|21/5/2016||Stevie Nimmo and Ben Poole||Review by Liz Aiken|
Nearly the last gig of the tour Bluesdoodles caught up at last with Ben Poole Band & Stevie Nimmo on their double headlining tour at The Flowerpot in Derby. They better be on their A star game as the other Nimmo Alan and King King with special guest Dan Patlansky in Salisbury threw down the gauntlet last night , hard, fast and loud with a rocking blues attitude that ignited the venue. There was no doubt by the end of the gig this double headliner was volcanic but more of that as we relish the evening's guitar offerings. The coin has been tossed the running order Ben Poole followed by Stevie Nimmo. Let the dual begin.
The rhythm section, bassist Matt Beable and Craig Bacon are in for a long hot night as they are providing the tone, and chewy textures for both guitarists tonight. Ben Poole joined them and Stevie Watts on keys on a hot stage greeted by resounding cheers to a packed Flowerpot. His latest album Time Has Come, has given Ben a spring to his step and fire in his guitar. Not surprising with the myriad of positive reviews. Now to hear the music live outside of the studio. Ben was firing on all six strings opening with a firm Poole favourite Lets Go Up Stairs. The blues temperature was hot as forged steel and The Flowerpot was united in the love of live music and the sound of a guitarist who owns the Blues in UK today. The groove aid down by Matt and Craig was augmented by the keys of Stevie Watts. The sound was rocking and the emotive connection and love Ben shares with Gary Moore shines through every time he plays Holding On To Love. The music united the crowded venue we were immersed in the glories of live music, it is irresistible. The band was connected to us and each other, interacting with pure energy and joy of playing the music that we want to hear. All too soon the set was over time to draw a breath and recollect and then get ready for the Stevie Nimmo storm blowing into the Flowerpot next.
The cheers lifted the ceiling as the mighty Stevie Nimmo took the stage for the penultimate night of a long tour and road trip on his bike check out his blog for the highs, lows and the laughs he has had travelling from venue to venue. Tonight it is The Flowerpot's turn, we love having him back in Derby. With a new album that has been receiving the highest accolade and is definitely in the running for album of 2016 over at Bluesdoodles Tower! The Sky Won't Fall when it is supported with the mighty Rocking Bluesy guitar from Stevie. What a performance the guitar work was fast, slow perfectly timed with vocals that add another instrument into the mix. This is not a power trio but a trio full of musical power. The set was mainly from the latest album which delighted many who already have had the album on continuous play and as with Ben's the music has that added tension and nuances when played live. It is the heat, sweat and atmosphere being rolled into the mix, which can never be achieved in a studio. We have Roll The Dice the track on the album that couples into Stevie's back catalogue so very neatly.
Matt and Craig are back hotter than ever enjoying playing to the Big Scots tune. The lyrics are strong the guitar full of scorching power as money becomes the center of attention with a passionate telling of life with No Money on Still Hungry. The live version of the Allman Brothers number Gamblers Roll was my favourite (if we ignore the encore more of that later) moment of the evening despite being a cover. What a song on the album it holds your attention, live it stops you breathing so that you can absorb every note played. This song alone proves the power of live music, the emotion cannot be replicated in any other medium. The emotive moment was when Stevie gave tribute to Big George, his fellow country man who influenced many, he was a wordsmith extraordinaire as The Storm shows. Another fabulous number the music tonight was stellar, the performances of everyone on the stage was top-notch.
Having heard King King and Alan his younger brother the night before I have had the perfect two days of live music the pair of Nimmos on different stages but bringing Scottish Blues magic to excite and please.
Then there was the encore Freddy King's Going Down. The Flowerpot was not going down, down, down we were on the up as not one not two, no we had three guitarists on stage joining Ben & Stevie was Aynsley Lister we were in for an encore that will be remembered for many a year by all the lucky people in the Flowerpot tonight. Thank you Lisa & Alan, the powerhouse behind RAW Promo for continuing to put on gigs that delight and fill our memories with glorious music. Keep supporting venues Why? Keep Music Live it is simply the best.