Support tonight is local lads The Brian Rawson Band. The home grown blues act put in a great graft and warmed up the crowd well. With a god mix of covers and originals they got to showcase the brilliant work from guitarist Brian and showing the power in Peter Scallan’s voice.
I loved what I saw and eagerly await some new material in the form of an album. They are well worth catching if you have the chance.
In the unusual surroundings of tables and chairs in the Oran Mor I was a little anxious that it might just be a bit too laid back. If I am honest I thought I had got on the wrong train and ended up in a hipster cafe in Edinburgh but I took my seat(not for long as I really cannot stand to be seated at a gig) and was unprepared for the incredible show that was about to unravel.
Ben Poole was also a bit taken aback at the all seated view he came out too. The mans last gig in this city was Nice’n’Sleazeys which is well know to be a bit more lively. It worked out perfectly though as he took us on a blues journey through his songs and some very special inclusions that are personal to him.
Another stripped back element is the exclusion of keyboards due to Joe Mac being unable to make it. This did not hinder the show and with the incredibly talented Wayne proctor( from King King) and Beau Barnard on bass filling in and filling out the sound brilliantly.
Ben himself was given some extra space with the omission of keys and if there is one guitarist you want to let loose it is this man. He is an exquisite talent and undoubtedly one of the best blues fret men this country has to offer.
With Ben you get all shapes of Blues from full on rockers to jazz and soul but for me the show was stolen with his cover of Freddy King’s “Have You Ever Loved a Woman”. This blew me away and left me in awe. As Ben played what is obviously one of his favourite tracks he took us on a journey across a fretboard but much deeper as it dripped into your soul.
He took us from highs to completely un amplified lows as he turned everything off so you could just hear the strokes on the strings and for once there was no talking, no stupid shouts of turn it up and as Ben’s voice floated across the venue also unaided it made for a magical moment.
This was a brilliant show and probably the best I have ever seen him. For me he is still too unrecognised by media, peers and blues fans across the world but hopefully the new album and the unrelenting slog of gigging will pay off as he deserves it fully. A brilliant guitarist, an excellent singer and very accomplished songwriter who has far to go.
Images and words Ritchie Birnie