The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


featuring Arunachala

Ruby’s Lounge, Belgrave 6th August 2011



Ruby’s Lounge is charmingly dark and dingy, with an authentic funky smell emanating from somewhere in the back corner and a highly diverse crowd hugging the walls – it is an atmosphere I’ve seen other bars try and fail to manufacture.  Therefore, it seemed a fitting venue for a stripped-back blues show, starring Lloyd Spiegel and opening with David Knight.

Knight is a young guitar player, with the genuine nervous energy that comes from someone still thrilled and not jaded by being on stage. He is technically a fine player, but he takes it further than regular strumming - in his hands the instrument is more than a guitar; it is a bass, piano and drum kit. He uses his guitar in a highly percussive way that is both surprising and fascinating to watch and it is clear he has a bright future ahead of him.

The difference between his style and that of the headliner is apparent as soon as the latter takes the stage. A veteran of the blues scene, Spiegel has been performing globally for over 20 years. He is at home on the stage and commands the audience’s attention when he begins to play.

His name might not be familiar in this country, but Spiegel has played bills with some of the all time greats of the music industry – Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and more, and is a major celebrity in Japan. He is an exceptional blues guitarist and a strong singer, whether playing covers or songs from his latest album, Tangled Brew. He sings with his eyes closed for much of the time but still manages to connect with his audience through his passionate performance and sheer depth of talent.

Percussionist Arunachala is the perfect side kick, playing a collection of random objects to accompany the guitar. Together they are a mesmerising act. Spiegel is an artist who is not only talented but who knows how to work a stage and a room - though the crowd was subdued at first, they were totally won over by the end, when a cover of I Just Wanna Make Love to You brought the house down.

It’s not often you get to see a true guitar great live,  so when it comes to Spiegel I was with the crowd – slowly but thoroughly impressed.


By Jenna Cosgrove