"When you listen to and write about music for a living, one of the first and most important lessons you learn, is never to assume anything. On that basis, when you unpack an album from a band that hails from Berkshire in the southern end of our fair isle, and slot it into the player, and wait to see what comes out, you have long ago learned not to assume that what you will get is polite English uptight songs in cut-glass accents. And that’s just as well, because the growly soulful vocal of Dennis Siggery could hold its own in any blues band anywhere in the US of A, or indeed anywhere else for that matter. The band similarly, have a slinky gritty feel about them as they unfurl the slow hand-jive timing of Man With No Name, some lovely double-tracked slide guitar underpins the story as Dennis tells the tale, and then a fuzzy slide solo adds the sweetness to a sad song – that makes perfect blues listening.
The major appeal of this collection of songs is the diversity in theme, arrangement and execution. The only constant is that unique vocal technique that Dennis Siggery brings, if you can imagine a young Rod Stewart singing on the first couple of Free albums, you’re probably in the right aural ball park, and if that intrigues you enough to check out this album, then good, it deserves your attention. Sadie is as sad a song about heartbreak as you could find, with its perfect country blues setting, it’s one for a late-night reflective listen. The highlight of the album though is Child Of Yesterday, which chugs powerfully through a moral tale, with a sinewy fuzzy guitar solo to add to the enjoyment.
Yet again I have found a band who are far too original, inventive, and talented not to be enjoying seriously big success. I can only hope that someone puts them out on the road with a major draw so more people can enjoy their wonderful sound and style. Buy this album and see this band, I insist!"
Andy Hughes, Blues Matters - August/September 2019
Here's another great review - from Coast To Coast FM, Austrralia
"'Eye Of The Storm' is a masterpiece, man. Every track is awesome! Biased as I am, I still think the best is to come. Both 'Purple Passage' and 'Eye Of The Storm' are close. 'Man With No Name' is a brilliant track in every way - love it! Also 'Child Of Yesterday' should storm the charts if the people that 'work' the charts weren't as deaf as posts. 'Sadie' is another excellent track. This album covers the spectrum - it's like 'Across The Board' only more so, showing your versatility and your writing. As well as this, the 'new' ESB is a strong, well-rounded bunch of musicians and as tight as a funeral drum (Pink Floyd quote). This is a masterclass of songwriting and musicianship at the highest degree - so sayeth Dr. Blues - he doesn't lie!"
Mark Field, Coast to Coast FM, Australia
"...Their sound is most certainly blues based but without it being a blues album, with soul, rock and even a little country included in their sound. What is not in question is their musical ability, Gordon is most certainly a very able player, his solos being both empathic and aggressive as needed.
The music changes from the heavy rock sound of 'I Like What I See' through the funky beat of 'Ruby’s Bar', the polished blues of 'I’m Coming Home' and 'Payback Time' to the smooth sound of 'Jack The Lad', a gentle ballad suited to dance floor intimacy.
Of the four bonus tracks, three are covers, with 'The Thrill Is Gone' covered in a reverential but somewhat different way. Can’t help but think that Dennis sounds somewhat like Stan Webb here. Also covered is Willie Dixon’s 'Hoochie Coochie Man' and Ellington Jordan’s 'I’d Rather Go Blind'.
My favourite track is 'Stop, Take A Listen' which opens as a mournful blues before breaking out into a full tilt boogie with Gordon playing screaming slide before returning to the fully controlled slow blues. The band has previously been described as “...mature, polished and well produced”, all of which I totally concur."
Blues Matters magazine, 2016
Here's another great review - from Blues Power, Holland
"The Eric Street Band is a British blues band that has been around for over 12 years and has released quite a large catalog of CDs. Singer Dennis Siggery already had a solid career in various bands when he was in the studio of Neil Sadler in Wokingham for recordings. Neil then suggested the idea to gather some people around them and the first version of the Eric Street Band was born. The line-up was changed in 2016 and since then the band has consisted of guitarist Gordon Vaughan, bassist Henry Smithson and Adam J. Perry, alongside Dennis.
In that year the CD "Purple Passage" was released with nine songs written by Dennis and Gordon and four bonus tracks, one original and three covers. Musically we are here with a band that is up to its ankles in the South English blues clay and is not afraid to allow influences from soul, rock and country in its music. We hear a variety of real blues, such as in “Payback Time” and “I'm Coming Home” to the solid rock sound in “I Like What I See”. The three covers are true blues classics (“The Thrill Is Gone”, “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “I'd Rather Go Blind”), which have their own adaptation and are well executed. My preference is for their own work, especially since Siggery and Vaughan are great songwriters. Great job."
Gerard Kolenbrander, Blues Power, 2020
The latest album from the Eric Street Band is another set of tough modern blues, featuring Dennis Siggery on vocals and Neil Sadler on guitar. They are backed by Edward Sterling on bass and Andy Aust on drums.
There are 8 original songs here mainly covering working for 'the man' and redundancy themes - so modern blues for modern times.
The CD opens with the title track which has a boogie beat and tough guitar and is all about selling your soul to the company and the affect on the rest of your life, a theme further explored on 'Monday Morning'. 'Don't Turn Your Back On Me' is a blues balled about the breakdown of a relationship - heartfelt vocals and good guitar.
