karohemd: (Photo)
Buddy Guy was amazing.
He's 73 but you don't really notice it. He's still got the blues, his guitar playing is wonderful, his rapport with the audience is inspiring (he even went on a little tour through the main auditorium, making his way through the standing audience) and he clearly has a lot of fun doing it.
The light was brilliant and I managed to take some awesome pics with my G10. The shots could be a little sharper as focusing with a compact isn't great but the light was good and I could keep the ISO down to 400 which is important with the G10. The improved noise reduction in Lightroom 3 helped as well.

The main album is here on flickr which also contains a few more shots of Bjørn Berge, the support act.

  
 

Bigger and more )
karohemd: by sogoth.livejournal.com (Music)
The first time I saw Buddy Guy was a few years ago when he supported Jeff Beck (who was rubbish) at one of the Tower of London gigs. He was absolutely brilliant then but I only saw a little bit of him when he wandered down the aisle during one track.
This time it was a headline gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire and I was bright and early so ended up in the second row standing, probably about 3m from his microphone.
Support was by Bjørn Berge, just a Norwegian and his two acoustic guitars (a 12 and a 6-string) and a Seasick Steve-ish stomp box thing (but smaller, he just tapped it with his toes) playing anything from acoustic blues to some really wild multi-level picking madness, a bit like Rodrigo y Gabriela. Very good fun.
Just before I'd left I thought, 'ooh, I have a standing ticket and will be early, I could take the G10' which I did and I had an almost perfect spot. Just one shot, there'll be more when I'm done with The Perch.



After stage reset, Buddy Guy came on and played about one hour and 20 minutes of blues, fun and banter with the audience. He's 73 but still young at heart and you can tell that he's doing it because he has all the fun in the world going out and bringing his music to the audience. His voice is still strong with an amazing range from a deep bass to a wondrous falsetto and his guitar playing is top notch, be it traditional blues, emulating Hendrix or Clapton or playing with a drumstick, piece of cloth or his teeth.
What a wonderful, gracious, modest artist. Catch him while you can.

  

Bigger photos )

The light was awesome: Canon G10 at ISO400, 1/60th-1/100th, f3.5-f4.5
karohemd: by sogoth.livejournal.com (Music)
Getting there )

Buddy Guy
Anyway, they started on time (being introduced by a Beefeater, how cool is that?) and Buddy Guy came on stage. He's 70 this year and it doesn't show a single bit. OK, he doesn't run or jump around the stage like a madman but he definitely has a massive presence, singing, playing, gestures, every single bit conveying emotion and dedication. He played a variety of blues numbers, a few from his new album and an absolutely awesome 20 minute version of Hoochie Coochie Man. Well, it started and ended as that but had loads of extra bits in between including one of the best verses ever:
One leg was in the East
One leg was in the West
I was right down in the middle
And tryyyyyying my very best

I think only Robert Johnson's "Baby, squeeze my lemons until the juice runs down my legs" (Travelling Riverside Blues) beats that one. ;o)
Then came the best bit: He said something along the lines of "Do you mind if I come down for a bit?". Obviously nobody did, so he went backstage and came out to the front and wandered around the audience for at least 10 minutes, singing and playing and having a great time enjoying the attention. That was the one point in my life where I wished I had a camera phone (or brought my pocket digicam) as he was about 2m away at one point. He looks a bit older close up but definitely not 70. Ace.
Was it worth spending around 75 quid for not quite an hour of Buddy Guy? Hell yeah! It was an opportunity not to be missed and I'm glad I didn't. He was the last great bluesmen I hadn't seen (and who are still alive, I've missed the Alberts, for example)

A little known white guitarist called Jeff Beck was next, feel free to skip as it was dull dull dull )

Made it to KingsX in good time (caught the 10:5x) but obviously had the engineering works to contend with which meant getting off at Stevenage, taking a coach to Royston (which was quick and not too bad) but then having to wait almost 40 minutes for the train to leave from there which meant I was finally in Cambridge at 0:30. :o(

In closing, to repeat what I said last night:

Ticket for Buddy Guy and some unknown white guitarist called Jeff Beck at the Tower Festival - £60
One Day Travelcard - £15
Seeing Buddy Guy sing and play from two metres away - priceless
karohemd: by sogoth.livejournal.com (Music)
Just listening to Buddy Guy's current album. Traditional Blues with some interesting twists and a few cool duets/collaborations (e.g. Ain't No Sunshine with Tracy Chapman).
He's one of the artists I'd really like to see live at one point. I wonder if he's touring the UK (his website says no but they say he's touring in autumn, too)...

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