Joanne Shaw Taylor makes a welcome return to the North East of England in support of her latest studio album Wild.

Taylor is no stranger to the Sage Gateshead having performed in this very room several times prior. Subsequently, the anticipation for tonight’s show is high, with tickets having been long since sold out, even occupying the seats behind the stage.

Fresh off the back of a recent tour with King King fellow Midlands based outfit Broken Witt Rebels open the show. The band delivers a set largely taken from their last two EPs, Georgia Pine and Howlin’, with the addition of a couple of new tracks.

Broken Witt Rebels latest material most certainly makes an impact on the Tyneside audience, with the crowd singing along to the incredibly infectious “Bang Bang” despite it being the first time they had ever heard it. With the Rebel’s new material their sound seems to have evolved somewhat since their last EP, with slightly heavier undertones – it feels as though they have found themselves and the blueprint for the band going forward.

Under the direction of legendary producer Kevin Shirley, Joanne Shaw Taylor is back with arguably her best album to date. As Taylor takes to the stage, it doesn’t take long for her to delve deep into her latest offering with a trio of tracks including the hard-rocking “Dyin’ To Know,” soulful blues numbers “Nothin’ To Lose,” and “No Reason To Stay,” reminiscent of Dire Straits.

With the likes of “Diamonds In The Dirt,” the beautiful “Tried, Tested and True” and JST’s Texas blues style number “Time Has Come” she gives the Sage Gateshead a display of guitar mastery. Her passionate playing, wonderful tone and appreciation of space truly captivate the loyal Geordie audience assembled here tonight. Song after song is greeted with rapturous applause. Joanne Shaw Taylor is in the form of her life.

The band appears tonight as a quartet with Luigi Casanova (bass), Drew (keyboard/rhythm guitar) and long-standing drummer Oliver Perry rounding out the lineup. They collectively form an incredibly impressive rhythm section throughout the course of the show and provide the perfect foil for Taylor to play off.

Taylor finishes her main set the way it started with a brace of numbers from the Wild album including the incredibly funky up-tempo track “Wanna Be My Lover” and JST’s take “Wild As The Wind” to which she dedicates to David Bowie and makes her own. The set is brought to a close with the groove heavy “Tied and Bound,” which leaves the audience wanting more.

Returning to the stage for a duly deserved encore, Taylor has well and truly won over the audience assembled here tonight. So much so she is even propositioned to marriage from an eager fan in the crowd who shouts in his best Geordie accent “Joanne, I wanna marry ya.” Rather taken aback by the proposal she wittily replies “I maybe would have said yes, but you said it so aggressively,” much to the amusement of the audience. The night closes with “Going Home” from her 2009 debut album White Sugar.

With a recent appearance on Later with Jools Holland and her latest album Wild charting in the UK Top 20, as well as recent tours with the likes of Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes and Wilko Johnson under her belt, it is fair to say that Joanne Shaw Taylor is currently flying the flag high for British blues/rock around the world. It’s great to finally see Taylor receive the credit she so rightfully deserves.

Joanne Shaw Taylor
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Broken Witt Rebels
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Event Date: 19-Jan-2017

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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