Review: The Chris Corcoran Trio / The Alex McKown Band: Studio 2 at Parr Street, Liverpool: 22.11.13

Posted on: Saturday, Nov 23, 2013

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The fairly-recently opened venue of Studio 2 at Parr Street in Liverpool hosted a most enjoyable evening double bill of contrasting styles of blues . . . the swinging jazzy blues of The Chris Corcoran Trio, who opened the evening for the rockier sounds of  The Alex McKown Band . . . a free event that attracted an appreciative audience to the venue on a night, when, as ever, the city was hosting several counter musical attractions.

The Chris Corcoran Trio possess three of the country’s finest and most in-demand musicians, comprising Chris Corcoran himself on guitar; Dave Lagnado (double bass) and Peter Greatorex (drums) . . . the trio arrived late from London due to the perils of Friday motorway travel but were on stage within half an hour of arrival, and delivered a stunning hour of jazz flavoured blues, driven by Corcoran’s majestic guitar playing – no pedal, vintage guitar and tiny amp – and the very free-form and expressive rhythm section of Lagnado and Greatorex, who are given plenty of opportunity to flourish.

They played a selection of songs from their CD “The Getaway”, including ¬†masterful performance of Kenny Burrell’s “Chitlins Con Carne”; a brilliant nod to T-Bone Walker and also a stunning slow blues – all showcasing the sparkling guitar work and top rhythm section. They ‘funked it’ up a little on a nice take on The Meters “Cissy Strut”. A straight hour of jazzy blues guitar instrumentals may be a bit much for some, but I enjoyed every moment of it.

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Young guitarist Alex McKown and his band headlined with two sturdy sets, mixing his own compositions with some blues standards. The young man from Glossop is a fine player, with the rest of the band comprising Simon Peat (saxophone), Martin Schofield (drums) and guesting on bass from the local band, The Blues Gang, was Alan Lynch.

Highlights included some blues classics in the shape of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Texas Flood”, a funky take on “Black Cat Bone” and the chestnut “Rock Me Baby”. McKown has a new album in the pipeline, featuring guest spots from Hamilton Loomis and Joel White, and he featured several of his own compositions. His stinging guitar breaks dominated, along with the rasping, tough tenor saxophone of the experienced Simon Peat.

Studio 2 comes highly recommended for a visit, it is a lovely room, and as it is a former studio, the bar area is soundproofed from the music area, which obviously works very well in such a venue.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.studio2liverpool.com

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