An enigma back in the UK

Mick Pini Band – Live Catford Blues Club 3/11/04
Mick Pini remains as much a delight as he is an enigma. Back in the UK for an all too rare runs of gigs, the German domiciled Mick brought with him a classy band including guest drummer Sam Kelly and Julian Crudgings – last seen touring extensively with Sherman Robertson. Mick remains a delight because he is one of the few contemporary blues guitarists with a penchant for raw spontaneity and taking a risk, the way the younger Buddy Guy used to do…

The enigma part of things refers quite simply to the fact that the man doesn’t realise how good he is. For one thing it isn’t just any musician that gets called the “natural” successor to Peter Green. But it was Eric Clapton no less who said this of Mick. And this show proved the critical praise to be wholly accurate.

Micks’s soft vocal style and deep toned playing, sat perfectly in a set that established a sumptuous groove, punctuated sporadically by some blistering solo’s. And what a player Pini is.

I have never seen drummer Sam Kelly work so hard, as Mick followed one volley of stinging notes with another. There were moments of such inspirational playing that the crowd, picking up its cue, stood up as one to applaud one particular moment in “Woke Up This Morning”, that sent the shivers down your spine.
But above all else, this was a two set show that recalled pre AOL days of a band firing on all cylinders, and responding to a hugely enthusiastic crowd. Perhaps only Mick could follow a feverish bout of virtuoso playing with a cool, languid blues. As with the venue, this band is never going to be fashionable, but then again neither is Blues or Jazz, so lets just celebrate the joys of magnificent playing in the company of one of the UK’s finest blues exiles, Mick Pini!

Pete Feenstra Pete web site


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