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After Tea - Joint House Blues (1971) review

After Tea “Joint House Blues” (Pseudonym, 2012)

This was the third outing from these Dutch soulful r’n’b ambassadors, and dates from 1970. It’s fair to say too that the bulk of what’s on offer here is mainly rooted in a much harder blues-based rock and full-on progressive style sound than any of their previous efforts. The title cut, while a little on the plodding side for my tastes, still does a pretty decent r'n'b boogie chug, coming over at times sort of like, well the mighty Cuby+Blizzards, or a more coasting Q65 readily come to mind but only as mere reference points, while the likes of ‘You’ve Got To Move Me’ will perhaps grip you the most, even after just one or two listens, due to its tough use of Hammond organ and wild, wailing wah-wah guitar.

For sheer wilful audaciousness, and also the set’s heaviest and indeed downright scariest moments, however, you need to check out the lengthy 'Trial’ / ‘Punishment’ / ‘The End' suite which will undoubtedly test the patience and endurance of, at least most casual listeners. Pursue to the end if you can though, as the reward comes in the shape of some extraordinary guitar and drum action, respectively. This newly expanded edition includes a bunch of the group’s single releases too, spanning from the late 60s and on into the early 70s, of which a different, grittier produced version (or perhaps just an edit) of the title track appears. One of the highlights for me in this section has to be the driving ‘Sunshine Eyes’ which, along with the afore-mentioned ‘…Move Me’, could almost be the work of a different band altogether, although definitely not the Tee-Set, I hasten to add, even though both groups would shared some members now and then.

Review made by Lenny Helsing/2013
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