Charles Bradley covers Black Sabbath’s ‘Changes’ – and nails it

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Anyone not familiar with Charles Bradley’s story ought to check it out, whichever musical walk you take. A former James Brown impersonator, Bradley got his big career break at 62, releasing the critically acclaimed ‘No Time for Dreaming‘ in 2011 and going from strength to strength since. You’ve got to see his documentary ‘Soul of America’, chronically his slow and sometimes painful rise. He’s one of the best things happening outside of the world of rock and metal right now, and here he’s given me excellent reason to feature him. Bradley has taken on Black Sabbath’s classic single ‘Changes’, and not only has he (& the Budos Band) done it justice with a stunning cover, he’s made it completely his own as well. This was released for Black Friday in the USA on strictly limited vinyl, and my oh my, would I pay the earth for this in future. Bradley is one of the best damn singers in the world now, operating on the fringes of the poisonous mainstream, and sweeping up all plaudits before him. Check out the song below – you won’t regret it and it’s a phenomenal way for 2013 to reach an end.

Peter Clegg

Visions: Vodun – Oya

It’s been a while since I constructed a Visions post, either because I haven’t been bothered or because most rock and metal videos weren’t interesting me any more. Well take a look at this! London trio Vodun, whose excellent ‘Eat Up The Sun‘ EP was recently reviewed here, have dropped the creepy and rocking video for ‘Oya’, where an outpatient is drawn towards the band upon which she encounters some rotten vegetables and eventually a out-of-body experience courtesy of the voodoo ritual that seems to be taking place. You don’t see much of the band but you don’t need to – ‘Oya’s power lies in its well scripted video, in which you can at least just about follow what’s going on. It’s also a mighty shock as well when the song kicks in. And I’m not talking about the song itself, which is thoroughly, brilliantly soulful rock once again.

‘Oya’ is out now via the band’s Bandcamp page for £1 or more, with a remix of the single, by Amatuer, as the b-side.

Peter Clegg

Vodun – Eat Up The Sun

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Vodun
Eat Up The Sun
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Does anyone here in the room remember Invasion, the London three-piece who created bowel-shaking psychedelic noises and all manner of enchanting soul ruckus? It seemed they disappeared without much of a trace following the release of 2009’s widely-hailed debut ‘The Master Alchemist’, but through the power of voodoo, it seems, two thirds of that band (drummer Zel and songstress Chan) have returned as Vodun, a body shaking, soul grooving heavy rock machine, adding Oli from Arrows of Love on guitar to complete their triumvirate.

Starting with a passage on how ‘voodoo has given woman the power…to distinguish her from humans of all other forms‘, the title-track kicks in and Chan’s delightfully soulful vocals kick in over the booming low-end riffs and pounding drums. This is followed up quickly by the thrilling ‘Red Flag’, a fast-paced high octane ride with some simple yet effective organ over the top of the motoring riff. The bluesy shake of ‘Erzulie’ pops up next, one of the highlights of the EP as Chan declares ‘don’t bow down/I’m not your saviour/I’m not your Jesus/But I bear your cross’, even laughing at the end of the bridge section to show just how this band enjoys creating this sound as much as we, the listener, should enjoy it. By the end it seems the hocus takes over, as ‘Zaka’ reaches its conclusion, as the band play out a doomy riff underneath Chan’s building wail, not unlike an unholy summoning of the voodoo gods. Its not quite the equivalent of perfection, but this is without question one of the releases of the year so far. So much so, I reckon they wouldn’t sound out of place on ‘Later Live with Jools Holland’. Can we make this happen? Please?

Peter Clegg

Download ‘Eat Up the Sun’ here
Stream it below:

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