“Dreams” come true for British blues fans as the Tedeschi Trucks Band command a rare two-night audience at London’s iconic palladium theatre.

Just a stone’s throw away from the epicentre of 60s swinging London – Carnaby Street, the majestic Palladium theatre has played host to many stars of stage and screen along with Her Majesty The Queen on many occasion. However, this evening it is the turn of blues royalty, as US-based ensemble the Tedeschi Trucks Band conclude their current European run on our UK shores.

The marathon is not the only big event to be taking place in the city this weekend. Central London is awash with roots/rock enthusiasts who have been hot-footing it between guitar maestro Joe Bonamassa’s three-night residency at the Royal Albert Hall and tonight’s auditorium nestled just off Regent Street for TTB’s two-night run.

Due to unprecedented demand, both shows at the London Palladium sold out in record time, with fans of the band travelling from far and wide to be present this evening. It’s fair to say that the blues is alive and kicking in the UK right now.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band doesn’t necessarily conform to the rules. They are not going to show up and play a review of their greatest and latest material. Instead, each show is a unique experience that represents a tour de force of musical showmanship and stamina. Not a single song is repeated in the band’s setlist during their two-night residency, which is an impressive feat, to say the least.

The old analogy, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get”; the same applies to a Tedeschi Trucks Band show. That enigma along with their unrivalled talent is part of the draw for their fans. Will the band perform their favourite track tonight? Who knows?

As the talented twelve piece outfit takes the stage, they embark upon a magical mystery tour of their back catalogue, digging deep into their songbook whilst also throwing in the occasional cover for good measure.

This evening’s concert is very much a show of two halves that spans in excess of two hours of music. The group kicks off the proceedings with the opening number of their new album with “Signs, High Times” along with a joyous and somewhat funky airing of “Don’t Know What It Means”.

With a band featuring as many members as the TTB they certainly cover a lot of real estate on stage. Joining husband and wife duo of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks is a pair of duelling drummers, three backing vocalists, a three-piece horn section, Hammond/keys, and bass player Brandon Boone who is tucked away at the side.

To watch this well-oiled machine come together is just a joy to behold. There are no egos or showboating, each artist is as humble as the next, and individually they get to take their moment in the spotlight during the course of this musical marathon.

In the latter stages of the first set, tracks such as the beautifully soulful “Part of Me” and TTB’s take on Charles Seger’s “Key to the Highway” are certainly highlights. Mike Mattison and Tedeschi share lead vocal duties during the latter, whilst Trucks quite literally makes his Gibson SG sing like a bird, during a slide fuelled masterclass. The first half of the show concludes with a perfectly fitting rendition of “I Want More”; a sentiment everyone in this room can relate to.

If set one was the starter, the second half of the show was most certainly the main course in tonight’s blues filled musical feast.

An inspired almost twenty minute jammed out, percussion fuelled performance of “Idle Wind” is the centrepiece of tonight’s set and kicks off the second half of the evening to great effect.

It may well be Saturday evening, but it sure feels like Sunday morning as Susan Tedeschi takes the London Palladium to church during spellbinding renditions of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird On The Wire” and Joe Cocker’s “Space Captain”. Tedeschi’s soaring vocals fill this beautiful auditorium. When it comes to female vocalists, Tedeschi is simply in a league of her own.

The group ups the tempo somewhat during a hard rocking airing of The Derek Trucks Band’s “Get What You Deserve” before giving a nod to the gifted slide guitarist’s former employers The Allman Brothers Band during the enchanting “Dreams”.

The TTB cross the finish line with an encore airing of “Bound For Glory” – on the strength of tonight’s two-hour blues fest aren’t they just. With a repeat performance booked in at the Wembley Arena on 1st Feb for their largest UK show to date and their only European booking of 2020, the Signs are certainly looking positive for the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Tedeschi Trucks Band
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Event Date: 27-April-2019

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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