by Mark Harrop
Voodoo Daddy’s, Norwich July 12, 2022
If you like your rock and roll hot and sweaty, you’ve come to the right place. On a sultry summer’s evening, the compact surroundings at Voodoo Daddy’s are perfect for a steamy session from His Lordship, the new project from James Walbourne.
Walbourne, best known as the guitarist with The Pretenders, has teamed up with manic Danish drummer Kristoffer Sonne to unleash an uncompromising collection of classic rock and blues.
A couple of EPs have showcased their work, but nothing prepares you for the sheer raw energy of the live performance.
Crashing into the opening chords of I Live In The City from the new All Cranked Up EP, Walbourne is a man on a mission. His Lordship don’t so much play rock and roll, they chew it up and spit it out in a frenzy that leaves you breathless.
The action is as relentless as the heat with I’m So Bored Of Being Bored followed by the singalong Jackie Works For The NHS. But they are merely supporting acts to a ripped-up version of Jack Scott’s The Way I Walk that’s so down and dirty it’s almost a relief when the gentler tones of Sleepwalk and The Repenter are slotted in to lift the overload.
These searing tunes show Walbourne’s virtuosity at its finest. Behind all the gritty riffs and Chuck Berry duck-walks is a superb guitarist at the top of his game. His partnership with Sonne is inspired as they bounce off each other to reinvent the music they love, brilliantly supported in the live shows by bassist Dave Page.
Sonne leaps from the behind the drum kit to take vocals on a wild-eyed rendition of My Brother Is An Only Child and a frantic Joy Boy takes the insanity to a new level.
I Am In Amsterdam is a suitably raucous closing number before His Lordship take a final bow with a supercharged take on Billy Lee Riley’s classic Red Hot, a title which rather neatly sums up the whole experience.