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02 Academy, Islington, London 2 December 2009
event was billed as Planet Rock's Xmas Party, so perhaps Gazza had
something special in store, or would it just be a case of 'Still got the
blues for Yule' ?
almost Christmas, I'll resist sharing my full thoughts on the supporting
pantomime. Suffice to say that Hovercraft Pirates provided a rather sickly
Green Day pastiche and Justin Hawkins' fabulous moustache was the best
thing about Hotleg's paraplegic performance.
Part of me
wants to admire Gary Moore's dedication to winning his battle with the
blooze. Yet, some of me feels sad that he rarely strays from his chosen
path; Particularly given the strength and depth of his musical prowess
that stretches from the torrid fusion of Colosseum II to the wild
frontiers of celtic metal via his peerless pairing with Phil the King.
found 2002's 'Scars' project to be a little uninspired, at least it rawked;
with the supporting live shows nicely satisfying.
the scars healed, it's been a case of blues with a side order of blues,
occasionally with a dash of greens, ever since.
some guy named Joe has emerged following a long apprenticeship to offer
our Gaz real competition as Blues FM poster boy and Clapton's new BFF.
How would he
respond ? As ever Gary let his fingers do the talking, albeit with very
little crowd interaction and little in the way of show. His backing band
were just that. Three randoms called Pete, Vic and Steve, who did what was
required of them quite competently, but did not merit any kind of
introduction during the gig.
strangely none of this affected my enjoyment of the gig. I was not there
to shout 'Murder in the skies', although some deluded souls were. I was
there to witness still the best rock-based blues guitarist playing the
music he clearly loves in an intimate setting.
with 'Oh pretty woman' was ironic, given that to my eyes, Gary tonight
seemed to have more than a passing resemblance to the Cowell conquering
temptress Susan Boyle.
troubling SuBo image was banished quickly as GaMo hit his stride with
seering licks and emotive soloing, with a healthy selection from his
latest album 'Bad for you baby'.
disappointment was that that by the mid-way point in Gary's set, the
audience had noticeably thinned-out. My conclusion is that by that time
all the PR liggers and freeloaders had finished their vacuous networking
and were heading onto their next freebie event - good riddance. No
bad thing, as this left the real fans to their GaMo worship, and lent the
gig a reverential and inspiring atmosphere.
most telling during an extended and respectful version of Al Kooper's
classic 'I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know' (from Blood Sweat & Tears'
debut album). You could've heard a pin drop as the song ebbed and flowed
and Gary carried the audience along as he caressed his Les Paul to eargasm.
The main set
closed on a killer 1-2-3 combo from the 'Still got the you-know-what'
album that saw Gary really cutting loose. Some purists might accuse him of
overplaying and disrespecting the songs, when his aggressive picking style
and string bends come to the fore. Yet, these glimpses of his true arsenal
of tones and sounds are what distinguish him from mortal players.
encore of a track from Gary's first solo album 'Back on the streets'
rounded-out the evening. Don't recall the title, but the deeply personal
lyrics had something to do with Paris...
To my mind,
in the context of a blues gig, he got the balance pretty much right-on. It
was also great to hear him stretch beyond the trusted tone of the Les Paul
to play a Telecaster on one song plus some slide guitar as well, so the
guitar geeks went home happy for sure.
I know that
many GaMoPhiles felt a little short-changed by a set-list that was almost
identical to his recent SheBu show. However, the chance to witness the man
in a club-size venue with great sound and vibe was a unique proposition
and not to be missed.
that I made the effort and look forward to Moore of the same.
(and source album)
woman (SGTB) Bad for you baby (BFYB) Down the line (BFYB) Since I met you
baby (AH) Have you heard ? (CAYCG) All your love (SGTB) Mojo boogie (BFYB)
I'll love you more than you'll ever know (BFYB) Too tired (SGTB) Still got
the blues (SGTB) Walking by myself (SGTB) ENCORES Blues are alright (AH)
Parisien walkways (BOTS)
BOTS = Back on the streets SGTB = Still got the blues AH = After hours
CAYCG = Close as you can get BFYB = Bad for you baby
Review by Andy Rawll
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