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Concert Review by Nick Morgan


Mick Taylor
Mick Taylor, Mitch Mitchell
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, May 5th 2008

This should have been a great evening. It’s a holiday, the first one of the year, and the weather has been fantastic. And who wouldn’t want to come out to see that great blues guitarist Mick Taylor play with a group of musicians including Terry Reid on guitar and vocals, the excellent harmonica player Sugar Blue (James Whiting), keyboard player Max Middleton, and drummers Collin Allan (Stone the Crows, Zoot Money, John Mayall etc.) and former Hendrix mainstay Mitch Mitchell? Starting with ‘Fed up with the blues’ and ‘Losing my faith’ from his second solo album things seemed promising enough. But as the gig continued Taylor became increasingly disaffected, and to be frank, apparently disinterested. From my ringside vantage point it appeared that the source of the irritation was Mitch Mitchell, who clearly doesn’t get out much, and whose drumming was, to use a non-technical term, “all over the place”. Having mouthed to Reid, “Get him off the fucking stage” (or so it seemed to me),

Taylor then left himself for an extended cigarette break, leaving his chum Terry to hold the stage. He did this with the verve of an ageing music hall trooper, singing with great gusto, but was clearly as perplexed with events as everyone else on the stage, except Mitchell, who kept on coming forward to take the microphone and tell us how happy he was to be there. Taylor eventually returned in a cloud of smoke and the band stumbled on for a few more numbers (with Mitch bashing away in happy oblivion to the friction he was causing), of which Bob Dylan’s ‘Blind Willie McTell’ hinted at what a great evening it could have been. We were then treated to an appalling encore (Ray Charles’ ‘What I’d say’), half way through which, after playing a simply awful solo, Taylor laid his guitar down on the stage (I had thought he was about to plant it on Mitchell’s head) and left.

I really don’t like writing a bad review, particularly of an artist I admire, but you have to tell it like it is. There’s just no excuse for this sort of thing. It’s unprofessional in the extreme, and quite honestly anyone who was there has got a right to feel that they were severely short-changed on the price of a ticket. - Nick Morgan (photograph by Kate)

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