Review and photos by Rob Stanley
Ron Sayer jr
I first witnessed Sayer in action back in 2010 supporting Popa Chubby and was impressed with the pure emotion that he puts in to his gigs and have been a big fan ever since. So it was a no-brainer when I found out he would be playing at my favourite venue The Robin 2 again.
Sayers set comprised of material from his latest cd ‘Better Side’ which I absolutely loved right from the word go, but live it takes on a whole new dimension. His raw unprocessed vocals give everything a slightly harder gritty edge and added depth. His guitar playing is pure emotion driven wonderment which was slightly missing on the cd and those notes are so clean and sharp you could cut yourself on them.
This is also the first time I’ve seen the band play with Charlotte on keyboards and whilst I’m not implying that previously the band has been lacking, but her backing vocals just add that final finishing touch. We’re also treated to fantastic cover of Etta James ‘My Mother in law’ from Sayers better half Charlotte Joyce, who I have to say has a bloody good voice.
As noted previously In 2010 I was impressed with Sayer, three years on and I’m blown away with this band. I for one could have listened to them play all night and still wanted more.
Fantastic band, absolutely brilliant music and a great set. What more can a music lover ask for?
Tonight’s performance from Schofield was a trip down memory lane and a night of full oldies and covers , which I am sure that those fans who actually turned up will approve of, but for me the lack of any new material on show is a massive disappointment. It gives the impression that he has given up trying and is now happy to get on stage and rehash the same old material time and time again.
Also, whilst you cannot really knock Schofields technical ability on the guitar it does come across as far too clinical and for the most part lacking in any real emotion. One might even go as far as to say that it is pretty damn soulless, which is not really great when you’re trying to be a bluesman and emotion is right at the core.
OK so there were the usual blues riffs and solos, which is to be expected, but there was also plenty of dead space with nothing really happening between riffs and as a result I soon lost interest. It was almost like being in a boxing ring; a couple of jabs, followed by a short flurry of activity and then lets cower on the ropes for the remaining 2 minutes of the round, which is pretty dull from a spectators point of view.
I know Schofields fans will think I’m talking bollox and declare that the man is god, but in my defence; some gigs you leave the venue feeling that you want more and rush home and top-up with a few CDs before bed, but after Schofield I came out feeling quite empty and a little bit sad at the apparent loss of a potentially great musician and the need of a bag of chips.
It is hard to believe that a couple of years ago Schofield was tipped to be the next Clapton, from where I am standing right now it appears that he has missed the boat by a long way.
For more of Rob’s photos view the slideshow below