Jeff Beck Manchester Bridgewater Hall 19th May 2014

Jeff Beck Manchester Bridgewater Hall 19th May 2014
becktixWent to see Jeff Beck in Manchester last night in the beautiful Bridgewater Hall. After an uneventful drive down the A1 and across a surprising unjammed M62, I arrived just in time to catch support act Mike Sanchez who opened the show with a fine set of boogie woogie piano which made him some new friends.
Jeff Beck came on stage at 8.30pm dressed in a black jacket, waistcoat and trousers, and a white t-shirt, emerging from the wings playing a bright white Telecaster. The Telecaster was soon swapped for a white strat which remained his instrument for the remainder of the evening. For this tour Jeff Beck’s band are: Rhonda Smith bass; Jonathan Joseph drums and Nicolas Meier guitar. They are individually and collectively excellent, provided an accompaniment which blended jazz and classic rock. This time around Beck’s set drew from across his back catalogue, with over-all a heavier rock feel than on previous occasions I have seen him. I am becoming more and more of the opinion that Beck is the greatest living guitarist; he truly understands his instrument and can switch in an instant from the heaviest and raunchiest of rock riffs to the sweetest, most gentle tunes. The set had similar changes of style, from thundering rock reminding of his 70s days with Beck, Bogert and Appice, to Hawaian style, and to his treatment of ballads, such as Danny Boy, where he makes incredible use of tone and moving the volume control up and down. beckflyerYou can hear the influences, Hendrix of course, Santo and Johnny, Les Paul, John McLaughlin; all there somewhere in Beck’s playing, and yet he is also very much his own man with his own way of playing. The set was almost totally instrumental with bass player Rhonda Smith taking vocals on a couple of songs. But he held the attention of the crowd throughout. He hardly said a word all night, he comes over as a quiet guy who concentrates on his music, and is aware of his own stature and place in the history of rock. The guy is simply amazing and a genius. The crowd gave him a standing ovation at the end of the show.
The setlist consisted of some of (although not in this order, and I can’t pretend to know all of Beck’s material so have probably got some of this wrong): Loaded; Nine; Little Wing; You Know You Know; Hammerhead; Angel (Footsteps); Stratus; Yemin; Where Were You; Egyptian; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat; Brush with the Blues; You Never Know; Danny Boy; Why Give It Away ; Rollin’ and Tumblin’ ; Choral; Big Block; Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers; Declan ; A Day in the Life.
Jeff Beck finished at 10.10pm. I was home around 12.45am. I decided to come up the A19, as the signs above me on the motorway threatened a diversion on the A1, but that didn’t really help as the A19 was closed up at Peterlee, and I had to make a detour through Shotton Colliery; the joys of driving late at night.
While driving back I was creating my dream Jeff Beck setlist. Imagine if he put together a set that included (with a guest singer or two): Shape of Things, Morning Dew, Beck’s Boogie, Beck’s Bolero, Greensleeves. Love is Blue, Hi Ho Silver Lining, Keep Me Hanging On, A Day in the Life, Moon River, Jerusalem or Danny Boy, Little Wing, Over Under Sideways Down, You Shook Me. Not that would be something. Ain’t ever going to happen I guess, Jeff Beck is very much his own man, and plays what he feels is right. And that’s, I guess, how it should be.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dennis on May 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Lizzie Ball?


  2. Posted by Dennis on May 22, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I was there


  3. Posted by Stuart Alexander on May 23, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I was there, good gig,last time I saw Jeff Beck was in March 1981 at the city hall


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: