Love this review by Ian Hall of The Sharpeez, Wild One. Album which they will be playing tracks from at The Arran Rock 'n Blues Festival in July.
There is never the possibility of taming the Wild One, the person that leaves you breathless with anticipation, that leads you down paths you know you shouldn’t venture but you know in your heart it will be the best of times that you have, that the Wild One will enthuse your lust for life as well as sing you songs in which you will remember till you finally discard the leather jacket and bid a regretful farewell to the vehicle that served you well.
It is a vehicle though, the motorbike of life, that never truly goes away, you might find the sound of a cruising engine, one that was distinctive by its heyday cult resonance and one that easily rubbed shoulders and tyre with the best of them, somehow never left you, that it was just out of sight all along and in the corner of a forgotten garage, the engine starts revving once more, the sound unmistakable, definite, instantly purring with majesty and purity; this is the figure of the Rebel that never went away and always had a cause to live up to.
It is a former R&B Rebel that the engine calls out for, the cult figure of Bill Mead and his Rock and Blues led band The Sharpeez, individually superb, collectively brilliant, this sight on the music freeway and country driven roads is akin to seeing the highway full of the much loved bikes, the leader of the pack and the engine smoke jousting with the air as it swirls and kicks back and against the naysayers and doom mongers who suggest that you can never recapture what is gone.
With William Mead at the helm of The Sharpeez, and with Loz Netto on slide guitar, Baz Payne on bass, Brendan O’Neil on drums and Teresa Revill on backing vocals, the songs live firmly up to the Wild One description and passion. Tracks such as Dr. Feelgood, Stilletto Heels, written with former band mate Pete Goodey, Heartache Express, Losing Hands and the superb Heat of the Night, exemplify the passion felt in the hands of natural flair and ferocious talent on offer and it is one is disciplined, cultivated but never, ever thankfully tamed.
A terrifically produced album, the former Rebel is again a leader of the pack!
The Sharpeez release Wild One on May 18th.
Ian D. HallI
Didier Caron [email protected] Arras, France -Nov 24th 2013
Bill, thank you for your Sharpees benefits Couleur Cafe in Arras in November. You put a great atmosphere and terrific memories. I hope to see you in France soon again thank you the Sharpees.
Projet de loi, et je vous remercie de vos prestations Sharpees au céramiste Cafe à Arras en novembre vous avez mis une super ambiance terribles souvenirs que j'espère vous voir en France bientôt à vous remercier une fois de plus le Sharpees
Ian durham, Ostend -Aug 14 2013
Posted on: Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015
Review for THE SHARPEES – CD – ‘Mississippi Thrill’ – 2014 http://sharpees.webs.com/ Self Release
‘The Sharpees’ rhythm and blues band, hail from Guilford in Surrey and give us, as they say, “a fusion of different styles, with elements of blues, rock, and classical”. Their new album ‘Mississippi Thrill’ provides a mix from rock ‘n roll to pop rock with some acoustic playing thrown in for good measure. All the tracks on the album are self penned.
The line up consists of Bill Mead on guitar and vocals, Baz Payne on bass, with Spencer Blackledge on drums. Guesting on the album were Brian Willoughby on guitar, Richard Hayes on slide guitar, Roger Cotton on keys and piano, with Cathryn Craig providing some of the backing vocals.
The first track ‘Tower Of Love’, is a classic rhythm and blues, with hints of The Rolling Stones. Next ‘Strangers’ has some acoustic input and some haunting guitar, it was not unlike Christy Moore’s ‘Ride On’.
‘Play Johnny Play’ is a rockin’ number with a hint of Ian Dury, with some great guitar work. Breaking into a real up tempo foot tapper and the name sake of the album, ‘Mississippi Thrill’ gave us some excellent slide guitar and vocals.
Some more rhythm and blues on ‘Kick Start Me’, while ‘Song For Allie’ delved into the realms of classic rock. ‘Jacky D’ again showed what the influence the Stones has had on the band, but a great take. ‘Crazy Woman Blues’ has a superb intro with a skiffle feel. It is a great up tempo number with class percussion, probably one of my favourite tracks on the album.
