Review: Norrie Burnett and the Dave Raphael Band at Liverpool Marina – 3rd November 2012

Posted on: Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012

Norrie Burnett and the Dave Raphael Band at Liverpool Marina – 2nd November 2012

For their last gig of the year, John and Lorraine Welsh welcomed Norrie Burnett and the Dave Raphael Band to Liverpool Marina. In truth, a more accurate description would have been the Dave Raphael Band with guest star Norrie Burnett, as the well-loved blues shouter had to restrict his involvement to just seven of the twenty numbers performed on the night due to a voice-debilitating infection.

The band lit the fuse with a sparkling instrumental, followed by “Juke Joint Woman” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talkin’?” and Freddie King’s “See See Baby”, with harp maestro Dave Raphael on vocals. Norrie then entered the fray to deliver “How D’Ya Learn To Shake It Like That?” and the upbeat rocker “Vida’s Place”. The slow blues, “Life Is Hard”, then received the full Burnett treatment, embellished by a tasty guitar solo from Nick Hyde. Norrie’s first departure was compensated for by a hard-driven version of “Don’t Start Me Talkin’” and a brilliant, dynamic version of Hound Dog Taylor’s “Gimme Back My Wig”, with Nick Hyde on vocals and blistering slide guitar, before the set was closed with an equally energetic delivery of “Gotta Move”.

To open the second set, Nick regained the mic on “300 Pounds Of Joy” and “Boogie Real Low” before passing the honours to Dave Raphael for a splendid rendition of Larry Garner’s “High On Music”, which was beautifully underpinned by the excellent rhythm section of Steve Browning on bass guitar and Bernie Fox on drums. Norrie Burnett then returned to the stage to lead a vibrant performance of “Shape I’m In”, followed by “Don’t You Lie To Me”, complete with a terrific harp solo from Dave Raphael, and Willie Dixon’s “When The Lights Go Out”.

Dave resumed vocal duties on Muddy Waters’s “Walkin’ In The Park”, which boasted another helping of magic from Nick Hyde, before handing the mic back to Nick on “Gave You My Heart” and returning the compliment with some lovely harp work. The set ended with the rumba-rhythmed “Hobo”, which developed into an impressive extravaganza of ensemble playing that provoked a rapturous response from the audience and a loud demand for an encore. Norrie then returned to lead the final charge on a fast-moving boogie to complete a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

LIONEL ROSS

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