Jack Bruce & his Big Blues Band Newcastle Tyne Theatre March 31st 2012

Jack Bruce and his Big Blues Band Tyne Theatre
Excellent show by Jack Bruce last night in Newcastle. Jack has assembled a first class seven piece band consisting of ace guitarist Tony Remy, drummer Frank Tontoh, keyboardist Paddy Milner, second bassist Nick Cohen, trombonist Winston Rollins, tenor saxophonist Derek Nash, and trumpeter Paul Newton. They really were great throughout with guitarist Tony worthy of mention for some exception solos. Jack took to the stage around 8.20pm sitting alone at a piano stage left. He was soon joined by the rest of the band, and then picked up his fretless bass and took up his place centre stage. The set was a mixture of solo material, blues and Cream classics. Quite a few were from the Songs For A Tailor lp. He introduced Neighbour Neighbour as “a song I used to sing with Graham Bond, back then, before I was born”. This guy goes back some. Theme from an Imaginary Western was performed beautifully, Jack’s voice sometimes straining a little to reach the high notes, yet coming over as powerful and haunting as ever. The blues of Spoonful and Born Under a Bad Sign gave the band a chance to shine, and featured some excellent solos. We’re Going Wrong is a great song, perhaps Cream’s best, and as relevant today as it was in the 60s. The last few songs were the almost inevitable White Room and Sunshine of Your Love. Its great that the old guys from the 60s are still around touring, and playing to an audience that, looking around the Tyne Theatre last night, is growing old with them. Jack suffered from a period of ill health around ten years ago, but looks great these days. Long may it be the case. Modern technology even reaches the old guys. You could buy a CD of the show at the desk (actually I’m not sure it was last night’s show you could buy or a recording of a previous night). The show finished around 10.15pm, leaving plenty of time for fishcake and chips from the wonderful local chippy on the corner. Setlist (something like): Can you follow?; Morning Story;You Burned the tables on me; Neighbour Neighbour; Child Song; Weird of Hermiston; Folk Song; Theme from an Imaginary Western; Tickets to Waterfalls; Spoonful; Born under a Bad Sign; We’re Going Wrong; Deserted Cities; White Room; Sunshine of Your Love. Encore: Politician. Just ran into an old mate Jim in the local supermarket. He’d also been at the gig last night and had spotted me there. He said that he had gone along with an open mind, not knowing what to expect, but had really enjoyed it.

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