Nick Morgan and crew
Review by Nick Morgan
IAN SIEGAL AND HIS BAND The 100
Club, London, November 22nd 2007
Serge, I’ve just been away for a few weeks
on a course in California. I can’t tell you
for reasons of commercial confidentiality, but I
can tell you we were studying something called ‘viral
marketing’. We also looked at some ‘diffusion
models’, but that’s probably a bit too
complicated for you at the moment.
– let me explain how this viral thing works.
Think of it like catching a cold. Now suppose I
catch a cold from that irritating person who’s
always coughing in the lift at work. I then go home
on the train and unexpectedly sneeze, spreading
my cold germs to about a dozen other people, who
each in turn catch the cold, and then give it to
another dozen people. That’s a lot of colds.
Now at the moment I can’t quite see where
that fits into my job, unless we anticipate that
all these sneezing people will go and make themselves
hot toddies with a generous slosh of you-know-what.
maybe we’ll find out on the second half
of the course which I think will be here.
strangely this all put me in mind of the hugely
Siegal whom, you may remember, we went
to see earlier in the year. Now it’s unusual
to see and review the same artist on Whiskyfun in
the same year, but these were exceptional circumstances.
We were so disappointed with our trip to see Walter
Trout recently (not being Stratocaster-hugging troglodytes
like the majority of the audience), and felt that
we had let down our guests that evening so badly,
that we had to make it up to them. And as Siegal
and his band were playing at the 100 Club as part
of the London Jazz Festival it seemed like too good
an opportunity to miss.
has also just released a new album, Swagger (a most
appropriate title given his stage bearing), which,
according to my old man’s music magazine “leaves
the listener in little doubt that Siegal is the
cleverest writer and most magnetic performer of
blues working in the UK”. It’s a nice
mixture of covers and original compositions, and
is produced by Matt
Schofield, himself an outstanding guitarist.
100 Club is busy – and so many girls of all
ages, an admiring posse of whom hog the front of
the stage during the second set. Mr Siegal has obliged
with an all-leather outfit, and duly dispenses with
the shirt to reveal his notable blues tattoos. With
him are his band, and guesting on Hammond organ
and harmonicas Giles
King. Siegal swaggers and sweats his way through
the evening – in the course of which he laments
the difficulty of getting gigs in the UK (you’re
probably more likely to see him in Continental Europe
next year than here) but does announce that he’ll
be playing at the Troubadour
early next year.
everyone else in the 100 Club our guests are delighted
by Siegal’s electric performance – what
did I say last time? “Mature song writing
skills, a great and versatile voice, a seriously
studied blues vocal style, a fierce and frenetic
guitar technique, an engaging and authoritative
stage presence” – yep, we get all of
that tonight and perhaps a little more. Oh yes –
and in addition to his battered Telecaster and Harmony
Stratotone H44 he’s also got on stage with
him a hollowbody Harmony
Meteor H70 (pictured here helpfully from the
rear) which has got a fantastic raw sound.
to that viral marketing stuff. Well my mate Ian
was so excited by the evening that he went home
and downloaded Siegal’s albums, and then
the next morning booked a dozen tickets for the
Troubadour gig, and he’s going to take along
a bunch of friends who’ve never seen or
heard of Siegal. Now Serge, is that how it’s
supposed to work?
- Nick Morgan (concert photographs by
Top, the Harmony Stratotone H44
Harmony Meteor H70
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