There are fewer things which are more British than taking a trip to the coast on a Bank Holiday weekend.
However, this May Day Monday the locals have swapped their fish and chip supper in Whitley Bay for a bountiful evening of blues as guitar great Walter Trout makes his first appearance in this small seaside town.
This being Trout’s second appearance in the region in just under twelve months and follows on from his recent sold out show at the Sage Gateshead at the end of last year.
Tonight also marks the opening night of Trout’s current UK tour, and a capacity crowd is in attendance to give the legendary blues man a warm welcome.
This evening’s almost two-hour show traverses Trout’s whole career, whilst also paying homage to many of the artists who have influenced and inspired him. Early on in the set, Walter Trout dedicates a passionate rendition of “Say Goodbye To The Blues” to his dear friend B.B. King, and what a fitting tribute it is.
The core of the show centres around Trout’s autobiographical last studio album Battle Scars, which by his own admission ‘the songs are dark, graphic, morbid and depressing, but that’s the blues’ he quips.
One of the key attributes of the great singer/songwriters of our time is their storytelling ability, and that’s one thing which Walter Trout has in spades. Each track from Battle Scars tells a tale of those days whilst Walter was fighting for his life in hospital and his subsequent rehabilitation.
Trout takes the crowd through several songs from Battle Scars including the likes of “Almost Gone”, which features some some nice vocal harmonies with Andrew Elt and a heartfelt rendition of “Please Take Me Home”.
Trout is in fine humour, cracking jokes about having problems with his G-string. As he breaks into “Tomorrow Seems So Far Away” he tells the crowd ‘the song is about waiting for a life-saving organ, and I’m not talking about the Hammond B3’. On a more serious note Trout shares with the audience the importance of becoming an organ donor.
Tonight is also very much a family affair, with the Trout Brothers Band opening the show, proving that talent runs deep in this family. Frequently throughout the evening, Walter is joined on stage by his son Jon Trout.
The pair share an incredible father-son jam session during “The Blues Came Callin'”, a song which was originally recorded alongside his friend and mentor John Mayall. Jon Trout is certainly following in his father’s footsteps and watching the duo go to battle, as they trade licks and guitar solos is both a joy to watch and one of the highlights of the show.
Drummer Michael Leasure takes his moment in the spotlight with a devastating drum solo, which also includes added percussion from bass player Johnny Griparic who throws a glass bottle into the mix for Leasure to jam off.
Walter Trout brings his main set to a close with a blistering rendition of Freddie King’s “Going Down”, which features both Jon Trout and Andrew Elt who both in turn take lead vocal duties, leaving the stage to a standing ovation from the Geordie crowd.
Trout returns to the stage for a duly deserved encore which culminates in some good old fashioned rock and roll in the shape of Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie”, which gets the whole room up on their feet.
Walter Trout is most certainly back, fully rejuvenated and at the top of his game.
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Event Date: 01-May-2017