C C returned to sing two acoustic numbers about his beloved Louisiana and New Orleans, written respectively by David Egan and Bobby Charles, and the less frantic style suited him well. Finally the whole band came back for an encore on Shake Your Hips.
There's no doubting C C's commitment to Lousiana music and I applaud him for it. I've seen him appear unheralded in the backing band for a swamp blues show in Crowley and for Barbara Lynn and Roy Head in New Orleans last year, as well as at the Blues Estafette back in the 90's. He has an aura about him and considerable stage presence. He is a swamp rock and roller at heart and his powerful guitar work is never under stated. His band is good too and great to watch, but maybe the overall impact can be a little over the top at times.


At 6:44 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Garth Cartwright commented, on Facebook: Well said! CC lived in LA in the early 90s - its where he cut his one solo LP and it shows, much of it sounding like a Guns N Roses wannabe. Same for last night, too much volume and hard rock posturing. I left before encores so good to know he reigned it in then. I like the guy, he's a talent and a character, but I don't think conventional hard rock boogie is going to take him far.

At 3:24 pm , Blogger Dave Thomas said...

And here's me thinking Lil Buck was Louisiana's finest guitar player, or maybe it is Sonny Landreth.

At 5:40 pm , Blogger Dave C said...

Louisiana’s finest guitarist? Too many to choose from, and it depends on criteria and personal preference. Buddy Guy was born in Louisiana. So was James Burton. Sonny Landreth was not, but moved there and plays in a Louisiana-based style. My favourites are Lonnie Johnson, who was born in New Orleans, and Wayne Bennett, who was not, but spent the last part of his life there.


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