Errol Linton Jumpin Hot Club, Gosforth Newcastle

Errol Linton
Jumpin Hot Club,
Gosforth Civic Theatre

This was another key gig in the 37th Anniversary of Newcastle’s Jumpin’ Hot Club; one of the UK’s finest and longest running Roots Promoters; bringing back a performer from the early days to their current favourite venue ….. and there’s been a lot of those over the years!
Roots Music comes in a variety of styles and tonight was The Blues, with even then two very diverse acts.

Fist up were local duo Scott Taylor and Michael Littlefair, two handsome young men who if you met them in ASDA and had 1,000 guesses would never pick ‘pre-WWII Blues Music’ as being their speciality subject.
They certainly know the history of their songs; but always give this with a smile and a laugh; which never takes away from the honest and loving way they sing the songs of the Masters.
I can bore you with a list of the songs they sung and who the originals were by; but that would spoil the fun of seeing these two on stage; although I will say that their very different vocals and Scott’s red hot hot harmonica and Michael’s genuinely brilliant guitar playing pay homage to the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Washboard Sam,Sonny Boy Williamson #1 (they explained the difference btw) and of course Muddy Waters, when they truly excelled.
Following several recent conversations regarding dwindling audiences post-pandemic at Roots gigs; I was excited to see how full this gig was by the time Errol Linton and band came on stage, with all seats full and another 10 or 12 having to stand (and dance) next to the bar.
The band cut a funky groove before Errol made his entrance; dancing across the stage (carrying a big bag of harmonicas!) and after setting the bag down; slinked into a beautiful rendition of his City Blues.
It’s been a while since I last saw him; but I was pleasantly surprised that a few songs tonight, starting with Hey You, included a bit of Bluebeat alongside his more natural Rhythmic Blues straight outta South London.
Where do I start with highlights? It would be too easy to say ‘everything’ which in turn would be true; but specifically Break The Seal was wonderful, his take on Junior Parker’s Mystery Train took it back to it’s Juke Joint boogie basics, and had the first of the dancers shaking their hips behind me.)
I particularly liked Packing My Bags, written for and about his parents coming to England via The Windrush; and again somehow merging Blues with Bluebeat and making it work ….. then ending it with a raging chorus of Concrete Jungle!
That’ll do for me bonny lad!
While everyone came to see and hear Errol Linton and his magic harmonicas (the drunk Scotsman who kept shouting “Errol Linton – the BEST harmonica player IN THE WORLD!” probably wasn’t wrong); but his band are all slick and professional in their own rite and got the opportunity to do short and sharp solos two or three times during the gig; especially the dancing guitarist Mr Ritchie Green!
The gig went by in the blink of an eye; coming to a blazing close with a fast and furious boogie, that showed their collective professionalism by miraculously ending on the exact same note!
Without bothering to leave the stage, Errol and band ‘agreed’ to perform one more song; Honeydripper which morphed into Can You Feel It? which had a good proportion of the crowd dancing or at least shuffling along …. with smiles on their faces.
The Blues comes in many shades and tonight we had two of the finest hues I’ve encountered in many a year.

Thursday 17th November 2022


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