The Black Sorrows @ Nell’s Jazz and Blues (London)
Friday, 30th June 2017
Some life got brought back to the ol’ girl tonight. Not the Sorrows, no; they are always crisp with punch and brilliance. It’s not them I fear for. It’s West Kensington. My god, the old girl needs her nails done and a colour-cut treatment. Nothing real fancy (heaven forbid we should show up Gloucester Rd), just a pedicure and a trim and then she’s on her way.
Then she’ll be ready for the un-knockdownable Joe Camilleri. Rolling Stone have dubbed Joe the hardest working man in rock and the figures don’t lie. Hundreds of gigs a year around Oz and the globe.
It’s been 20 years since Joe played London but you wouldn’t have guessed after tonight’s turn out. Back in the 80’s when there were all-night parties in Soho and the record company made sure the bubbly was cold and the artists wanted for nothing, Joe Camilleri walked the boards with The Black Sorrows, bringing his unique rhythm, rock, soul and blues group from Australia to London and bewitching the locals.
Tonight was sans Vika and Linda Bull – it’s the all-bloke Black Sorrows line-up we are used to seeing now – but if you are down under, the full line-up is out and around the country to support the new album Faithfull Satellite.
For tonight though, ‘Hold On to Me’ and Jo Jo Zep favourite ‘Hit and Run’ are just as sensitive, potent and crisp as the day they were recorded. ‘Hold It Up to The Mirror’ from the seminal 1990 Harley and Rose album is my personal favourite and was delivered third in the set. But it was ‘The Chosen Ones’ from 88’s Hold on to Me album that brought a tear to the eye.
Wrapping the night up with another Zep classic ‘Shape I’m In’ left everyone gagging for some more time with the maestro.
Claude, John, Angus and Mark faithfully reproduce these hits on stage with skill and aplomb and because they’re brilliant they make it all sound new again.
The dance floor was jumping – literally. There were people everywhere clapping with their hands, stomping with their feet and entangling their senses to a session of broad musical mastery. West Kensington’s Nell’s Jazz & Blues bar has finally hung up the gym sweat wear attire and gone out for the night!
If you get the chance, go and see a master session from Joe and the guys. You might be entranced to bop, twist, rock, thigh slap, drink too much and head nod with a pint in hand and celebrate the power of the Sorrows.
TOP IMAGE: File image of Joe Camilleri, courtesy TheBlackSorrows.com.au