Party time at the Cambridge Junction with CC Smugglers
The high-octane sextet, whose music encompasses a wide variety of genres, sold out The Junction's largest venue, J1.
Hitting the stage shortly after nine on Thursday, October 19, the CC Smugglers – made up of lead vocalist Richie Prynne, lead guitarist/bajo player Ryan Thomas, Sam Barret on rhythm guitar and fiddle, Dan Edwards on double bass, drummer Iain McFarlane and pianist Tom Seals – immediately got everyone dancing with a slew of catchy jazz/blues/swing numbers, which included instantly likeable tunes such as Lydia and Baker Street 205.
The frenetic pace, which saw dancing, friendly group interplay, members coming out into the crowd and Prynne’s superbly energetic harmonica playing, was slowed down a bit on a beautiful love song which I think was called I Can Call You Sweetheart, Prynne commenting: “We don’t do many love songs, but when we do they’re from the heart.”
The band’s best known songs are probably How Long, Rhythm and Dirty Money, and all were given an airing – the latter with the powerful mantra of “We don’t need no money, happiness comes for free.”
Grumpy was dedicated to a girl in the audience, singled out by her family as being in a bad mood. I’m not sure it cheered her up, although she was dancing.
Ever humble, Prynne sincerely thanked the crowd for selling out the venue and expressed hope that the Smugglers’ album – made independently with the fans’ help – will soon see the light of day, even though, he believes, they’ll “never be as big as Ed Sheeran,” which is probably true but a shame nevertheless.
For the last song of the evening, the group recalled their roots as a busking outfit, coming out into the middle of the crowd and performing with opening act, Australian all-female folk band All Our Exes Live in Texas.
CC Sumgglers have had a long association with Cambridge, busking in the city, appearing in prestigious evening slots at the Cambridge Folk Festival and now filling decent-sized venues. Long may it continue.
To find out more about the CC Smugglers’ album campaign, visit pledgemusic.com/projects/cc-smugglers-new-album.