Joanne Shaw Taylor/ Broken Witt Rebels @ 02 ABC Glasgow
Joanne Shaw Taylor/ Broken Witt Rebels @ 02 ABC Glasgow
The Joanne Shaw Taylor bandwagon rolls into Glasgow. The woman is finally getting the attention she deserves as the venue this year is much bigger, the crowd much rowdier and the place is packed for what was to be an amazing set by both bands.
After missing them numerous times last year I finally got to see the Broken Witt Rebels take to a stage and ignite an audience. After their set that night I swore I would not miss them again in this city and so I was there front and centre and glad that there was not much time between gigs.
This band stands out in a pot of talent that is the UK just now, for me the smaller bands are finally staking their claim on the big boys and Broken Witt Rebels are head and shoulders above many. They hark back to a day long ago but they pour out a mix of genres and style you just don’t see these days. You may look at this band and know what to expect, you may see the band play onstage and know their sound but the moment Danny Core opens his mouth your world will change.
These guys were born to be on a stage, I cannot imagine them anywhere else now even although they told us that the very last job they done before deciding to throw everything into the band full time was in Glasgow. This maybe part of the reason this band love the city so much. I hope somewhere down the line we take some credit for that as this town sure does love these Celtic cousins right back.
I am sure this was a totally different audience for the boys and there were many here tonight who had never heard of the band but that status was short lived and the packed crowd stood to attention within seconds of the band launching into the brilliant “Low”. This is just a killer blow and goes straight in for the kill. This song has such a dirty, lazy swagger it should be illegal. If this does not get your blood raised, your hips swaying and your head tapping give up on life…for you it’s not worth living.
What followed was a lesson on how work a stage, an audience and walk away with a room full of people wanting more. We got the absolute best of their songs with the likes of “Howlin” and “Georgia Pine”. They even managed to throw in a new number which slotted in well in the set.
Tonight was just another step towards the domination that I can see this band claiming and rightfully so. If you ever want to know a reaction to a support band just check out the Merch stand after the set and tonight it was packed and the band were their to get photos done and sign anything and everything.
There is no better feeling than finding a band that you know without doubt you will be looking back and telling people you saw them many years ago in small halls, supporting bands that they would go on to overtake. This was my thought the first time I saw them and nothing I saw tonight changed that…get aboard the Broken Witt Rebels bus now before it leaves you behind, and as my mother used to say don’t come running to me when you cant afford their tickets.
Joanne Shaw Taylor was another artist I finally caught live last year. For me 2016 was a the year I embraced my love for blues. It had always been there since a seed was sewn decades ago with an unforgettable performance from the one and only Rory Gallagher. I was dragged to that gig against my will by a friend and I never looked back. I may have moved to the heavier Rock/Metal as I grew older but once blues comes into your life it never leaves you.
The other thing to take note of here is that Blues is predominantly a mans world. They have always ruled this genre so for this little unassuming woman to walk out on stage and look at packed halls everywhere she goes is some feat. She takes the stage in trainers, black jeans, t-shirt and guitar. To look at her you could never guess the talent she possesses. With her perfect mop of blonde hair over her face she plugs the guitar in and breaks into “Dyin’ To Know” and the audience were captured. This woman’s voice was made for the blues, her rasp oozes sensuality to grab at your heart and her guitar sends hooks into your soul.
Next up is “Nothing To Lose” and I cast my eyes across the crowd gathered, in between the hips swaying and the singing there is a sea of people with their eyes closed. A blues audience is like no other, nobody feels the music like them. Rock and metal may be my bread and butter and we love our live music but Blues pulls you in, drags you down and lets you get lost in a crowded room.
As those soulful chords of “ No Reason To Stay” fill the hall the pain of the blues sets in. You feel the hurt in her voice, you hear the tears cried and once again you disappear…as that guitar solo kicks in I have lost control of my body, it is now one with the music and the mood.
This show is packed with classics with my highlights being the incredible “ Diamonds In The Dirt” which always gets me. Then there is “ Wild Is The Wind”, a Johhny Mathis cover no less and I challenge anyone to listen to the original and put it anywhere near the class of this version. This song is for the lovers in the crowd and you know there has been some passion shown with this song in the background. Joanne just makes it her own and puts so much love and lust into it.
There is also a moment when the lady leaves the mic stand behind and we get 5 minutes of pure guitar magic and it is all wrapped up with fan favourite “Mud, Honey” and what a song to bow out on.
Joanne Shaw Taylor never fails to entertain, she lives, breathes and loves Blues. There is only one direction for her talent and that is to the top. She deserves every bit of fame she receives.
Images and review Ritchie Birnie