Saturday, 24 April 2010

Old but good

I went to a great concert from John Mayall and his new band at the Town Hall's James Hay Theatre last night. All four members of the band are masters of their craft, and Mayall himself, at age 76, is still full of energy - and plenty of puff to keep a harmonica howling.

John Mayall and his current band. Jay Davenport (drums), Tom Canning (keyboards),
Rocky Athas (guitar), Mayall, Greg Rzab (bass).

The last time I saw him was also in Christchurch, in the old Civic Theatre in Manchester St, in either 1974 or 1975. The band were all smoking, as true blues men did in those days, and the audience were definitely setting fire to substances as well, and bouncing big balloons around the theatre. The concert came to an end after a tune was interrupted by theatre staff who said the smoking was a fire risk. Mayall came to the microsphone and said, "The little man in the brown coat says I can't smoke. I say fuck'im!" They launched into their next number, and the little man in the brown coat cut the mains power to the stage, and turned up the house lights. So we all went home.

With Ry Cooder's excellent concert a couple of months ago, it's been a good year for funky middle aged music. It also proves that Christchurch will turn out a good crowd of fifty-plus music fans, who are prepared to get stuck in and groove along with quality blues and rock.

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