Stephen Dale Petit,Mick Taylor Live Review @ 100 Club (Westminster) - 13 May 2009

Stephen Dale Petit
Stephen Dale Petit

Live Review

A game of two halves tonight, Brian Pre-match entertainment came from Londons brightest new talents the Malchicks - George Perez, a guitar ingnue, skilled beyond his years; it sounds like this kid plays blues rhythm, lead and bass at the same time. His cohort on vocals is the getting-funkier Scarlett Wrench, her growing confidence bringing sassiness that shes getting the hang of. I see the Malchicks maybe every six months or so and their development is startling, leaps and bounds typified by self-composed material amongst their more habitual John Lee, Animals and Them r n b mainstays...and so, the big match beckons... You say you want a blues revolution?well you know, tonight ex-London tube busker, Californian Stephen Dale Petit, and his band fill this packed, famous room with solid but oh-so-tasteful riffs, shards of well-informed, righteous thrilling adventures of guitar bravado, making this first half a blizzard of technical genre-hopping virtuosity. SDPs loves, (well, to my ears anyway) might well be Band of Gypsys fluidity with added oomph, and the latter-day First Rays of the New Rising Sun funky, melodic and bluesy end of my man Jimi Hendrix, and you dont need really need eyes like a shithouse rat to glimpse the ghost of Freddie King about the place.

Stephens muse comes from somewhere deep and eclectic, parlayed essentially downtown in power-trio-for-today city - yeah, I know, keyboards and blues harp makes five but you hopefully know where Im coming from. Stephen plays it many ways but those ways are all so absolutely the right way his solos, variously expansive, chunky or crying, are a living, of-this-electrifying-moment history of the guitar, from old school Delta beginnings to listen-to-this, in-your-face nu-school, (and beyond, I think) and what he plays is never anything less than sweet, mellow and nourishing, at times brashly experimental, sometimes spacey but always on the pace. Im thinking Heavens above, this is a blast! as I realise that Im seeing a rare command of the rock guitar that Ive loved since I was a kid, that SDP has been perfecting since he was an even younger kid this, as we used to say back in the day, is something else. His dedicated and gifted band are clearly blown away with the sheer thrill of it all, the arrangements and execution are multi-levelled clever. Scattered about are jazzy tempo tricks and the first, as-yet incomplete SDP-Mick Taylor co-write is blessed with a colossally elegant classic rock riff. Majoring on tracks from the Guitararama album (Bill Nelson would be chuffed to hear this), Crack Whore, Sacramento and Told You So are mini epics, Albert Kings As The Years Go Passing is Stephens testament to his hero, and Soul Survivor hasnt got the patience to build up a storm - its a soulful whirlwind, a hurricane from the groovy get-go, a rousing finale to a first half of guitar bravado adventures, thrilling technical expertise matched by passion and understanding of the music - a guitar malstrm, Brian.

Whilst Stephen Dale Petit is half ways up that mountain named Blues Legend, his guest Mick Taylor has been to the summit and done that and tonight, hes looking good, as is his Gibson Les Paul. SDP gives due respect to Mick as one of the best guitar players this country has produced, one of my inspirations and as they launch into a meshed twin-guitar stroll through Snowy Wood from that incredible 67 Bluesbreakers, you sense the physical and emotional vibe around the room, much smiling and head-nodding evident. With Taylor on slide, Robert Johnsons iconic Stop Breaking Down sees the natural beauty of the blues captured (with my apologies to JD Souther) in a West End London minute. The Crave is just so goddamned blue and as Taylor takes flight, he gives us his feel and his heart that lit and powered and revalidated and gave new life to The Rolling Stones. Perhaps more than any other Brit, Taylor had, and on tonights form, retains, the special something that makes him...well...a bluesman - Peter Green I truly love you too. At this precise moment, Petit and Taylor are a formidable combination, fuelled by the mists of time and the steam of the Smokestack Lightning rail-shed, hurtling right off the top of that mountain we mentioned, brakes kaput. Its back to Robert Johnson with Taylor on vocals on Love In Vain (this tune is in the very DNA of everyone here tonight) - he aint no Jagger but he can surely carry a tune and, for sure Jagger aint no Taylor he dont come close. The buzz is tangible now, you gotta strain for a view of an incredibly controlled slow-cooking reconstruction of Willie I-Am-The-Blues Dixon and JB Lenoirs You Shook Me, building to a blue-tone crescendo, and as brooding atmospheric stomping shit-kickers follow heart-melters, we look anxiously at the clock, hoping for extra time. You know, the blues, she goes around, and around, and around again and every so often, she finds new champions and tonight is a wow, a thumping success, a triumph and we are privileged to have met two knights of the blues. Personally, I am just so very happy that Stephen, his band, and Mick, care enough to share their secret with us thank you guys, sincerely.

So there you have it Brian, a superb game of two halves I cant wait for the replay.

You may be interested in

© 2001 - 2018 AllGigs Limited, company number: 05113554. Registered office: 3 Silverdale Drive, London, SE9 4DH, England
All Rights Reserved. Use of this site is subject to our Terms and Conditions.