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The Assembly, Leamington Spa
29 May 2009
A hot sticky early
summer evening perfect weather for a few cool beers and down and dirty
blues from one of the absolute masters Johnny Winter.
The Assembly in
Leamington Spa, in my opinion one of the finest new venues in the country,
used to be a bingo hall but has been given a complete make — over with a
spacious high stage, 2 main bars 2 extra bars, standing for 1000 and
another 100 on the balcony but tonight was seated on the main floor and
standing at the rear.
They also have a top
of the range in-house sound and lighting system, well that's the venue on
to the music.
Support tonight came
from Joanne Shaw Taylor and its fair to say she blew most of the
crowd including me away with a hi-energy guitar shredding set.
Starting with an
instrumental which I think was the title track from her new CD "White
Sugar" the band a classic 3-piece guitar/vocalist bass and drums went down
playing and husky vocals from Joanne along with a tight as a drum rhythm
section blasted there way through a perfect support slot including a
stunning "Just Another Word" also from the new CD.
Well, warmed up and
time for the main event and after a brief announcement it was The
Johnny Winter band without the man himself starting the proceedings
with the opening number before to tremendous applause the man himself was
assisted to a chair centre stage.
Looking frail but as
stylish as ever dressed in black, wide brimmed hat and the famous tattoos
on display it was a privilege to witness a set by one of the blues
Johnny and his band
including respected guitarist Paul Nelson rocked through a selection of
covers and originals including "Black Jack" "All over Now" "Bony Moronie"
and "Sugar Coated Honey" and after 40 years of taking his Texas blues all
over the world his guitar playing is still breathtaking.
Parts of the seated
crowd slowly but surely started to stand and move close to the stage as
the show progressed and by the time he played his awesome rendition of
Hendrix's "Red House" the place was rocking.
All to soon he was
assisted off stage after a short but so sweet set and it was a real
pleasure to have been there — come back soon Johnny.
and photo by Andrew
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