Walter Trout @ Picturehouse, Edinburgh. 02/10/08
So it's off to the Caley Palais as was, now refurbished and given a rather prosaic new name. Changed days since I used to go along and see bands like Hanoi Rocks and marvel as guitarist Nasty Suicide was carried off unconscious as the band played on, obviously used to such events. It's set up a bit unusually for a gig, with tables and chairs down at the front of the stage, which lent a rather stuffy atmosphere to what should have been a red hot night of rockin' Blues.
Especially with young Master Oli Brown opening the show. He may be barely out of short pants but everything that has been said about him of late is absolutely true. A star in the making, his incredible voice and passionate playing should see him reaching the absolute top. Sure, he's still slightly in thrall to his influences, but he can overcome that. Hell, make a moody black and white video to go with his cover of Blackstreets 'No Diggity', and he could even break through to the MTV generation. After an inordinate delay, it was time for Walter Trout and his band to try and stir up, what was for Edinburgh, a fair turnout.
I was surprised that the poor sound that plagued the Oli Brown Band continued well into the Trout set. I had been warned about the poor acoustics, but it took the first 20 minutes or so to sort out the bass. But most of the audience didn't seem to care as Walter the showman was well to the fore, pandering to the natives with an interpolation of 'Scotland The Brave' in his version of 'Not Fade Away'. The fretwatchers were out on force, getting over excited when Trout headed off into a 15 minute slow blues, wrenching notes from his guitar that had dogs yelping for miles around. He may bear a resemblance to a racoon passing a large kidney stone, but he certainly knows how to entertain.
The new material from 'The Outsider' went down well but wait! What's this? Young girls? Dancing? At a Blues gig. You could hear the tuts of disapproval as John Knox spun frantically in his grave, but we need more of this. Mind you, they were probably tourists. 'A Matter Of The Heart' made for a nice change of pace as Andrew The Roadie joined in on acoustic guitar, and Hammond player Sammy Avila got a vocal showcase which rocked the house. The winner for me was, inevitably, a run through of Hound Dog Taylors 'Give Me Back My Wig', as you can never have too much Hound Dog. Hopefully, an excellent evening of incendiary Blues rock will help persuade more promoters to head their acts this way.waltertrout.com/oliselectricblues.co.uk/