Mick Taylor with John Mayall Autumn 2004

I've seen Mick three times now on the tour with John Mayall and each time I get more impressed. I'm totally biased as I feel that the Stones golden era ended with Mick's departure (a view shared by many, I know).

*** Dartford November 1st ***
Got there early and to my absolute surprise I saw someone resembling JM's twin manning the merch stall, yes, it was the man himself!!!!!. Got my programme signed, kicked myself for not bringing another album along to sign...next time
Great opening set from Stan Webb, then on to the main event. The BB's warm up for John Mayall, led by the fabulous playing of Buddy Whittington. Highlight was his (better than Jimmy Page) version of "Heartbreaker" (anyone who's heard the band on the tour will know what I mean!!). BB's set drawn from set at the Birthday concert last year, plus the "proper" version of Hideaway (as Freddie King played it, not the supercharged version from the Beano album).

MT onstage, introduced by JM, naturally. For all you guitar players, MT was using Les Paul (standard tuning)>Cry Baby Wah>Boss Super Overdrive>Boss CE2 Chorus> Fender Twin and Marshall Combo. Absolutely stunning...

Highlights

* "Somebody's acting like a child"
* "Pretty Woman" (complete with massive Albert King vibrato, beautifully controlled, as on the Crusade album)
* "No Expectations" (encore, MT playing White Strat on open tuning)
* MT breaking into the "Can you hear me knocking riff" towards the end.
* MT remarking about JM's influence on him, including the advice to join a certain "dodgy blues band from Dartford" which brought a very big cheer from the packed house. I had to suppress the inner voice telling me to shout "Well, alright" in a Mick-esque accent at this point (think "Get yer ya-ya's out" era and you'll know what I mean)
* Both staying afterwards to sign autographs at the end, programme signed by both!


** Chatham Central Hall November 14th ***
A bit marred by a fire alarm after Chicken Shack had finished (everyone had to leave the theatre, to return about 15 minutes later), noted by Buddy Whittington playing the fire engine "two-tone" when he got onstage. 


For the guitar players, MT was using Les Paul (standard tuning)>Cry Baby Wah>Boss Super Overdrive>Boss CE2 Chorus> Fender Twin and Marshall Combo throughout. Buddy Whittington was using - early 60's Strat (three-tone sunburst, a bit war-torn, rosewood neck with small headstock)> Boss TU2 Tuner > Dr Z Amp head and what looked like a 1x12 Cabinet (I think it's a MAZ38 head, gives the typical glassy Texas blues tones, think Stevie Ray crossed with Jimi for the dirty sounds). All controlled via the volume pot on the guitar, nice!

Highlights

* MT playing bits from Jimi's "Band of Gypsies", specifically the "They don't know" riff
* All of Mick's slide playing!
* "Somebody's acting like a child" 
* "Pretty Woman" - "the slower the vibrato, the greater the soul" was all I said to my partner afterwards!
* "Room to Move"
* Got my "Crusade" album signed by John Mayall this time!!

Minor Problems
Fire Alarm
Getting to the bars!

*** Tunbridge Wells Assembly Halls November 15th ***
Support from Stan Webb as before.

Usual John Mayall BB set, largely drawn from the recent "Stories" CD as before.

MT used the same gear as for the other gigs. Seemed a bit more on edge than usual, but still superb!. The most amusing thing was after the main set had finished the band went offstage only to return a few minutes later for the encore, but MT was nowhere to be seen. He suddenly appeared and raced past the drum kit having sneaked off for a crafty fag!. The only disappointment was (along with a lot of others), we waited around after John announced that MT would be signing stuff at the end, but he didn't show this time unfortunately (John did, of course!).

Highlights

* A higher than usual quota of the older material, notably tonight "All your love" from the Beano album, which featured Buddy and Mick playing some of the guitar lines one octave apart, a great effect.
* All of Mick's slide playing!
* "Somebody's acting like a child" again
* Got my "Bare Wires" and "Beano" albums signed by John Mayall this time!!

Minor Problems
Distance to travel, but worth it!
Getting drinks!

Looking forward to the next tour now!!!!

Regards,

Pat