It’s a mix of covers and originals tonight with the band opening with Delaney’s ‘Hello LA, Bye Bye Birmingham’ They are immediately on it and we are in for a treat of about an hour or so of full on rock n roll, country rock, kick ass, blues ending with the great ‘Rosalee’ with the singalong chorus ‘is the air getting thinner are we getting high’ which is belted out by the whole of Koko. The band are as tight as the proverbial Scotsman’s wallet and while I have been a big fan of Neal Casal for years with his impressive back catalogue I clearly didn’t appreciate his guitar skills. How he is finding time at the moment as the guitar player in at least three bands I don’t know.
Frankly, the gig could have ended then, it’s a powerhouse seventy minutes that leaves you breathless. The interlude leaves the three DJs to fight over who has the coolest record collection as they played obscure seventies classics for the next twenty minutes.
Part two sets off at the same pace as it left off. The band are clearly on form with an impressive rhythm section, providing the beats and in the drummers case a whole lot more. The keyboard player stays just right side of musicality with an extraordinary sound from his keys which on another night could be annoying but complements the overall sound perfectly tonight.
What I liked about the night especially Casal and Robinson was there was no fancy muso changing guitar and extended tuning between songs. One guitar each no messin about and it’s all killa no filla tonight. It’s a tight show and there’s little self-indulgence that can hamper Black Crowes shows. It’s a controlled set filled with great songs, some extended jams and just a band and audience having a ball.
Set ends with the band’s take on the classic blues covers ‘Got love if you want it’ and ‘After Midnight’ and its homeward bound with my ears still ringing a few hours later.
A classic rock gig in a great venue, as long as you’re near the front, with superb sound and appreciative audience. It’s the second five star gig of the year and we’re just in March.
Keep on m*ther f*ckin’ rockin’ baby.