'Lights Out By Nine' slip into the groove at Festival event

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Last night's Public Hall Festival event saw a superb opening set from Afro Blue that was acclaimed by an enthusiastic audience. Top billing Scottish band 'Lights Out By Nine' then took to the stage having arrived in Audlem with a huge reputation. The seven-strong combo's opening two numbers were, how can we put it, just a little under-whelming. More than competent, yes, but the magic was missing. Was Scotland's finest finding Audlem's sophistication a tough nut to crack just as countless top English comedians have died the death at Glasgow's notoriously fickle Empire theatre? Or was a ten o'clock start a little late for 'Lights Out By Nine'?

Amazingly, that curious chemistry between band and audience rapidly swung into place. The warm applause was clearly appreciated, the dance floor started to fill and the band found its groove. Al Hughes, on vocals and guitar, ripped out the numbers. Dougie Hunter on bass, who introduced each number, started to really enjoy himself. And a powerful brass section, where George Morrison on tenor sax had some notable solos, drove the band along in admirable style. Mind you, even Audlem would have no fears for George after his 27-year stint with the Royal Marines!

'Lights Out By Nine' have had great success, playing numerous Festivals and gigs in Scotland and south of the border. They have five albums to their name including the acclaimed Good Morning Mr. Universe. They combine soul, their driving influence, with some superb blues, notably a brilliant 'Where White Men Sing The Blues'. They provided an excellent night's entertainment, as did Afro Blue, a trio that can really entertain.

Thanks again to Paul Moran and the Festival team for bringing great live music to Audlem.


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