The next three songs are all slowies focussing on the problems and helplessness of being out of work. Then things take a turn for the better with 'I'm On My Way Back', an up-tempo and more positive song. The CD ends with 'Watch the Dawn', a quiet contemplative piece with good slide guitar.
As on their previous albums, Dennis' gruff vocals and Neil's spot-on guitar work well together.This is a themed set of songs which gets quite downbeat through the middle of the album but then the final two songs are positive and at ease with the world. An interesting CD and if you enjoyed the bands earlier albums then you should enjoy this one.
Rating: 8 - Jim Greaves, Blues in Britain, April 2011
The Album comes burning on the heels of the Eric Street Band's last Studio album 'The Journey'. Lead singer Dennis Siggery croaks, " i've been out on the road " and "The music I play it satisfies my soul ", in a voice equal parts Rod Stewart, Roger Daltrey and a 72 hour bourbon binge. This works flawlessly with Neil Sadler's reverb-heavy slide guitar on the soulful suitcase-life laments that this album has in droves.
Dennis and Neil are supported by three of the most competent Blues Musicians in Britain. The essence of good ol' fashioned blues is still there, songs about drinking, dancing and one-night stands, usually followed by early mornings on the road out of town. What Eric Street Band does is to own these stories.
They're singing about four British guys doing it in the UK, and that truth makes the image that much stronger. The Eric Street Band is one of the best British Blues Bands around.
Jonathan Madge, Blues in Britain, July 2010
'The Journey' is the Eric Street Band’s third album. It sees a return to the studio after the album, 'Eric Street Live'.
Breaking from the formula of previous albums, Eric Street Band have peppered this one with a few surprises, most notably a ukulele. Not even this can scuff the surface of filthy, nightclub blues that covers 'The Journey'. On “Mr Blues”, the wah-wah pedal is put to good use. Neil Sadler pours dirty jazz sounding blues out of his guitar like whiskey from a bottle. The rest of the band expertly contributes to the archetypal blues man.
The title track tells the story of the blues entry into the mainstream, through bands like Cream, Led Zeppelin and the Animals. In doing so it also name checks a number of blues influences. Softer tracks like “Cardboard City” and “Hey Suzie” show the band’s social conscience, Sadler effortlessly finger-picking heart strings and classical guitar alike. But it’s on stories of penniless, womanless tax-dodging like “The Tallyman” that the band are in their element, melding harsh bottleneck slide with fuzz-box distorted harmonica.
Not for the faint of heart or clear of head, The Journey is a masterpiece of punchy, tobacco-stained blues rock.
Rating: 8 – Jonathan Madge, Blues in Britain, January 2010
Looking at the personnel, this is presumably some kind of offshoot of the well known Reading-based Southside Blues Band. I would have to say that this is the most mature, polished and well produced piece of material I have heard thus far from vocalist and co-writer of eight of the nine featured tracks, Dennis Siggery.
Only nine tracks, but, with a playing time of over fifty minutes, it's good value. For the most part it’s slow to medium paced and fairly gritty, contemporary stuff, all dominated with an earthy vibrato vocal style that reminds you of a certain Roger Chapman. Also on his best form is fellow scribe and lead guitarist Neil Saddler.
The album title could be a bit misleading to some. Although there is undoubtedly a Blues influence to the album, much of the music has moved into a more mainstream position. As well as a handful of songs concerning relationships, we have a bit of social commentary on drugs, with ‘The Habit’ and ‘Sweet Cocaine’; a little political jibe with ‘Mr Fat Cat’; and a swipe at TV in ‘The Reality Show’.
If you don’t already have any of Mr Siggery’s material then this is definitely worth a listen.
Thomas Rankin, Blues In Britain
This is Dennis Siggery's latest project. There are eleven tracks with ten classics and one of Dennis's own songs from his recent 'Newtown Boy' album. His band consists of Neil Sadler lead guitar; Leon Miller rhythm guitar; Edward Sterling bass and Scott Hunter drums. They are joined on a few tracks by Nigel Pugh on harp. This is a set of solid blues-rock.
'Rock Me Baby' chugs along nicely with a good guitar solo but full marks to the drummer and rhythm guitarist, the latter supplying some tasty riffs and licks. There are some gritty vocals from Dennis on 'Messing With The Kid', and when the tempo comes down for 'Stormy Monday Blues' his understated vocals contrast well with the fiery guitar work from Neil. Another slow blues follows, 'Red House' (obligatory aaargh! although I have not heard a version for a while!) and then Nigel joins in with some blasting blues harp on 'Help Me'. There is a slightly laid-back take on 'Little Red Rooster' with some more fine harp.
Next is Dennis's original, 'Running On Empty', which basically has a boogie beat, with the drums pushing the song along. There is a moody reading of 'Born Under A Bad Sign' with good vocals and some high-energy guitar work. There is a heartfelt vocal performance on 'Reconsider Baby' and some tasty licks from the rhythm guitarist. 'Crossroads' gets the Cream/Eric C type treatment. Nigel rejoins the band as they rock out with a Them/boogie themed take on 'Baby, Please Don't Go".
This is a good all-round band performance. Gritty, tough vocals allied to some high-energy guitar work. The rhythm section does the business too, particularlyt powering along the up-tempo numbers. A special mention should go to the rhythm gfuitarist whose riffs and fills were spot-on. The recording quality is excellent with no intrusive crowd noise. If you like blues-rock then this is worth checking out.
Rating: 8 Jim Greaves, Blues in Britain