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The Lachy Doley Group

The Brass Monkey, Hastings - 6th June, 2019

Written By Andy Gunton

  • Photograph by Andy Gunton

  • Photograph by Andy Gunton

  • Photograph by Andy Gunton

The Hendrix of the Hammond comes to Hastings.

When you look at the dates and places that The Lachy Doley Group are playing during their current 'Make Or Break' tour, it might at first seem that Hastings sticks out a bit like a sore thumb amongst the Berlins, Amsterdams, Zurichs and Melbournes of this world, but that's where they pitched up on a quiet Thursday evening.

I doubt that any venues on their current world tour are as small as The Brass Monkey, but that just made the whole experience a little bit better.

What better musical experience is there than watching a master of their craft up close and personal?

And believe me, Lachy Doley is just that.

He's been dubbed the 'Hendrix of the Hammond organ', and for a very good reason.

The Lachy Doley Group had been brought to Hastings by the Hastings Fat Tuesday team, after playing at the 100 Club in London the previous evening, and it was a perfect fit.

Playing two sets of supercharged Blues, Funk, Soul and Rock, the trio cooked up a storm.

It's always good to see a band enjoying themselves on stage, and exchanging smiles and nods of approval when one of them adds a nice touch to their playing.

Joel Burton on bass, and Jackie Barnes, son of Aussie singer Jimmy Barnes, on drums provided a perfect rhythmic backing to Lachy Doley's wild and energetic keyboards.

The Hammond organ emits a very distinctive sound, I heard echoes of Alan Price and The Animals during the first set, but I doubt Alan Price ever played the Hammond quite like this.

Add to that Lachy's Hohner Clavinet, complete with its own rather unique metal 'tremelo' arm, and you have a great combination of sounds.

During that first set, which included some great Bluesy numbers, including 'The Greatest Blues' and 'Only Cure For The Blues', the Clavinet was often used almost like a guitar.

Close your eyes and you would have thought you were hearing a searing guitar solo.

Another stand out song during that first half was what was described as a combination of Gone With The Wind and The Meters with 'Frankly My Dear I Don't Give A Damn', giving it a bit of a New Orleans/Fat Tuesday twist.

Lachy Doley promised that the second set would be even more energetic, and he wasn't wrong either.

Starting with Bill Withers 'Use Me', the title track from their new album 'Make or Break', and then a nice cover of John Lennon's 'Jealous Guy', this was powerful stuff.

The band were into their stride now, and playing with great confidence, evidenced by Lachy sipping a pint while playing a wild organ solo!

The next track 'Killer' definitely saw the Jimi Hendrix influence come out in force, with its 'Foxy Lady' like riff.

During 'Killer' Lachy Doley taped down two of the Hammond organs keys to provide a continuous backing to the song, while he concentrated on using the Clavinet, an interesting idea.

Thanking us all for coming out on a school night the evening drew to a close with 'Still In Love' plus a well deserved encore.

Throughout that second set I was struck by how Lachy Doley's playing of the Hammond organ reminded me of the late, great Jon Lord of Deep Purple.

I've subsequently found out that Lachy Doley was used by Glenn Hughes to play on a new studio version of Deep Purple's 'Highway Star' a few years ago, playing alongside Steve Vai and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and that he's regularly played keyboards for Glenn Hughes since then.

I guess that just goes to prove the pedigree of the man, and just how well respected he is in musical circles.

It also shows just how lucky we were to see him play in Hastings.

I very nearly didn't come along to this gig, but I'm sure glad that I made the decision to do so.

Several people around me said that they thought this was one of the best gigs they'd ever seen in Hastings, and who am I to disagree with that.

It really was that good.

Hopefully The Lachy Doley Group will be back to grace our stages at some time.

If they do return, make sure you're there, you will not be disappointed. 

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