Review: Doug MacLeod at Liverpool Marina – 24th April, 2014

Posted on: Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014


Doug MacLeod at Liverpool Marina – 24th April, 2014

I went along to Liverpool Marina having seen posters on the door advertising Doug Macleod. What a treat. Knowing little about blues music, and nothing about Doug, I wondered what the evening held in store. A warm welcome at a great venue. Being new to Liverpool, I loved seeing a jangle of masts through the windows; the draught cider was delicious and several people greeted me in a friendly way.

Doug came on and immediately warmed his audience with songs built on ancient themes. He told his tales with humour and witty words: “more make-up than five drag queens”; “a silver-tongued lawyer who could make you believe the river flowed upstream”. Blues is the story of overcoming and surviving, and Doug gently offered hard-won advice, beautifully woven in stories and lyrics.

All the music was his, written in classic style, drawing on innovative chords and clever picking patterns. “The right hand is the personality” he explained. His easy smile and inclusive, relaxed way of gazing round his audience whilst demonstrating his skills had everyone’s attention. After a short interval, he whispered us back to quiet, almost as a school teacher would.

He reminded us to pack our sense of humour before we got out of bed – handy advice from one who had spent time “looking for the money my wife just spent” and who, despite a face creased by smiles, had known hard times and loneliness.

Great tunings, hammered chords and superb bottleneck technique were all part of an enjoyable, relaxed evening that left me smiling. Thanks!


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