Review: Geoff Achison and the UK Souldiggers at Liverpool Marina – 23 June 2010

Posted on: Monday, Jun 28, 2010

Geoff Achison June 2010 01

This was the third visit to the Marina by this brilliant ensemble that combines the very best of Australian and British blues artistry. Singer/guitarist Geoff Achison was backed by his customary band that comprises the rich talents of Paul Jobson on keyboard, Sam Kelly on drums and Spy Austin on bass guitar.

They bounced into action with “Little Big Man” and shuffled on with “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know”. The Latin-rhythmed “Crazy Horse” was followed by “One Ticket, One Ride”, the funky title track of Geoff’s latest album. The slow and bluesy “My Work Is Done” boasted a splendid guitar solo while the more heavily driven “Souldigger” featured a terrific bass line. “Each Long Day” provided some tremendous interplay between Jobson and Achison before the set was concluded with “My Little Bag”, an apologetic confession of Geoff’s addiction to that environmentally damaging article.

The man from Melbourne opened the second set in solo acoustic mode where he demonstrated his prodigious dexterity on two numbers, the second of which was a superb version of “Mystery Train”. The band then re-entered the fray for a performance of the excellent “Stepping Stones”. A fabulous version of Albert King’s “If The Washing Don’t Get You, The Rinsing Will” included marvellous solos from Jobson and Achison and some magical interplay between them. Another funky number had each member of the band contributing hugely to a sublime wall of sound, which was matched by the reggae-rhythmed “Never Give It Up” to complete the scintillating set. Finally, the loudly demanded encore, “Rule The World”, re-established the funky edge that was never far from the surface throughout the evening.

Geoff Achison indicated that the band made no use of a set list and followed their instincts to create a largely intuitive jam. If that was the case, and there was no evidence to challenge the validity of the claim, it is difficult to imagine a classier jam. Much credit and gratitude is owed to John and Lorraine Welsh for consistently providing such a sublime level of entertainment.

An added bonus to the gig was an interview of Geoff conducted before the show by Spencer Leigh, who stayed on to enjoy the entertainment. The interview will be included in the near future in one of Spencer’s On The Beat programmes, which go out at 6pm on Radio Merseyside on Saturday evenings.

Lionel Ross

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