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Billy Jenkins and Steve Morrison aka
Brooks Bar Friday 8th February 2008
Review Billy Hill
‘Here is the Blues’ is different. We get great songs about issues of today, getting stuck on trains, worrying about your children because they are late home and have been got by the axe murderer. Or financial worry because your wife has just purchased another pair of shoes and now you have to consider moving house because you have run out of storage space for them.
Steve and Billy are wonderful foils for one another. Steve’s pounding right thumb sets the rhythm and bass on his mish mash Fender dropped to the thunderous low ’C’ open tuning. His right fingers pull out the melodies at the same time (how does he do that?) with a tone of honey poured over toasted marshmallow. (Sorry, that was a bit M&S).
On the other side of the stage is Billy J, here there is mix of FIERCE and mellow. First BJ will be stroking the melody on his guitar with warm counterpoints followed by fearsome frantic bouts of bridge pick up mayhem. Every inch of the fretboard appears to be used and all this within the first 4 bars! This is only song one and already the Friday night blues is well on the way from leaving me.
The night continues with Billy and Steve sharing vocals, songs and the occasional harmonica. The audience are being uplifted higher and higher with each number. The excitement reaches such a pitch that we see 3 harmonicas dancing together on the stage, even Steve’s amplifier jumps off its speaker and takes a dive on to the floor to join them..
There is a short spell of calm and we are off again, this time both men are standing on chairs like some evangelical meeting. BJ trains the audience to perform the funky one hand clap. We follow willingly. What ever he asks us to do we follow. The blues has gone! The blues has gone I say!! The people next to us are overwhelmed as they finish their Brooks Blues Bar supper. They are consumed with joy. Oh joy, oh joy.
Steve and Billy leave the stage, their job is done. They don’t have jobs to go to they are the self unemployed. Tony calls them back, the crowd go mad. One more PLEASE...