Gig Reviews

Seasick Steve, Manchester Apollo O2 – 10/11/11

Now what you’re about to read would only happen to a rags to riches guy like Seasick Steve. The legendary blues man’s London gig was cancelled so near to the last minute that patrons’ tickets were almost being ripped before they became null and void. In what sounds like a story from former hobo Steve’s roots or songbook (he made it all sound real interesting with his trademark tone too), a water main burst meaning there were no facilities for the gig, rendering it a safety hazard (yeah, I know-‘ZZZ’-I’m not as good a storyteller as he is). Still that didn’t stop Steve from bursting out the hits in Manchester, as the 70 year old gave us a set full of young-man energy that almost broke the mains of the sound system.

The amps were on blast as Steve made sure the songs weren’t the only things ‘Burning Up’. The hot and sweaty crowd didn’t mind however, as the tempo was raised along with the temperature as Steve played everything from his Dog House Blues to his infamous one string Diddley Bo (with everything from a corn can to Chevy parts on it), all whilst playing all sorts of guitars. Saucepans and washboards were also on creative, excellent hand as he played with everyone from his incredible drummer (that looks like Animal off ‘Sesame Street’ on the skins) to his three sons, and even an utter guitar hero and legend.

It all looked great from Seasick’s easy chair, to a simple, beautiful light display that was so nice even Christian Bale wouldn’t want to mess with it or tear it down. Everything sounded great too as he even serenaded a young lady. Steve had the crowd in the palm of his hands as he worked them to the end of the night with his immeasurable energy and stories. His guitar too was worked to the last note that could have possibly been violently shook out of it, as drum symbols where thrown and struck with a rock star strut. This couldn’t sound any better, right? Well that’s until you hear that Steve sent the crowd ‘Seasick’ crazy as that ‘legend’ we were telling you about was no other then Led Zeppelin great John Paul Jones. The bassist joined him for the set showing his variety of guitars and iconic skills. Now how legendary is that? On this night like no other, we were in the presence of two and they both flowed perfectly in tandem together, just like water. Old men rock.

Tim Harvey is a Music Feeds UK correspondent

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