IAN SIEGAL + BIG JOE LOUIS | London, The Blues Kitchen

Opening on a bravura note last night with a masterly rendition of his song ‘The Silver Spurs’, Ian Siegal commanded immediate attention not only with his playing, but also his voice, pitched at the necessary rawness for an authentic blues sound. Tetchy and splenetic in between songs (“Shut the fuck up”, he told one audience member for applauding too enthusiastically) he spoke in a distinctive sing song that sometimes managed a wearied Southern growl, and sometimes lapsed into something more familiarly estuarine.

Campy as his spoken impression of a blues great can be, his songs easily overcome such difficulties; with a voice both commanding and flexible, his songs are involving and passionate. Many have a political bent, dealing with Trump and unease over where we’re currently headed – maybe not groundbreaking, but heartfelt.

His support act, Big Joe Louis, was a steady presence before he came on, especially with a taut cover of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. All in all, a satisfying evening that both paid tribute to things past, and looked ahead to good things to come.

The One Man Band Festival concludes tomorrow: grab a ticket!

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