Archive for the ‘Dr John’ Category

Dr John The Sage Gateshead 22 July 2012

SummerTyne Americana Festival 2012
Dr. John and The Lower 911 featuring Jon Cleary
Plus support Phantom Limb
Dr John took to the stage around 8.45pm last night to close the SummerTyne Americana Festival 2012 at the Sage Gateshead. The Sage was buzzing with crowds who were taking in the music which was taking place in all three halls, and on the concourse. Dr John’s concert was the highlight of the weekend (for me anyway!) and took place in the larger Hall 1. I had been preparing myself for the gig by playing my old vinyl copy of his 1969 debut lp, Gris Gris, which introduced Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr to the world as Dr John The Night Tripper. Gris Gris combines voodoo rhtyhms with psychedelic rock and New Orleans R&B, and features the song I Walk on Guilded Splinters which had been covered by many artists including Humble Pie and Marsha Hunt. Today Dr John retains some of that image, taking to the stage with his voodoo walking stick, dressed in a sharp blue suit, wearing a cap and his hair hanging in a plat at the back. His six piece band featured Jon Cleary, who is a New Orleans style R&B headliner in his own right, on keyboards and occasional guitar. The rest of the band included saxophone, trombone, bass, guitar, and drums. The stage was set with Dr John’s organ and grand piano taking centre stage alongside each other, a stool between them, allowing the Dr to quickly switch between keyboards, and to play both at the same time, which he did once or twice. The set was much more R&B and blues, than voodoo, although flashes of the latter crept in at times, as did New Orleans Mardi Gras. Dr John’s band is just excellent, with each musician great in their own right, and each getting the chance to solo. The lady trombone player was particularly outstanding. I recognised some, but my no means all of the songs, and was impressed by Dr John whose singing and playing were just superb. The Dr is a real cool dude, who led his band through a set of songs which would be at home as much in a smokey New Orleans bar, as in a concert hall. The set included his “hit” song Right Place, Wrong Time, and a series of standards, for example: St James Infirmary, Let the Good Times Roll, Making Whoopee. A great set, although I was disappointed that he didn’t play I Walk on Guilded Splinters. I had to leave during the encore to pick Laura up. Setlist included (I have missed a few that I didn’t recognise): Locked down; Down the road; I been Hoodood; Right place wrong time; Let the good times roll (Dr John on guitar); St James¬†Infirmary; Jon Cleary¬†song; Ice Age; Big shot; Making whoopee; Now that you got me; That’s life?; Revolution; Goin’ back to new Orleans; Mardi Gras day. Encore: Such a Night