Allan Holdsworth and co. did a great set last night. Huge shame that in a club, The Robin, which is several sizes bigger than Jazz Cafe, there were only 80 to 90 people in the audience (I estimated) . At least you sit or stand anyway and get a great view of what these guys were doing. Allan made comment at the start of the set about a 'lonely crowd'! One minor complaint Wackerman was slightly louder than the other two in mix, although I can't really complain: I could hear every note Allan played.
Regardless of the size of audience the trio were at the top of their game and were astounding in numerous way throughout. Audience favourite Fred got played second, Protocosmos (with a new opening(?)) the encore, then both the familiar (e.g. Texas, Water On The Brain) and unfamiliar for a set approaching 90 minutes. Unlike 'seeing' Allan at Jazz Cafe last November but from a distance, here I could see in far greater detail his switching of effects, the hand postions for chords etc - which at times left me and colleague looking at each other in disbelief: what the hell did he do that? Chad Wackerman did a couple solo breaks at the beginning or mid ways from tunes, which demonstrated his virtuosity without outstaying their welcome. Earnest Tibbs, on 6 string Yamaha bass, was unfussy slipping in the occasional impressive solo.
I gleaned from Wackerman afterward, that attendance at Jazz Cafe the night before was better but not as good as that last November. I would assume that tonight's (thinking about it probably tomorrow night's) show in Worcester will also give you a grandstand view of the maestro in action, if the venue is anything like last night's in Bilston - not in Wolverhampton!!!!!! - and so you can probably get tickets at the door, although I hope that won't be the case. BTW the band signed CDs after the set, talking to the fans in their usual warm ways - however, there was little choiceof CDs on sale - 3 of Wackerman's and one of Holdsworth (and the few of these available went very quickly). BTW another tip, Ernest Tibbs will be probably most happy to spent time and talk !
A good night out.
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