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Review: The Ian Siegal Band at the Lichfield Guildhall

After more than 25 years as a performing, touring and recording artist it was not surprising that the critically acclaimed blues singer and guitarist Ian Siegal was able to attract a healthy audience when he made his debut performance at Lichfield Guildhall.

Ian Siegal. Pic: Trea van Drunen

Ian Siegal. Pic: Trea van Drunen

Support for this concert came from local outfit The Foregate Street Blues Band. The three piece ensemble played a selection of their own songs and some choice covers.

The highlights of their short set included their own songs Easy Cold Mama and Foregate Street Blues, which included a characterful kazoo solo, while set closer Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do featured some fine interplay on harmonica and guitar.

Ian Siegal’s band included his long term bassist Danny Wasthoff and drummer Rafael Schwiddissen, as well as guest guitarist Joel Fisk. His long set included a number of his own compositions, which skipped between genres and energy levels, taking in slow blues, brisk funk, and some show-stealing soloing from all four of the players.

The frontman’s voice is also one of the finest on the live blues circuit, ranging from the grit of Joe Cocker, and Paul Rodgers, to the cleaner, more soulful sounds of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. His songs often segued into other people’s music, with tips of the hat to Prince, Otis Redding and a show stealing version of Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home To Me.

Their set ranged from the bluesy I Am The Train, replete with rock-based riffs and dynamism, to the wistful, Ry Cooder-like slide guitar that kicked of the ballad Earlie Grace.

Country Shuffles also took a large part of the set, with songs such as How Come You’re Still Here? making good use of Joel Fisk’s talent with a Telecaster.
Jelly on a Plate was a blues-based song, with a wide groove, while The Revelator/Back Door man was an abject lesson in brooding interplay, darker tones and some fine time signature changing on bass and drums.

This was a night of fine music played by some talented musicians who have put the work and the miles in, and know how to keep an audience entertained.

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