Review: Doug MacLeod – Liverpool Marina – 10 Nov 2010

Posted on: Friday, Nov 19, 2010

Doug MacLeod 02

The bluesman from St Louis, Missouri, has become a firm favourite in the UK – not least at Liverpool Marina where he fully meets the incredibly high standard of performer that is consistently provided by John and Lorraine Welsh. Doug MacLeod plays exclusively his own brilliant compositions, which he delivers with sonorous vocals and expert mastery of his National steel guitar. The icing on the cake is his entertaining banter between numbers, which creates the perfect mood for a wonderful evening.

He opened his account with the fast-moving “My Necessary Clothes” and the upbeat shuffle, “Just Like A Minstrel”, before calming things down with the slow and bluesy “One-eyed Owl”. At that point, he shared some advice that he had been given many years ago, ‘Don’t play two slow blues on the run. Someone could get hurt – and it could be you’. So it was time for the first helping of whimsy in the form of “If You Going To The Dog House, Remember Where You Buried your Bone”. He even managed to interpolate a menu for pork and dirty rice within this number. Eat your heart out, Jamie Oliver! “My Black Pony” recalled the delights of a lost love while “This Old River” was a heartfelt tribute to a much-lamented lady and her dignified battle with cancer. To close the first set, Doug then lifted the mood with “Welcome In Your Home”.

At the start of the second set, some lovely guitar work embellished “You Can’t Take My Blues” before “If I Had Good Sense, I Believe I’d Go Home” regretted a long-lost love in Memphis. Whimsy returned to the fore with “She Boogy’n”, a recollection of Doug’s time as a 16-year old bass player in St Louis. The angst-laden “Cold Rain” was followed by an upbeat, fast-moving number and yet more humour in “I’m So Broke, I Can’t Even Pay Attention”. The superb set was ended with “My Brand New Eyes”, which will be the title song of an album that is scheduled for release in March 2011.

Everything about the show had been first class but the climax was still to be reached with a blissful rendition of the hilarious “Dubb’s Talkin’ Barnyard Blues”, which brought the house down. An absolutely magical evening.

Lionel Ross

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