Review: Supercharge – Alexander’s, Chester – 23 Jan 2011
Posted on: Thursday, Jan 27, 2011
Alexander’s, Rufus Court, Chester: 23.01.11
Exactly a year to the day, Liverpool ‘legend’ Albie Donnelly brought Supercharge back to Alexander’s in Chester, and as last year, the band delivered a rousing two hours of uptempo rhythm and blues, led by the charismatic Germany-based saxophone player, who has led the band in its various incarnations since 1973.
On this occasion the band featured all Liverpool-based musicians – Ossie Yue (guitar and vocals), Neil Partington (guitar and vocals), Bob Robertson (bass), Paul Need (keyboards), Lance Donnelly (drums), Paul Owens (baritone saxophone) and Albie Donnelly himself on lead vocals and tenor saxophone, and many witty observations!
Two sets contained some classic blues and r&b covers, kicking off with a tear through Rick Derringer’s “Still Alive And Well”, that was recorded by Johnny Winter, and then the classic “Gangster Of Love”, penned by the late, great Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson. Fellow Liverpool veteran, Ossie Yue, was given a couple of spotlights in the first set – delivering vocals and guitar on Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and throwing in a Chuck Berry duckwalk on a rocking “Route 66”, the Bobby Troup song that has been a staple of many bands for a long, long time.
Neil Partington showed his fluid guitar licks on the bluesy “Personal Manager” and keyboard player Paul Need soloed in fine style on New Orleans-based piano player Jon Cleary’s “When You Get Back”. The fine first set ending with a bit of Louis Jordan swing on “Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie” and James Cotton’s “Boogie Thing” . . . driven by the punchy horns of Albie Donnelly and Paul Owens, and the top rhythm section of Bob Robertson and Lance Donnelly . . . Albie’s son.
The second set kicked off with Ossie Yue again taking a vocal on Buddy Miles “Them Changes”, with fellow guitarist Neil Partington sharing the spotlight by taking a vocal on some New Orleans funk in the shape of The Meters “Hey Pocky Way” . . . catch him again soon at Alexander’s fronting the excellent Forty 4. The mood was taken down on a lovely “Save Your Love For Me”, with a highlight, as last year, the stomping “Happy Birthday Blues”.
A brace of much-demanded encores rounded off a great night . . . the funky “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home”, and the Muddy Waters blues chestnut, “Hoochie Coochie Man”. Again a top show by a fine band and great entertainment . . . hopefully it won’t be another 12 months before Mr. Donnelly and band return!