It’s been a long time since Barrence Whitfield visited the North-East. His last show here was way back in 1989 at The Cellar Club.

I recently caught the band’s performance on the Later with Jools Holland TV show in the UK, where they blasted through an emphatic rendition of The Corner Man from their latest album, Dig Thy Savage Soul. After this, I had to take the opportunity to see them in person when they came to town.

Kicking off the proceedings for the night was the awesome four-piece, The Groove Diggers, a 1950’s Rockabilly band complete with double bass player, who looked and sounded the part, and got a great response from the Newcastle crowd.

There was a full-house in attendance to see The Savages in the intimate surroundings of The Cluny.  The band romped their way through a career-spanning set of classic Rhythm and Blues.

The crowd was in full swing from the opening track, Ramblin’ Rose. Dancing, clapping, and singing along, the room got hot and sweaty really fast!  Barrence was grooving about the stage commanding the audience, telling the local crowd “It’s good to be back in Geordie Country.”

Fan favourites like Bloody Mary, Black Jack, and My Baby Didn’t Come Home had the room rocking.  The band finished their main set to rapturous applause with Walk’n With Barrence from their first album. The crowd was stomping their feet for more.  A member of the audience jumped up on stage taking to the microphone, introducing the band as one of the greatest R’n’B bands of all time.

Barrence dedicated Mammer Jammer to one of his favourite bands, The Animals (who also hale from Newcastle) before bringing the night to a close with Dig Yourself.  This was a night of good old fashioned rock and roll at it’s best.  Barrence told the audience they would be back real soon; let’s hope it’s not such a long wait next time around.

Barrence Whitfield Set List:
Ramblin’ Rose
Bip Bop Bip
Corner Man
My Baby Didn’t Come Home
Bloody Mary
Big Mamou
I’m Sad About It
Black Jack
Hangman’s Token
Georgia Slop
Oscar Levant
Just Moved In
Daddy’s Gone To Bed
Willie Meehan
You Told A Lie
Turn Your Damper Down
Ship Sails at 6
Walk’n With Barrence

Mammer Jammer
Dig Yourself

Barrence Whitfield:

Barrence Whitfield Online:

The Groove Diggers:

The Groove Diggers Online:

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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