Leslie West and Del Bromham Newcastle Opera House 21st April 2004

Leslie West and Del Bromham Newcastle Opera House 21st April 2004
lesliewestAn evening with two great guitarists and two heroes of mine. The ticket lists the support act as Stray, but it was actually their frontman Del Bromham on a solo outing, as was Leslie West. The concert was in the bistro bar (again, the ticket doesn’t quite match this as it lists a seat number, which suggests that the concert was originally intended for the main hall, and moved into the more intimate setting of the bistro, perhaps to reflect ticket sales).
Leslie West was quite a regular visitor to the North East at the time, with his band Mountain, who often played the Opera House. This particular event featured West alongside the guitarist from Sheryl Crow’s band, Todd Wolfe. Leslie had just released his “Blues To Die For” solo album and likewise, Del had recorded his first solo album, “The Devil’s Highway”.
delDel opened the show with a set of songs from “Devil’s Highway” which is a blues-based album with a combination of old songs which Del remembered from his childhood and some self-penned songs in the style of the old blues masters. He also threw in song Stray favourites. A great opportunity to see a legend close up and an excellent start to the evening. “In the late 60s the first wave of heavy guitar idols were usually Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Bromham’s past work should be reappraised as he clearly slipped through the net.” (Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2002)
Leslie West has a unique guitar style, which can effortlessly move from the sweetest, gentlest tone to the deepest heaviest rock. His advice to Joe Bosso on MusicRadar (2011): “Tune your guitar. So many people who don’t like their sound aren’t in tune. So tune your damn guitar already, that’s the first thing. After that, take off any effects you have going on. lesliePlay straight into the amp. That’s the only way to do it. Work with your hands. Play right into that amp. You’ll find a sound. It might take time – a couple of years or whatever – but that’s all right. The important thing is to get there.” “West was affectionately nicknamed “The King of Tone” by his legions of fans, referring to his influential and world-renowned guitar tone” (WikiPedia). Leslie’s set was a mix of blues from his current album and a few Mountain classics. In 2011 Leslie West had his lower right leg amputated as a result of complications from diabetes. He continues to play and tour, although he hasn’t visited the UK in recent years.
This was a great opportunity to see two legends close up. The following night I was back in the Opera House with a group of mates to see the late great Alvin Lee, with Edgar Winter and Tony McPhee. Happy days 🙂

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