Review: Sensational gig is ‘one of the Assembly’s best’

Joanne Shaw Taylor and Laurence Jones performing at the Assembly in Leamington. Picture by Andrew Lock.
Joanne Shaw Taylor and Laurence Jones performing at the Assembly in Leamington. Picture by Andrew Lock.

Joanne Shaw Taylor, Assembly, Leamington, July 3.

Joanne Shaw Taylor returned to the Assembly for a blistering display of blues.

After a quality, hard rocking blues set by Manchester-based Federal Charm, it was time for one of the top ladies of the blues to take the stage along with her tight-as-you-would-like three-piece band.

With three studio albums now behind her, she has a wealth of material to choose from - and the material performed from her 2009 debut album White Sugar best sums up how far she has come and included blistering versions of Watch ‘Em Burn and Kiss the Ground Goodbye.

She has a distinct guitar sound which is put to great use during plenty of extended solos and her vocal delivery is wonderfully smokey, full of character and just made for the blues.

Other highlights of the set included the more laid back Beautifully Broken, the wonderfully funky You Should Stay I Should Go and her awesome version of Hendrix classic Manic Depression.

To close the main set, a real treat as blues sensation and local lad Laurence Jones, himself a rising star in the blues world, joined Joanne to trade licks during a run though Laurence’s composition Going Down. As well as playing sensationally, they looked like they were having a ball. Not a great surprise, as from the stage Joanne said she thought of Laurence as her little brother.

Finishing the night in truly rocking style, it was back to her debut album for a roaring Going Home, to close a gig that goes down as one of the best I have attended at the Assembly.

Andrew Lock