If you think of Mumford & Sons as The Beatles then CC Smugglers are The Rolling Stones. They both inhabit the same folk/ blues/ country/ rock/ Americana landscape but there the similarity ends.
The 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street is a very small venue – actually the building is large enough but most venues have larger stages than the 12 Bar’s live room. Six CC Smugglers filled the stage and mostly had to stand very still for two reasons. Firstly, because Dave Marks’ trombone could have done an unwary band-mate a serious injury and secondly because lead vocalist Richie Prynne …
Off-stage, Richie is a quiet, personable young man; in front of the band, he stomps, struts and yells like a loose-limbed marionette so giving him plenty of room is important. CC Smugglers have an excellent debut album, called New Roots Music but they are already impatient to move on.They played ‘Mother’s Ruin’, ‘Devil’ and ‘Temple Of Bloom’ from the album but also stomping new tracks like ‘Shake, Shuffle And Move’. Scorning all advice to the contrary they did their usual encore stunt of turning off the microphones and descending into the crowd, taking their lives – and everyone else’s – in their hands. By then nobody really cared and nobody was seriously hurt.
CC Smugglers made their reputation by busking outside other people’s gigs – being invited in more often than not – and will be at Glastonbury next year, although I’m not sure on which side of the fence. Until then, check out their gig list and get along to hear them. It will be decision you won’t regret. Dai Jeffries
Artist’s website: www.ccsmugglers.co.uk