24 July 2019 (gig)
27 July 2019
This was the second night of recording Ben Poole’s live album and saw him joined by Steve Amadeo on bass and the inimitable Wayne Proctor on drums.
The Half Moon is a favourite venue for Poole and he has played there many times in the past – notably on his album launch last December.
And a heck of a night it was. The air-conditioning at full blast was a welcome respite to the band from the over 50 degrees the night before in Barnsley but the crowd was pushing the temperature up as they responded warmly to Poole’s guitar work and impassioned singing.
Opening with ‘Take It No More’ he seemed very much at ease right out of the gate. Hi guitar playing is always detailed and carries the passion of the song but he is sometimes a ‘fiddler’, nervously adjusting tone and volume controls, not tonight.
He seemed relaxed and the Telecaster just seemed to be an extension of his hands and fingers, very much a part of him rather than a tool.
He was also chatty, clearly comfortable with a crowd that he has played to a good few times before, and, apart from berating some members of the crowd about talking through a live recording, his easy demeanour came over perfectly.
The set included a couple of covers, most notably a brilliant version of Albert King’s ‘Have You Ever Loved A Woman’ – I think it is impossible to do a bad version but this was especially fine.
Of his own material there was material from his latest album ‘Anytime You Need Me’ but also a couple from his previous album ‘Time Has Come’ and I think it shows that he really has come on a ways in the last couples of years both as a performer and a songwriter.
For me, there wasn’t a single highlight. The whole set was played at a top standard and Amadeo’s and Proctor’s backing fits perfectly with Poole’s playing style.
A thoroughly enjoyable set and if the other two shows were this good then we can look forward to a fine live album soon.
Photo by Richard Bolwell