Dirty Water Records

Taking Music Backwards Into Tomorrow

Les Grys-Grys live at Le Beat Bespoke


With short sharp bursts of frenzied drumming, plonking bass and off-the cuff maraca-shaking from their resident loonhouse blues harp wielder, French upstarts Les Grys Grys set out their stall immediately, purveying classic white R’n’B in the style of the Yardbirds, Outsiders (Neth), Pretty Things, Blues Incorporated, Them, Downliners Sect and (of course) the Stones: there’s also a hint of the howling acid blues of the Groundhogs, TYA and Savoy Brown, but that’s more in the crunching tone and hair-shaking antics of the lead guitarist than the construction of the numbers. As with the Strypes and 45s (although they’re considerably older and longer-haired than both) their material predominantly consists, at this moment, of covers – yet these Montpelier Mods have taken things one step further by showing as much deference to their blue-eyed heroes as the genre’s black American originators. Thus, “Neighbour Neighbour” rubs shoulders with “Mystic Eyes” and the Masters Apprentices’ “Hot Gully Wind” without batting an eyelid: of course, not everybody is an expert on the derivation of rock’n’roll, but this Le Beat crowd sure knows its blues from its snooze.

A frantic blur of fringe, deerstalker, tambourine and axe-fire, these eminent Grys (see what I did there?) are one of several currently emergent bands capable of reminding you exactly why you first loved these three things called blues, soul and rock’n’roll. The question remains as to what will happen when they start writing their own material, but it will happen, and the development will be, just as it was with those lads from Dartford and Erith 50 years ago, fascinating to observe: even if they never put pen to paper, they’ll still be unmissable live.

‘Dashing’ Drewe Shimon

Dirty Water Records London