Review: Ian Parker at Warrington RnB Club – 5 December 2008
Posted on: Sunday, Dec 7, 2008
It seems incredible, but this was Ian Parker’s first appearance at the Warrington RnB Club for five long years. Not surprisingly, the club was packed out to welcome him back to the fold. As a bonus, the crowd was treated to a support set from singer/guitarist David Soper and harmonica player Mike Kyle, who are both students at the University of Manchester. They delivered an entertaining programme of acoustic blues, culminating in an a capella version of “Boneman” to set the scene nicely for the evening’s main performers.
Ian was backed by his now well-established band of ‘Morg’ Morgan on keys, Steve Amadeo on bass guitar and Wayne Proctor on drums. They opened an extended single set with “Every Day I Have The Blues”, followed by the funky “Take My Hand” and the slow rocker “All The Time”, which featured a smouldering guitar solo. “She Cries” made way for the old favourite “Funny How”, complete with a lovely helping of key tinkling from ‘Morg’ Morgan.
For the next three numbers, a couple of ballads and the upbeat “Keep Me Walking”, Ian and Steve Amadeo switched to acoustic guitar and bass guitar respectively before providing a splendid version of Robert Johnson’s “When You’ve Got A Good Friend”. The slow blues “Love So Cold” was embellished by a wonderful, vintage Parker solo before the pace was upped with the upbeat rocker “Where I Belong”, the title track of the band’s most recent studio album.
Ian had confessed earlier in the set that he was consciously limiting the inclusion of his more introspective compositions but he allowed himself the interpolation of “Don’t Hold Back” into the mix, which built to an angst-ridden, breathless climax. However, the predominant, feelgood mood was quickly restored with another driving number that reached an impressive crescendo with the whole band blending magnificently. Two encores completed a superb show: a Tom Waits-like ballad and a fabulous rendition of Hendrix’s “Angel” with some sublime artistry from Ian Parker on guitar.