Mr. Kyps, Poole

Joe Bonamassa

Tonight saw a very special appearance at Mr. Kyps. 10 years after his first UK show he is paying thanks to Mr Kyp with a free gig. One which has been passed onto the fans as a lottery who the first 125 lucky people got a pair of tickets. Another thing which makes this extra special gig for Mr. Kyp, and the fans who attended, is that early in the week Joe had to cancel his show at the BIC due to ill health. Thankfully he has recovered to continue his tour, and also to play this special gig tonight to close the tour with.

On approaching the venue you could tell something special was going to happen. The line of fans up the road, security at the car park entrance keeping fans back indicating something special – not too mention the large tour bus, and lorry in the car park, or the extra generators sitting in the car-park, the film crew, and we are not even inside yet! This might be the last night of the tour. This may not be largest venue of the tour, in fact probably the smallest – but the full tour crew are here.

And so to tonight’s gig…the assembled crowd were buzzing and the chatter was prevalent as excitement for tonight’s show mounted. At 20:00 our host, Mr. Kyp, took to the stage to introduce Joe Bonamassa and to give thanks for this evening, for which the crowd returned with cheering and applause as 5 individuals calmly took to the stage.

There is probably not much more that can be written about the guitar work of Joe Bonamassa. He has managed to position himself as one of the world’s most prominent blues-rock guitarists, with a wide-ranging repertoire he can draw upon as needed. Not only skilled at his craft but is exceedingly prolific and hard working. Just check out the back catalogue!

There is no question about the skill and ability possessed by this man, the crowd loved every hook, and lick, with every solo applauded. Hanging on every chord that eminated from his guitars.

Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa 12345

For a man so well known, who can sell out any venue, it was more than special to see him in this small venue. Humbled by the crowds reaction it was easy to see that he does, and loves the joy it brings. Not only that, when an artist of his stature returns to the first venue in the country he played it is a gift we were all lucky to experience.

Opening with “See See Baby” the evening kicked off with a rock ‘n roll vibe, and from the moment they started the audience were captivated. Immediately you could see how well the band work together, from the brass section through to the keys, each brought their own special spark to the party.

Throughout the set the crowd stood almost mesmerized only breaking the reverie to applaud and cheer. it is not long before Joe breaks a sweat as he puts his heart and soul into his. This might not be the BIC or the Albert Hall, but there are no half measures about tonight’s performance. The sound system is sounding as good as it as ever done, and considering the skills of the band and the sound crew it is no surprise.

Just over halfway through Joe took a brief moment and thanked the audience and Mr. Kyp for believing in him, and hosting his first UK show 10 years ago. As well as couple of stories; “Second Extra Cold Guinness tap along, in front of the Johnny Walker Red – that’s the Bonamassa Bar”. Stating he would not be here if it was not for Mr. Kyp, and more importantly that Mr. Kyps is a national treasure

As the set continued it became apparent that not only is he a more than accomplished guitarist, that he almost becomes one with the instrument – as cliched as it sounds. But it is true, he becomes totally immersed in his guitar work and there is almost an unnatural fluidity to his playing. As tracks crescendoed you at times you felt he was going just going I explode into chunks of guitar, strings, and chords. Yet this would be all in vain if not for the four musicians he shares the stage with.

The set climaxed with three classic tracks “Love Ain’t A Love Song”, “Sloe Gin”, and “Ballad Of John Henry”. Each bringing their own flavour to the proceedings. The unmistakable sound of “Love Ain’t A Love Song” kicks in, the brass section do their thing with ease, as a funky rhythm grabs you. Unlike the the gentle keyboard open guides the audience into Sloe Gin. The tempo slows and you can almost hear the audience holding their breath. Punctuated by guitar up until the other instruments step in bringing the track to a crescendo.

Closing with “The Ballad of John Henry” brings a steadier rock vibe to the proceedings as a number of heads start nodding in the intro. It was only towards the end of the set that the audience started to show more movement and involvement. Not through any apathy or boredom, but simply from being transfixed by the workmanship of those on stage. And after a long guitar break section passage the audience cheered as the track opens up with a rocking climax. The set closed to the loudest and longest round of applause and cheering.

Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa 12345

At about 21:55 they left the stage thanking the audience, but it took very little persuasion to get them back. Opening with the tapping of the sticks the encore opened and the audience were treated to two more tracks starting with “Burning Hell”, and closing with “All Aboard” and one monster keyboard solo from Reese!

Not only was this one hell of a gig for small local venue, they managed to cram everything on stage that you would get at the BIC, and still have room to breathe. The brass section had their pulpits, slightly closer together than normal. The keyboardist seemed buried under his equipment, and the drummer was just off to one side at the back. Leaving enough room for Michael and Joe to move around as needed.

We have to wait until March next year to these guys at the BIC, and it will be another tremendous show. But it won’t be a patch on the intimacy of this evenings show. Thankyou Kyp, thankyou Joe.

Line Up
Lee Thornberg – trumpet/trombone
Paulie Cerra – saxaphone
Anton Fig – drums
Michael Rhodes – bass
Reese Wynans – keyboards
Joe Bonamassa – guitar and vocals

Set List
See See Baby
Never Make your Move Too Soon
Angel Of Mercy
Hey Baby
Oh Beautiful
Breaking Up Someone’s Home
Trouble Town
Going Down
Gave Up Everything
Love Ain’t A Love Song
Sloe Gin
Ballad Of John Henry

Burning Hell
All Aboard


Words and Pictures By Jon Musselwhite
Video by Chinners

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