It is Thursday so it must be Bristol in a tour the has seen Ian Siegal and his current band on a tour that has seen him up and down venues in England and Scotland; the tour is drawing to and end and there is that ‘we are getting the end of the road’ fever in the delivery of the set tonight. Opening with tracks from his current album One Night In Amsterdam, the gig was off to a high-octane start with lots of witty sharp and at times tongue-lashing banter that was always delivered with Siegalist irony and a wicked gold glinting smile. The version of Brandy Balloon had a frenzy of funkyness with James Brown inspired guitar playing by Dusty Ciggaar. Temporary is a superb track written by the Austrian Ripoff Raskolnikov, who like the character in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment spins the words. We had an on fire performance of Tom Waits Jockey Full of Bourbon, a track full of clever lyrics that spin-off the Siegal silver tongue that is driven by the avant-garde Latin beat this so suits Ian’s current Pirate persona with the lines “16 men on a deadmans chest, And I’ve been drinking form a broken cup”.
As ever the set list changed tonight as we heard Ian’s version of Warren Zevon’s Carmelita done tonight with verve and style the arrangement suiting the drumming of Raphael Schwiddessen, and the solid delivery of bass from Danny Van’t Hoff giving the band a solid rhythm section that adds a deep tone and structure allowing Dusty and Ian the freedom to develop riffs and play off each other. It is though Ian’s powerful vocals that sets the delivery of music that bends twists and spits out a range of genres that sets this band out from the rest there is no doubt he is the leader of the pack. Tonight we saw Ian at his dirtiest and naughtiest attitude both on guitar and his vocals giving that extra layer of passion, as he shared with the audience his thoughts on British Society and politics and his despair for how people think. So adding The Revelator into the set suited the evening with the medley in the middle that includes Backdoor man that allows freedom of expression and then with a flick of his hand the band brings the chords of Revelator back in an inspired delivery. No set whether solo or with a band is compete without the amazing song Gallo Del Cielo, Tom Russell’s lyrics so suit the style of Ian and the band with Dusty on a Baritone guitar, loved by writers of theme music for Spaghetti Westerns and Duane Eddy gave the sound a real Tex Mex edge as described by Ian as one of his musical styles on an earlier interview with BBC Radio Bristol; tonight as ever it ended in tragedy all hope of returning home lost.
Amongst these inspired re-workings of great songs were many of Ian’s including a new version of Early Grace, Falling On Down and Hard Pressed with some Prince thrown into the mix. Tonight we also heard a fantastic jazz infused instrumental from the band who are The Rhythm Chiefs and have been playing together for over ten years in the Netherlands. The tone that the guitarists got from the instruments just plugged straight into the amplifier with no pedals was amazing, especially Dusty Ciggaar; who has to be one of the best players on the planet today.
Ian we hope we keep seeing you in The U.K; solo, duo with a band the venues and everyone who has come to see you love your originality, anarchism and your polished skill vocally and on the guitar you make every song sound exceptional. Ian Siegal live should not be missed TOUR DATES