John Mayall 80th Anniversary Tour Sage Gateshead 11th November 2014

John Mayall 80th Anniversary Tour Sage Gateshead 11th November 2014
mayall80thJohn Mayall at 80! Wow.
Blues legend John Mayall is out on the road again for his 80th, yes you read it right, 80th anniversary tour.The ‘Godfather of British Blues’, founder of the Bluesbreakers, who launched the careers of Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, was back in the north east last night to play a concert at the Sage Gateshead. Support came from top blues band King King.
Mayall has dropped the Bluesbreakers name for his current band to signal a slimmed down new line-up which features Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass and Jay Davenport on drums.
The set went something like this: “You’re Too Lazy” (great start with white haired pony-tailed Mayall up front playing mouth harp from the word go), “Where Did You Go Last Night?” (Mayall on rolling piano and great guitar solo by Rocky), the lights dim and John picks up guitar for “Early In The Morning” which is a slow moody blues song “early in the morning and we ain’t got nothing but the blues” and which sees John and Rocky trading riffs, “The Sum of Something” (Mayall back to piano and powerful mouth harp solo ), mayalltix“A Special Life” (the title track of Mayall’s latest, and 45th!, album), Mayall explains that the band are playing a different set each night on this tour to “keep things alive and keep us on our toes”, “Moving Out and Moving On” (Mayall back on guitar for some great guitar work and a stomping blues), then an old familiar tune: “Parchman Farm” (great chugging mouth harp and bass and drum duel/solo from Greg and Jay), “Speak of the Devil” (here he comes after you 🙂 – amazing mouth harp solo which receives a loud and well deserved round of applause), Otis Rush’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby” (“we are going to do a blues” with an amazing guitar solo from Rocky to loud applause), and then a very welcome surprise – my favourite (and which I don’t believe he plays that often now) “Room To Move”, and a 100% amazing mouth harp solo from the master Mayall, drum solo from Jay and a tremendous bass solo from Greg. Then it’s back to Mayall’s harp and the familiar “Room to Move” riff. Took me right back. It really don’t come much better than this. The concert was pure class. Top blues played by the master. But you wouldn’t expect anything less. Long may he continue.

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