Blues Matters Review

December 10, 2015

Last month we played for a great crowd of UK blues-cruisers, who attended P&O’s first blues cruise. Our lunchtime gig was held ashore in Amsterdam. Blues Matters magazine also attended our gig and wrote a fine review of the whole cruise. Here’s the part about our gig:

​”Little Stevie & the Big Beat proved a real coup – whilst virtually unknown in the UK they are highly thought of in the Netherlands (nominated for ‘Best Band’, ‘Best Vocalist’ and ‘Best Drummer’ in this year’s Dutch Blues Awards). Little Stevie van der Nat leads the band with fine vocals and clean, ringing lead guitar. A rhythm section of ‘Bird’ Stevens on bass and the youthful Jody van Ooijen on drums provide a perfect foundation for the band’s 50s/60s rhythm and blues. What sets this quintet apart though, is the wonderful brass section of Martijn van Toor on tenor and  Evert Hoedt on bariton saxes. The UK contingent was quick to show its appreciation and their warm applause clearly inspired the band to even greater heights. Wilbert Harrison’s Kansas City got the breakneck treatment whilst the languorous mood of Magic Sam’s Easy Baby was replicated in a fine vocal performance. Chuck Willis’ influence is sadly overlooked today by many but this band made amends with their take on his classic, oft-recorded, Feel So Bad.
Their own compositions, too, add to the oeuvre. Their 2014 single Brand New Man rocks along fueled by incessant horn-riffing and a soaring vocal from Stevie – whose phrasing and command of idiomatic English would shame many UK vocalists. Plans are advanced to bring this outstanding outfit across the water; see them and you’ll understand what the stalwart cruisers drinking at the Waterhole were making such a fuss about!”

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