Review: Phil Bates – Harbourside Club, Liverpool

Posted on: Monday, Oct 30, 2006

Amid a busy schedule of gigs with Bev Bevan’s Move and regular appearances in Germany as a member of a trio, we were delighted that Phil Bates could squeeze in a solo performance at the Harbourside Club last Wednesday. In contrast to his more usual ensemble playing, Phil donned another hat to deliver a programme of blues and blues-related material in acoustic mode.

His own jazzy and laid back “House Of Blues” set the tone for the evening. Another original composition that graced the first set was the African-rhythmed instrumental “Township Tourist”, which preceded a magical version of Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cried Mary”, boasting beautifully played, intricate guitar work and fabulous vocals. There was another self-penned number, “The World’s Gone Crazy”, which combined clever lyrics with a driving beat, before the set was concluded with the high-speed instrumental “Broken Fingers”, appropriately described as Celtic punk.

The second set incorporated a tribute to the music of the Beatles. There was a marvellous version of “She’s A Woman”, with more tremendous artistry on guitar, and a wonderfully innovative, instrumental medley, which included “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, “She Loves You” and Norwegian Wood”. There was a Keb Mo number and a superb rendition of Frankie Miller’s “Jealousy” before the set ended all too soon with the Rolling Stones favourite “This Could Be The Last Time” and Bo Diddley’s “Before You Accuse Me”. Just before that, the original “Wait For The Sh*t To Hit The Fan” encouraged the punters to conquer their inhibitions and shout the offending word in collective response. Was it my imagination that the female voices significantly outshouted the male ones?

It was another splendid show that fully maintained the exceptionally high standard promoted by John Welsh at the Harbourside. Phil Bates exudes talent, combining great vocal quality with brilliant musicianship, warmly presented in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We are already looking forward to his return.



October 30th, 2006 at 08:48
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Nice one Lionel – thanks for keeping the site moving while I am away.


January 11th, 2007 at 18:20
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