Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Larry Miller Band at Reading's South Street Arts.

The Larry Miller Band opened Reading's South Street gig with a blistering furious take on Junior Wells' 'Messing With The Kid' that suggested he could peak too early and would seriously sweat to keep up the pace. How wrong we were. This was a man gunning with a 'pistol packing' purpose.

After that there was no holding him and he followed with, amongst many others, a devastating Red House, Amazing Grace and Bulldog Blues.

All well received rockers but it is when he tried the slower stuff that he sometimes came unstuck. Unfortunately, his buoyant vaudevillian Steve Marriot stage presence does not always lend itself well to gut ripping balladry. OK so it's all heartfelt and earnestly delivered but did not, as say with Stan Webb, bring on that dark and tearful sense of loss that the material so earnestly deserves.

However, despite this Miller excelled in other areas fiercely supported throughout by the younger Allan Penfold on bass guitar. They peaked on an immensely gratifying 'Voodoo Chile'. This was Larry at his best constructing a tower of compelling powerhouse guitar pyrotechnics.

Larry Miller is seen as one of the best rocking bluesmen around and as a classic 'axeman' never fails to deliver so look out for future dates on his tour. You will not be disappointed.

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