Review: The Matt Schofield Trio + The Ben Poole Band – The Live Rooms, Chester: 18th November

Posted on: Sunday, Nov 23, 2014

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The Matt Schofield Trio + The Ben Poole Band

The Live Rooms, Chester: 18th November

It’s just over 12 months now since the excellent venue, The Live Rooms opened its doors in Chester, and in that time it has played  host to a vast variety of different kinds of music, and it’s great to hear that they plan to step up their presentation of top quality roots and blues music – hence a stop off for this national tour featuring two of our most prominent guitarists – the fast-rising Ben Poole, from Brighton; and the more experienced and well-known Matt Schofield, originally hailing from Manchester.

A Tuesday gig attracted a decent, appreciative audience as both players led their trios through sets of high-powered blues, rock and more!

Opening the evening The Ben Poole Band delivered a short set featuring songs from their recorded output, including the brand new, “Live at The Royal Albert Hall”, from last year’s Bluesfest at the venue- recorded by the BBC and just out on Manhaton Records.

Ben Poole’s fluid guitar blazed on the title cut from his first studio release, “Let’s Go Upstairs”; and another highlight was a storming version of Otis Redding’s classic “Mr Pitiful”; also featured was the long, bluesy “Hanging In The Balance”, which saw some guitar ‘fireworks’.

Special mention goes to the excellent rhythm section, featuring Pepe Le Moko (bass) and Samuel Wade (drums).

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Must admit I was caught on the hop a little with the Matt Schofield line-up, taking it for granted the trio would feature Hammond organ! But no, here Matt fronted a conventional trio and delivered a blazing set featuring works from across many of his albums.

Without the foil of the keyboards the show obviously featured a lot more of Matt Schofield’s guitar, but ably backed by again a quite exceptional rhythm section, comprising of Jamie Little on drums and Carl Standbridge on bass.

From the latest “Far As I Can See” a highlight was the both funky and shuffling “Everything”; a dip back for the title cut of “Siftin’ Thru Ashes” and also “Shipwrecked” from the fine “Anything But Time” release. Many songs were stretched out over a lengthy period giving Matt Schofield plenty of opportunity to show off his terrific playing, aided by the top rhythm section.

Great to see such a high-profile pairing stop off in Chester, and here’s to many more shows of similar ilk!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.theliverooms.com

www.mattschofield.com

www.benpooleband.com

Video by Geoff Oldfield

Pictures courtesy of Friswell Photography

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