Review: Hans Theessink at Liverpool Marina – 19th September 2014

Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014

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Hans Theessink at Liverpool Marina – 19th September 2014

Hans Theessink is a consummate, acoustic blues troubadour, who decorates his rich bass-baritone vocals and sublime guitar playing with intriguing tales of his impressive musical pilgrimage. The Vienna-based Dutchman never fails to attract a substantial audience of fans when he a graces a stage in Liverpool. The enthusiasm to attend his previous appearances at the Rodewald Suite in the Philharmonic Hall and at Garston RBL was predictably matched at Liverpool Marina and the anticipation was fully rewarded with another flawless performance.

He opened his first set with a confession of the considerable influence that Big Bill Broonzy had on his early development, following “Key To The Highway” with a tribute entitled “Big Bill’s Guitar”, complete with a delightful finger-picked solo. He continued with three numbers from his Wishing Well album including the title song, a bluesy ballad and Brownie McGhee’s “Living With The Blues” before delivering a superb version of “St James Infirmary” on which the splendid guitar solo drifted seamlessly in and out of “Greensleeves”.

Hans then switched to a twelve-string guitar for three numbers, including “Blind Willie”, his dedication to Blind Willie McTell, and Mississippi John Hurt’s “Pay Day”. “Demons” was embellished with some more delightful guitar work while a rousing version of “The Glory Of Love” featured a brief flurry of mock trumpeting. A National Steel guitar was then brought into action for Tom Waits’s “Down In The Hole” and the fast-moving “Minnibelle” before the set was concluded with “Slow Train” with full audience participation.

The second set began with “Prison Blues”, “Sugar Babe Blues” and two numbers from the Delta Time album – the gospel-styled “Build Myself A Home” and the title song itself. The love song, “Shelter From The Storm”, was then followed by a cracking version of Rufus Thomas’s “Walkin’ The Dog” and a soul-selling saga, ”Johnny And The Devil”, garnished with yet more guitar-based magic. The set was climaxed with a terrific rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” and two loudly-demanded encores – Hurt’s “Sliding Delta” and a taste of the Rolling Stones in the shape of “No Expectations” – to complete a fabulous evening’s entertainment.

LIONEL ROSS

theessink.com

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