‘Clock’ falls into the realms of pop rock, but has a great bass line intro’ and keyboard input, with a competent guitar solo. A change with ‘Trucking The E15′, an uptempo rockin’ track with some great acoustic input which works really well. The final track, ‘Travelling Blues Man’ has a classic rhythm and blues feel, with some excellent guitar and vocals and is a ‘good time’ foot stomper.
The whole album gives you a lift and makes you want to get up and have a boogie. I can imagine seeing ‘The Sharpees’ live is something of a treat, which you don’t quite get on a CD.Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer
Review in German publication 'Rock Times'
Translated from German:
The Sharpees arrived for this gig from Guildford, Surrey in the UK. Unfortunately, the original drummer, Spencer Blackledge, could not be there, however, Brendan O'Neill, who is a well-known drummer having previously worked with Rory Gallagher and also plays with Nine Below Zero. The Slide-Guitarist Richard Hayes was also unable to attend, so that the Sharpees presented its energetic Rock'n'Blues/ rhythm'n'Blues as a trio.
Their history goes back to the end of the seventies, early eighties. Three musicians were previously active in the formation and Rebel. "Strangers" (1983) was the first of the newly founded Tontrager-Lebenszeichen volume. The album was re-released in 2005. "Open 4 Surgery" followed in 2011 and then they brought out "Mississippi Thrill" in May 2014. It was only logical that the Trio aired some of the best samples of the latter album. Their Set list was also supplemented by songs of the earlier albums.
The concert calendar of the Sharpees is well filled. The "Maximum RnB band " heats up not only the home country. Venues in Spain, France, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands are being entered into the navigation system of the band. They are also welcome guests at the festivals in the whole of Europe.
The Vollgas-Power (full power) was not released immediately from the 'dynamik-tank' . "Tower of Love" was the beginning of a furious concert night. The number had medium tempo but even here, the Bill Mead-riffs had the sharpness of a small red chilli. However, whether they were able to maintain this effect over the entire concert, remained to be seen. With his rough voice, he was a guitarist for individual entertainment. The backing vocals of bassist Baz Payne brought a not inconsiderable pinch of variety to the microphones.
The Sharpees played as if they wanted to crack the fundiments of the Cafe Bar de Comm. With "Fooled Again" the Sharpees train accelerated and Bill Mead conjured a loose solo on his Fender Stratocaster. Brendan O'Neill was the very well-oiled twelve-cylinder engine in the trio. With his drums on the basin and skins he engraved his name in each track and together with the melodious bass specialist sidekick during the gigs, increased the groove.
"Dr. Feelgood" lived from scalpel-sharp riffs and by a doctor with this name had you like to investigate. After four minutes of play at the diagnosis: The patient was discharged without diagnosis and in a good mood. The Sharpees then turned into the "Mississippi Thrill" -alley. The Combo invited to take part in a "Jackie D" -Party. Brendan O'Neill performed magic with a beautiful hi-hat drive and with elements of RocknRoll, the band lays heavy weights on the song scales.
At this point you could certainly remember the good old days of pub-rock, eg Dr Feelgood.
also in the good old pub Rock in the time of Dr. Feelgood thinking for example.
As already written the drummer plays in nine below zero. The Sharpees so treated themselves with "Sweet Little Contessa" a really short, but also successful visit to their British colleagues (9 Below Zero). Because we're at the detours to other artists are ... in the end they turned to an airy version of "Bullfrog Blues" by the Irish Guitar wizard Rory Gallagher. The Sharpees overall performance left us with a little more adrenaline in your veins.
In the course of the concert, interrupted by a short pause, however was also the impression of a certain straightforwardness in the game by Bill Mead. By the crisp short of the tracks almost flew the songs in a hell of a tempo but just before the break was somehow completely confused. The memories of the fourth or fifth song were flagging. It may be that it was the missing Slide-guitarist. With good will you could describe 'Song For Allie" as a ballad. Maybe they could have included in the concert, one or two songs in the quieter side of the genre as well.
The Sharpees can heat up the air properly in any case. The appearance at the Blues Moose Cafe was in order.