The best trick that Lewis Clark and the Essentials pull off is walking that fine line between adhering too closely to their influences and missing the point of what made those reference points so great in the first place. It’s a delicate balancing act but they are deft enough to pull it off and the result is music that carries all the fresh vibrancy of a new listening experience yet is shot through with timeless references to iconic folk, blues and soulful acoustica.
If you listen carefully enough amongst the obvious old celtic soul of Van the Man and the coffee house folk subversions of his Bobness, echoes of cowboy campfire songs, Balkan serenades, warm, late night jazz club vibes and eclectic folk-rock can all be found.
Fans of rising sensations Post Modern Jukebox often try to convince you of how great it is to render known songs into more musically loose, louche and loquacious forms, but whereas their motives seem riddled with irony, familiarity and played with tongues held firmly in their cheeks, this trio offer a genuine alternative. Here the musical form may often find parallel with their elegant and eloquent jazz and blues tinged repertoire but the reasons behind it come from a totally original, pastiche free place.
Intrigued? Well, as part of the tour for their debut album, Vinyl Love, which culminates in a show at The Komedia in Bath on 9th October, you can catch them in Swindon on 29th September when they will be playing an unplugged set in Baila Coffee and Vinyl lunch time, playing a live session for BBC Wiltshire in the afternoon before a full show at The Beehive in the evening.