Review: Supercharge – Alexanders, Chester – 24 Jan 2010
Posted on: Sunday, Jan 31, 2010
Alexander’s, Rufus Court, Chester: 24.01.10
Over from his base in Germany for a rare UK visit, the charismatic tenor saxophone player and singer, Liverpool’s own Albie Donnelly brought Supercharge to Alexander’s for a most entertaining evening of blues, r&b and funk, to delight a most healthy Sunday evening turnout at Alexander’s, following on from a home city gig on Friday.
The larger-than-life Donnelly, who once famously came out in front of 100,000 Queen fans in Hyde Park, dressed in a Freddie Mercury-style leotard, has been plying his hard-driving blend of r&b for some four decades now, and in the company of a fine band, delivered two great sets.
Supercharge on this occasion consisted of the man himself on vocals and tenor saxophone, his long-time guitarist Roy ‘The Boy’ Herrington, Paul Owens (baritone saxophone), Neil Partington (guitar and vocals), Bob Robertson (bass), and his son, Lance Donnelly on drums.
A double opening blast consisted of “Rocket 88” – often considered to be the first rock ‘n’ roll record when recorded by Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner’s Kings Of Rhythm – and the late, great Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s “Gangster of Love”. The pace was taken down for Albert King’s “Personal Manager”, with some fine fiery blues licks from Roy Herrington – whose showmanship on guitar was the perfect foil all evening to Albie Donnelly’s saxophone and vocals.
The band turned to some New Orleans-flavoured funk on Jon Cleary’s “When You Get Back”, before a superb solo spot from Neil Partington, on a rip-roaring “Black Cat Bone”, with resplendent Albert Collins flurries from his Stratocaster and a fine vocal; the first set ending with a rousing “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home”.
After a short break the band returned with the uptempo “Boogie Thing”, from the pen of harmonica legend James Cotton. Albie Donnelly then featured on a nice jazzy version of “Mellow Saxophone”, followed by Charles Brown’s “Save All Your Love For Me”. Roy Herrington was given a solo feature on a rocking take on “Statesboro’ Blues”, complete with audience walkabout, and a dip into “Sweet Home Chicago”, all complete with some frenetic guitar work.
The horns returned for a marvellous “Caledonia” that swung like crazy – great work here as well from Paul Owens’ honking baritone saxophone. A return to the blues saw a cover of “Whisky Drinking Woman” – with a much demanded encore in the form of the immortal “Hoochie Coochie Man”, to round off a marvellously entertaining night.
The rhythm section of Bob Robertson on bass, and the thunderous drums of Lance Donnelly drove things along in fine style, with the great guitars of Roy Herrington and Neil Donnelly having their fare share of the spotlight with the two saxophones of Albie Donnelly and Paul Owens. Considering this was the line-ups second gig they were really tight and having a good time, which made for a great gig.