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Mean Fiddler, London, London 19 November 2004

Walter Trout played one of his very best shows in front of his biggest London crowd for over 5 years.

The former John Mayall/Canned Heat and John Lee Hooker guitarist already boasts a dozen albums in his own right, with the current 'Relentless' album on Ruf being his best ever seller.

It came as something of a surprise then that the following two hour set was to be punctuated by some seemingly long forgotten career classics ranging from the Santana influenced 'Sweet As A Flower' to the heart felt autobiographical 'To Begin Again' and even a plaintive rendition of Robert Johnsonís 'Love In Vain'.

But while Trout firmly retains one foots in the blues camp, it is his potent mixture of magnificent guitar playing and on stage passion that keeps the fans coming back for more.

This summer Walter triumphed at the half million strong Bospop Festival in Holland, and tonight showed he was just as much at ease playing to a packed mid range London venue.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Walterís playing is that he eschews any manner of effects, relying simply on judicious use of his volume control and a tone that has been garnered in his 3 decade plus, professional career.

On top of that he is a very strong songwriter, ranging from the powerful rock assault of 'Put It Right Back On You' to a moving ballad such 'Tender Heart'.

Together with a hardened road band that includes the explosive Joey Pafumi on drums, Trout worked his socks off and fully deserved his two encores;

Earlier on guests The Ian Parker Band showed an all to rare willingness to let his lyrics do the talking with an introspective but soulful set, that allied with his mighty White Boy Soul vocals, marks him out as a major talent for the future.

Review: Pete Feenstra

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