Joe’s Pub, New York

 photo:Michael InglisAnticipation was high as I waited for John to come onto the tiny stage at Joe’s Pub in down-town Manhattan. Playing in NY for the first time in over 10 years, the atmosphere was electric, and when he was pushed onto the stage the reception for the man was rapturous. Having been a great fan of his work, but not ever seeing him I did not know what to expect, but after 5 minutes any fears I may have had were allayed.  I was after all, only 8 feet from a true music legend, and in my opinion, genius. His trademark earthy, and at times, impossible to understand voice [at least for my US girlfriend], his incredible guitar playing and his unexpected wit, were all on display.

Playing with his great friend Danny Thompson, the empathy between them was obvious to all. Danny keeping to the tempo of John’s often syncopated rhythm’s.  These two guys were born to play with each other and all the classics were played including Solid Air, May You Never, and Big Muff. But, sad to report, the man was obviously suffering and not at all well, [possibly from jet lag, or in this case, boat lag], as he had to leave the stage after only six glorious songs.  I could here people muttering that they felt cheated, but to me, even if he had sang just one song, it would have been worth every penny.  Get well soon John, and come back and play for us again. This expat for one believes that you are a one of a kind and make some stunning and deeply moving music, and a bit of a wit too!

Mike Inglis