LIVE REVIEW: Blind Boy Paxton, CD Wallum @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle (23.11.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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(To be read in a Memphis Blues accent): Th’ain’t nuthin’ finer than a whiskey an’ recliner, sittin’ on the back porch singin’ blues. But w’ain’t in Memphis, w’ain’t even in Compton where Blind Boy’s from, we in Gosforth Civic Theatre, a doggone minute from the Regent Centre, listenin’ to a Yorkshire band named CD Wallum (they’m a trio) an’ suppin on a can o’diet coke.  (You can re-employ your normal head voice now): The boys from Leeds got the blues mood just right, and had us foot stompin’ proper before the main man arrived. 

Blind Boy Paxton’s opening gambit? ‘I’m miserable’ (he’d just come from Wales). Now THAT’S the blues. Looking like he’d just stepped off a 1928 photoshoot for Blues Magazine, his sound was just as authentic. His incredible musicianship was a joy, playing guitar, banjo, violin, harmonica and honky-tonk piano (venue’s own) like they were Swiss army extensions of his arms, it was his honey-roasted voice that could see this man placed among the greats of yesteryear. 

Singing songs of Samuel Green and his love of chicken, love and hate and rejection by ugly women “when she was born, the midwife slapped her mother”, the lyrics were more often than not, hilarious.  He could be a stand-up comic with a mind like his, and a poet too, amid the music and laughter were beautiful soliloquies telling of his deep love.  His deep love for whiskey, as members of the audience fed him a constant stream.  As the whiskey took hold the songs grew in bawdiness and mirth, but his talent shone through, we even got some Beethoven in the encore.  The man is a genius, a virtuoso on multiple instruments and a natural entertainer.  I hope he comes back soon, when he does, there’s a Jack neat double waiting for him.

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