Well, I've seen JB 4 times now- including the Robin on Wednesday. Saw him last year at Derby with Eric and Kenny, earlier this year at Sheffield with new line up, at Nottingham last Tuesday and then the Robin the day after - Wednesday just gone. Which was the best performance? Well, apart from the first one last year -which is always your most memorable, the Robin one was probably number 2. The set list was identical to Tuesday night at Nottingham, the crowd less rowdy [although Nottingham Rescue Rooms is smaller and therefore more atmospheric] but the occasion seemed to bring out the best in all the band members. Joe's voice was a little hoarse, and the wah wah pedal he gave away on Tuesday night wasn't replaced until the encore, and Mark's bass was a little quiet from where I was standing, but otherwise it was the ultimate show.
Sometimes it's easy to look only as far as the guitar-hero part of the shows. The Times' article certainly did - and as a guitarist that's why I go and see Joe really. HOWEVER, there are so many different styles of music you are exposed to at a show: Slow Blues, Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Trad Blues [BB King], Jazz, Jazz Rock [Jeff Beck style] etc etc, that JB must be admired for giving the audience an education tour-de-force in MUSIC, MUSICALITY and MUSICIANSHIP. Sorry if that sounds pompous and up-my-own a*se, but it really struck me on Wednesday that the light and shade and sheer dynamics of the show made it so entertaining.
Mustn't forget to mention that the drum solo was awesome - by far the best I've seen live [including Matt Abts -Govt Mule- last year].
I loved the encore so much -ZZ Top and Zeppelin - I'm sorry if some people [the Times' for example] see it as old hat. I don't see why it's OK to cover a Marvin Gaye song on X Factor or American Idol and get high praise, but old farty to do something with a rock base by a musician who clearly can do more than sing karaoke in the local boozer. Mind you the Times would probably criticise X Factor too.
Rant over, this tour has definitely been a success so far, and I hope it continues, because Joe deserves it, and I would like to thank him for his excellent performances this week that I feel privelidged to have seen.