The venue is tiny. Capacity about 100, our previous visits have been to see Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash (which was their name at the time, so I am perfectly entitled to dub them such) and the Coal Porters. Having played at Glasto last year, I wonder what the good Reverend thought of the numbers!
Anyway, there was a support act (which seemed to be hastily-arranged). The young organiser gets giddy when he is talking in front of the stage, with no mic, so I didn’t catch the person’s name. Nor did I catch much of the musician’s banter, unfortunately. He, like me, is from York so I should have been able to recognise some words…apart from ‘York’. But he played a song about Gram Parsons, which is fine by me.
The couple next to us had not seen the Rev P before, so maybe they were expecting someone from the spooky TBN tv channel on Freeview. Those God-squadders on TBN are REALLY sinister! Another new Freeview channel, Horror, had the zombiefest ‘Day of the Dead’ on last night, it was like Jackanory compared with TBN!! Check them out.
Quite appropriate that the Rev and Co started out with ‘I shall not be moved’ from their ‘Gospel’ record. Quickly followed by their cell phone song ‘Hell Naw’ and he picked up his trusty 3-string DIY model for ‘Easy come , easy go’. By now , quite a few of the admittedly ‘senior’ audience had fingers in ears, and Her Ladyship advised the woman next to her to bung some tissue in her ears. A healthy dose of cow-bell a la Corky Laing heralded ‘Let’s jump a train’ and ‘We live dangerous’ and ‘Pickin Pawpaws’ were further selections from the latest record ‘So Delicious’.
The Rev went back to his Charley Patton disc for ‘Some of these days I’ll be gone’, followed by ‘Front porch trained’ and ‘Pot roast and kisses’, again from the latest record. He seemed a bit reluctant to try the audience participation of ‘Clap your hands’, but his washboard-laden lady wife told him to go for it, and it worked well. ‘Scream at the Night’ featured that well-worn Brill Building-type C Am F G chord sequence ( shuffled around a bit), and he did a swift ‘drop D’ retune for ‘Devils look like angels’. The main set finished with Bo Diddley’s ‘You can’t judge a book’ (penned by Willie Dixon), and even though a few of the audience had left to replace exploding hearing-aids, there was a good enough reception to bring them back on for ‘Music and friends’, complete with Hendrix-like guitar-behind-head playing. Ms Breezy took the hint and set fire to her washboard too!
The Reverend’s guitar playing is phenomenal and I reckon all these people who are fans of the current plethora of young bluesers don’t really appreciate how hard it is to play slide like this. He has a really good voice, which at times was drowned out by one or two of his guitars maybe, but it didn’t spoil a great show. There were 9 songs from the last record, so if you like that, you are in for a treat. Try to catch them before they head back Stateside.