Catfish Keith, New Roscoe, 1.11.2012

In the last century, it used to be the case that if you were in the Leeds Irish Centre watching Dr Feelgood, it had to be November.  Now,  it seems if you are in the New Roscoe watching Catfish Keith, yes, that’s right. It was tempting to go back to the very first review and do a cut and paste job, removing the second digit in the day and changing the last digit in the year, but that would be a disservice to a great artist. He’s been touring the UK for 20 years, and I regret not having latched onto him sooner.

His new releases last year are, in fact, still his latest ones, so they get featured.  His first set features a mixture of originals and tracks by the likes of Leadbelly and the Rev Gary Davis. Again, he rotates playing on 3 guitars, the steel, the 12 string and a small 6 string which looks like Pinky and Perky should be using it. There seemed to be a lot of tuning on all of them though, maybe her Ladyship’s hot flushes were causing problems.  Excellent first set, though why a few pillocks at the bar paid to get in then talk loudly while people were trying to listen escaped me.

The second set started out with one of her Ladyship’s favourites, Bukka White’s ‘Jitterbug Swing’ and his guitar playing was at times so amazing that if I had been told he was from another solar system I wouldn’t have doubted it. We got a great version of Mississippi John Hurt’s ‘Payday’ amongst others. He’s got a great voice too, and there must be a case for any self-respecting Thesaurus to include ‘Catfish Keith’ in the section marked ‘awesome’.

A great night, and (like last time), criminal that there were maybe only 50 or so there. Especially when the ticket price is only a couple of quid more than for Who’s Next, allegedly the country’s premier Who tribute act. (A couple of years ago, they had found a Daltrey lookalike, and have a bloke playing an SG in a white boiler suit [lefthanded!]. So the minor fact that they sound absolutely NOTHING LIKE The Who hasn’t deterred their audience, seemingly.

CK is also a really nice man, very approachable, so go and see him!


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