Despite her many UK tours, it’s hard to believe that this is Joanne Shaw Taylor’s first show in Durham and the Gala Theatre is packed.

Kicking off the proceedings were Stockport’s own blues rock quartet Federal Charm, who are no strangers to the North East having previously played shows in the region with the likes of Ian Hunter and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes. This time the band bring with them tracks from their latest offering Across The Divide. Federal Charm got a great reception from the Durham crowd, with the likes of “Hercules” and “Give Me something” winning over the audience.

Tonight’s show is part of an extensive jaunt around the UK for Joanne Shaw Taylor for what she has dubbed as her Greatest Hits Tour. Joanne’s career spanning set includes material from all four of her studio albums.

Taylor starts the show with a trio of numbers from her latest album The Dirty Truth. Rocking her way through set opener “Outlaw Angel” and the ever funky “Wrecking Ball” before slowing it down with the beautiful “Tried Tested and True”. Joanne jokes with the audience about the dangers of dating a musician referring to a previous ‘shitty boyfriend’ who ended up being song writing material.

In recent times Joanne Shaw Taylor has reverted back to a more traditional blues trio which featuring Oliver Perry (drums) and Tom Godlington (bass). However, that does not stop her from delivering a solo acoustic segment of the show with Joanne telling the audience ‘I got rid of the boys so we could be alone’. A heartfelt rendition of “Almost Always Never” follows during which you could hear a pin drop, the audience so respectful and attentive.

The band return to the stage before Joanne ups the tempo with some impressive Texas blues. The show is brought to a close with a couple of old favorites in the shape of “Tied and Bound” and “Going Home”, leaving the audience wanting more. Not wanting to disappoint the band return to the stage to close out the night with “The Dirty Truth”.

Joanne Shaw Taylor delivered a superb set of soulful blues rock, her beautiful husky voice and incredible playing make her a joy to watch. Throughout the show, she seems to lean back almost effortlessly, hair flowing as she bursts into solo after blistering solo. This being Joanne’s first and hopefully not last visit to Durham was most certainly memorable.

Joanne Shaw Taylor
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Federal Charm
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Gig Cartel
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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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