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When I first saw CW Stoneking (at last year’s End of the Road Festival) I was truly mesmerised. In front of me stood a character straight outta 1920s America – except he wasn’t. He was an Aussie with a very convincing stage act and no shortage of timeless blues. Between then and now he has picked up a fair bit of media coverage and featured on one of The Word magazine CDs but it still came as a surprise that the distinctive Globe was filled to the rafters with a mixed crowd of music lovers – from a group of teenage boys to loved up pensioners and everything inbetween. Support came from Brownbird Rudy Relic Black Box who is not a US blues musician of Japanese extraction (as he was described in a London review) but a quiff sporting Mexican/American whose agitated guitar playing and theatrical vocals sit perfectly alongside his mental kazoo playing. CW Stoneking, dressed in his signature white trouser/shirt combo and bow tie, is so much more than a musician. Th Globe hosts comedy gigs too and in CW Stoneking they had both – a musician and a comedian. His tales of squatters on his pal’s farm, a dildo farm, had the audience in fits of laughter along with a five minute tale of how a fortune teller told him he was going to die in an eight sided room so he always thought himself safe (he said awkwardly counting the walls in the Globe…five, six, seven…ooops!). Thankfully he didn’t die in Wales that night. But it was his music that shone through – the aptly titled Handyman Blues, Dodo Blues and The Jailhouse Blues. Outside the blues songs there was an African Yodeling song called Talkin Lion Blues and a cover of the age old classic The Brave Son of America. In keeping with the old skool blues theme, CW played the majority of his songs on an 80 year old metal guitar called Old Roy with others played on a beautiful banjo. He ended with a raucous rendition of Don’t Go Dancing Down the Old Strutter Ball and the title track off his current album, Jungle Blues. Go forth and buy it now cos it will prove to be one of those timeless classics!

Words and photo: Laura Williams