John Mayall and Peter Green Sunderland Empire 2000

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Peter Green’s Splinter Group Sunderland Empire 2000
mayalltix2000 When I was getting into music in the 60s I listened to a lot of white blues. Cream, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Ten Years After were never off my record player back then. My guitar heroes were Clapton, Alvin Lee, Frank Zappa and Peter Green. I would listen to Greeny and The Supernatural again and again, trying to learn how to play them on my cheap Zenta guitar. There was a feel and a tone about Peter Green’s playing which gave it an atmospheric quality unlike any of the other guitar greats of the day.
This tour presented a chance to see two of my heroes from those days perform on the same stage, in my local theatre. I went along with my friend Will. It was almost 20 years since I’d seen John Mayall in concert. We’d seen Peter Green more recently at a concert at Redcar Coatham Bowl, which took place a few years earlier. Peter had been coaxed out of seclusion by long time collaborator and fellow lead guitarist Nigel Watson. Peter and the Splinter group were on stage first and played a set which drew from blues classics and from his old Fleetwood Mac days. The line-up was Peter Green (guitar and vocals), Nigel Watson (guitar and vocals), Pete Stroud (bass), Roger Cotton (piano and keyboards) and Larry Tolfree (drums). I think they played Need your Love so Bad, Oh Well, Albatross, Green Manalishi and Black Magic Woman. It was just great to see Peter again, and glimpses of the old Peter Green came through from time to time, where his guitar playing was fine and as fluid and beautiful as ever. Nigel Watson was by his side, watching over him and at times stepping in to sing or take the lead guitar parts.
mayallgreenprog After the interval John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers took to the stage. The line-up was Mayall (guitar, mouth organ and vocals), Buddy Whittington (guitar), Greg Rzab (bass), and Joe Yuele (drums). This was the first time I’d seen Buddy Whittington on guitar; he really is outstanding. Mayall has described Buddy as “possibly the greatest Bluesbreaker of them all”. I found a setlist from the Albert Hall date of the tour: Hot Ticket, White Line Fever, My Country Girl, Always A Brand New Road, Maydelle, So Many Roads, Hideaway, Another Man Done Gone, Ain’t No Surrender, Nacksboro Highway, Dance With Me Honey, A Hard Road, Room To Move. Encores: Dead City, Checking’ Out My Baby
Peter Green was coaxed on stage to join John Mayall for the encore, reliving a music partnership that started in the 60s. From the programme: “Wow! John Mayall and Peter Green – can it be real- is it a dream? No! It is real, you are going to see two legends of the blues playing on the same bill – the Godfather of British Blues and the prodigal son – pulling E, G and A out of the air to weave their magic at your heartstrings…..Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy John Mayall and Peter Green in an evening of the best British blues you’ve heard fro a long time – if not ever!”

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by dawn on October 19, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Wow what a combination it must have been magical.

    Reply

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