At The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., May 28, 2007

It’s not often that you turn up to see a band and get blown away by the supporting act. Otis Taylor managed just that… a seasoned veteran who was an unknown quantity to many who came to the City Hall, but he left with a legion of new admirers.

Plying a groove-laden, hard-edged Blues style, Taylor’s wonderful deep, whiskey-soaked voice and laid back style quickly won over an ever-increasing crowd during his slot. Backed by an excellent band, including his charming daughter Cassie on bass and the inspired John Richardson on guitar, Taylor put on an enthralling display. The impression he made on the crowd was evidenced by the stampede during the interval for his CD, Definition Of A Circle, on sale in the lobby. There’s no doubting that his next tour of the UK will be as the headliner.

Gary Moore has been around long enough to know exactly what his fans want and he delivered exactly what they came to see.

Hitting the stage to “Pretty Woman,” Moore delivered his fiery brand Rock-infused Blues with gusto. Armed with just his Gibson guitar and a bank of Marshall amps, Moore had no need for impressive lights or tacky gimmicks.

Drawing heavily on his excellent new album, Close As You Get, Moore treated the crowd to almost two hours of his finest Blues material. The lively shuffle of “Hard Times” contrasted brilliantly with the sublime melody of “Trouble At Home.” The latter showcasing the delicate side of Moore and featured a wonderful soaring solo of sheer class.

As well as playing his own material, Moore paid homage to his own heroes, including Sonny Boy Williamson on “Eyesight To The Blind” and the Rock ‘n’ Roll romp of Chuck Berry’s “30 Days.”

Moore even found space for Thin Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe A Word” and fans got the full ball-busting, fist-pounding Rockout version. With Lizzy’s Brian Downey currently occupying the drum stool in the band, this is just about as close as you can get to the real thing, and when he burst forth with his screaming solo, it was just like the good old days. Simply brilliant.

Moore has a rich Blues back catalog himself, and he cherry picked his finest moments, including the up-tempo “Since I Met You Baby,” the soothing “Still Got The Blues,” and the hard hitting set closer, “Walking By Myself.”

Moore and his band returned for the encores with a harmonica-toting Otis Taylor, and proceeded to rip through a harmonica/guitar duel to the delight of the audience. Closing the show with the classic “Parisian Walkways” left the night on a high, as the crowd held its breath during the “sustain” moment as Moore flashed a sly grin.

Some may bemoan Moore’s apparent neglect of his Hard Rock roots, but when you have a Blues pedigree as impressive as this and play with such conviction, few people went home disappointed after this impressive display.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.