Here's the recording of 2012's show in Q-Bus
It dripped from the ceiling and from Jeff Hershey. One giant chunk of energy and loads of honest sweat was thrown into the Q-Bus in Leiden on Sunday 9 June. After a more than descent funk and soul set of Smelly Kitchen (click here), Jeff Hershey and his Heartbeats had to work real hard to obliterate the impression this Dutch band made on me. But truth be told, Hershey made me move and more. The first Q-Bus WoNo Magazine action sure made for a very successful show.
The funny thing is that almost all songs this band plays I would hardly ever play at home. The exception being The Spencer Davies Group and The Blues Brothers. Every once in a while some songs come by as the cover band I play in plays 'Gimme some loving' as well. This just does not matter. The up tempo soul music played by a line up of drums, bass, guitar, saxophone is played with so much energy, that it is impossible to remain impassive or still: It's party time.
Comparing Hershey to someone of the likes of Eli ´Paperboy´ Reed who I saw play in Leiden last year (click here), this show was so much more fun. The punky way the soul songs are attacked, especially by the female bass player who was playing with a pick and hard, made them shine the more. Punk also shown through in the soulified punk rock covers they played. While subtlety in the one or two ballads in "the Sam Cooke style" to quote Ruthie Foster, the band also had down completely. An own voice versus the copying of Reed.
Through some covers like 'Hold on I'm coming' and 'Gimme some loving' the recognition card was played. Sing-a-long however was also scored with what may be originals. Crowd participation was also stimulated by repeatedly jumping off stage and running through the audience. Saxophone, guitar, singing, all but the rhythm section participated. The ladies remained on stage.
And yes, all of a sudden we got a surf rock intermezzo. So it was true. One of the things that heightens the party may also be the Achilles' heel of the band. Too much diversification may kill you, no matter how good. For this Sunday evening it was one big gas. And what a beautiful, exotic sixties model guitar Jeff Hershey had standing by to accompany the guitarist who was going totally berserk during his surf outing. As soon as I manage to get pictures off my cell phone again, I'll post one here.
In short Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats, who drove in from Dresden on Sunday, gave it its all in the final show of its 26 days straight European tour. And what a show it was. Deep respect!
You can order 'Underground classics' here.