Friday, 2 April 2010

Chris Rea - Guitar Dancin'.....











Having spent the evening on Monday being entertained by Amy MacDonald, I had high expectations of being more than equally fulfilled last night when we went to see Chris Rea at the Festival Theatre. Actually, I was confidently on safe ground on that score, having seen Chris in concert six or seven times before and never yet been disappointed. I've loved his stuff since I was skinny and especially his blues and slide guitar work which mark him out as one of this country's best, and most under-rated musicians. He's always been pretty much low key here, certainly the media never gave him the kudos of some lesser contempories, and he never really gained the popularity he deserves.

Having picked up my Lovely G from work we headed up The Bridges and across the Royal Mile and on past The Festival Theatre, leaving the car parked in front of the Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street to meet a friend and have a pre show dinner at a small restaurant which came highly recommended last year by a newspaper critic. 'The Pink Olive' in West Nicolson St. is a small place of only about 20 tables tucked discretely away up a side street a couple of minutes walk from the theatre and we had managed to book ourselves the last table which was nice and cosy despite being close to the entrance door. It's rare these days where you can find real value for money without sacrificing quality, and at £11.75 for a THREE course pre show dinner, it's an absolute winner, so much so that our friend magnanimously offered to pay for dinner, and it's got to be value for money for a Scotsman to do that!!!

After a superb - I had the chicken followed by the vegetarian curry - and efficiently served meal we headed off in good time to catch the support act, Paul Casey, who was very good and could actually have been comfortably listened to for an entire performance with his quiet manner and superb acoustic set rolling easy on the ear across the audience. He also returned for the main show as part of Chris' backing band which I thought was a great compliment in both directions and really nice to see.

Chris started off bang on 8.30 and for the next two hours totally, completely and utterly controlled the whole place. It was simply mesmersing to listen to his guitar work as he joyfully extended each song with some superb  solo sections. The favourites were all there of course - 'Julia', 'Stansby Girls' and 'Road to Hell' among them as well as lots of the lesser known stuff. It's the sheer joy of the man in performance that captivates so well. Never a great one for dialogue with the audience, he sequed  seemlessly from one track to the next with a wide grin or a punch in the air to mark the move and he kept at us with those incredible riffs, on and on, developing, shaping, twisting and always returning to the matter at hand and happily, smilingly, guitar dancing, completely gone with the guitar and the moment. He had the whole place jumping by the end of the night. A joy to behold and for any guitar fan, bliss beyond belief. Thats a lot of praise for one man, but somehow doesn't do him justice in my eyes.

What a show. If  ever he's playing within reasonable distance I'll be there. An incredible live performer. Much better than as an album artist and that's probably why he remains such an open secret and why the waitress at dinner said,

"I think the whole restaurant is going to the Chris Rea concert tonight but I've never heard of him. Is he any good?"

Oh, my, yes. He's good all right.......

Very!

See you later.

Listening to The Move 'Flowers in the Rain'

3 comments:

coastkid said...

Al, you must have heard of chris rea...well you have now!!!. i like his music...very easy to lose myself listening to his guitar...

Amy said...

I've just a moment for a peek at your site but am looking forward to poking around a bit soon! I was just returning the favor of your visit to mine...however I'm very glad I came...I will be back...take care!

Kat_RN said...

I can't carry at tune in bucket but I do love to listen to a good guitar. I will have to see if I check his music out. Hope you don't mind, but I am tagging you. The rules are fairly simple;
• Open your first photo folder and select the 10th photo
• Publish it and tell the story of the photo
• Tag 5 friends and inform them.
I have seen this on several blogs now and it is always interesting, I am curious as to what you will come up with.
Cheers,
Kat

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