Review: Jake Walker and Crosscut Saw at Liverpool Marina: 6 November 2008

Posted on: Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008

As the third gig on an extensive European tour, this was Jake Walker’s first appearance in Liverpool. The man from New York City was backed by Leeds-based trio, Crosscut Saw, who comprised guitarist/harmonica player Alex Eden, drummer Richard Ferdinando and stand-in bass guitarist Ben Coleman.

Crosscut Saw opened the proceedings with three numbers before welcoming Jake Walker on stage, who announced his arrival with the funky “Confidence Man”, the title track of his recently released album. He then delivered an excellent version of Muddy Waters’s “Can’t Get No Grindin’”, followed by a funky-edged, rocking instrumental and the bluesy ballad, “Time For Love”. Jake added a lively slide guitar to the next number prior to ending the first set with his splendid instrumental tribute to Freddie King, “Mondo Freddie”.

The second set was again opened with three numbers from Crosscut Saw, including a fine rendition of a compelling Mississippi Hills number. Jake Walker then provided another brilliant helping of Freddie King’s repertoire in the form of “Tore Down”, breaking a string in the process. Alex Eden admirably filled the potential hiatus with a solo performance accompanied by acoustic harp. Jake resumed with “Miniskirt”, another number featured on his new album, followed by a very distinctive rendition of “Walkin’ The Dog”. He then inserted a second, but briefer, interlude to allow himself the opportunity to chat to members of the audience before raising the stakes with “Cross Cut Saw”, complete with more tasty guitar work. Still in Albert King mode, he then brought the set to a close with “Laundromat Blues”.

This was another very enjoyable evening at Liverpool Marina, which was well supported by a healthy gathering of regular punters, despite the counter-attraction of the MTV Awards Ceremony at the nearby Echo Arena. There again, given the choice – no contest.

Lionel Ross

(photograph by John R Welsh)

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