A few weeks ago, we noticed in the Duck and Drake that The Mustangs were due to play on the 24th, so it duly went on the calendar. They had put in a good spot at the Butlin’s Rock n Blues weekend in January (see earlier review) and I also checked it was the ‘same’ Mustangs on their web-site. It seemed strange that these stalwarts of the R&B/Blues circuit would be playing at the D&D but seemingly they were playing at lunchtime in Hebden Bridge , so it sort of made sense.
However, when we arrived the stage looked very empty, and it appeared that they phoned at 4.00 pm to cancel. No comment on their website, I will try to get further information though. So, we were there anyway, and TJ Norton had been hired as a replacement. Under the guise of TJ and the Suitcase, he arrived and set up. The afore-mentioned suitcase was 50% of the percussion section (via his right foot) and a tambourine occupied his left foot. I missed the introduction as I was in the little boys’ room, but came out as he was talking about Billy Boy Arnold’s ‘I wish you would’ and how the Groundhogs covered it. I always think of it as being the Yardbirds first single though. TJ was soon multi-tasking with vocals, harmonica and his percussion set-up, and we quickly appreciated that it had been a wise decision to hang around. ‘Ain’t your train’ was a good original number , and Sonny Boy Williamson’s ‘Help Me’ (the second SBW, by the way, not the earlier blues man) was well-received. The ubiquitous ‘Got my mojo working’ got some good crowd response, drawing the first 40-ish minute set to a close.
Sadly, the last bus home was due so we had to leave. TJ gave us plenty of tales about being on the road in the US and if the second set was as good as the first, then the name ‘Mustangs’ would have quickly faded from memory. Well worth checking out and it’s always a bonus if ‘the turn’ is pleasant to talk to.