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Lovelight (

This album is a throwback to when soul and blues, seemingly only coming out of corners of north-east England (or Jeff St John killing it here), were organ-driven and meant as both dance music and drinking music.

Ingredients were simple, and easy to spot here: Hammond B3 providing both the sonic bed and a keen solo; a gritty voice that suggested decades of hellraising (but was probably just down to a few pints of Newcastle Brown and double packs of Woodbines then); guitar choppy and moving feets, but also beefed up like the post-Yardbirds bands getting heavy.

Lovelight comes on strong from the start, punching hard on the Hammond B3 and harder still on the groove in We’re Free as Doley – on keys and vocals – busts a lung. There’s even more force in Only Cure For The Blues Is The Blues and the swinging title track, while The Killer makes for the Deep Purple-meets-Muscle Shoals danceteria.

But Doley, who also smooths it out on a clavinet, isn’t afraid to get slow and smouldering in Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City and Get It While You Can (with Zkye Blue bringing a woman’s voice to the party) or to sit halfway between with the deep soul of Who Was I Foolin’, with Jimmy Barnes going ragged throat for ragged throat with Doley and Nathan Cavaleri firing out an organ-taunting guitar solo.

If you want to dig into the local roots of some of this ask your local record bar for Back On The Street Again, a compilation of funk/soul/psych rock from the days of flares, moustaches and Reschs. It’s a mixed bag for quality but a good companion to Lovelight.

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