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Groove Machine @ The Royal Oak 2nd November 2013

Groove Machine are a 3 piece covers group playing rock and blues covers by bands like Free, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Kings X. Each member is very accomplished in their discipline and play with a lot of soul and energy. The band is made up of drums, bass, guitar and two lead vocals. The bass player also plays the Harmonica. They managed to achieve a very full and vibrant sound. This is particularly impressive as they are a smaller line up.

On Saturday 2nd November Groove Machine played at The Royal Oak in Charlton. Generally the music was very good. The performance was energetic, they were very sure of their set list and there was very little silence between tracks. Groove Machine definitely have a style; the blues and rock. This is not necessarily a negative point as they had a good audience, some of whom had a bit of a dance. I would say though that there is often a danger of sounding samey if you limit yourself to one or two genres and I was hoping to hear some more varied styles. They played a couple of songs which, had they played the original versions, would have given them some unpredictable variation. These were Love Potion No.9 by The Searchersand On the Road Again by Canned Heat. They chose to play much rockier versions which, although worked, would have also fit really well into their set with more of the original characteristics. But as was mentioned above, the band has a style and it went down really well at the venue. I also know that there are a lot of other venues where it would go down like a house on fire. The sets were not only fast moving but they were also very extensive. I really admired the band’s apparent commitment on stage. You could tell they really enjoyed the performance and this was reflected in the crowd’s reaction to them.

I enjoyed watching the band. The guitarist was extremely self-assured in his playing and did some really tasteful and complex guitar licks. The bass player was solid as a rock and the classic sound of the Musicman Stingray was punchy all the way through. The drums were hard, rocky and were beautifully in time or, as we say in the industry, “in the pocket.” In my opinion the best song they played was Kings X's Groove Machine. The band have named themselves well!

Groove Machine is a great band and the members are friendly and approachable. If you want a good rocking night out or if you have a venue that needs a band, look them up!