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Joe Bonamassa

Nottingham’s Trent FM Arena 25.10.15.

It’s not often a tour of this calibre comes around these parts, however tonight’s gig is stuff of legends and see’s an artist who is just that, a legend! Joe Bonamassa released a sterling album “Different Shades of Blue” in 2014, which was met with rave reviews and hailed as one of the best blues albums of last year. This year he’s also been very busy and has released two live albums “Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks” and “Live at Radio City Music Hall” which see Bonamassa fulfilling a life long ambition to perform at this legendary venue.

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Bonamassa is regarded as one of the greatest modern blues guitarists of our generation and is seen as an artists artist. Many aspire to match his legendary skills as a guitar player, but few have managed to accomplish it, in his own unique style of playing at any rate.

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Tonight’s event at the massive 10,000 capacity Trent FM arena in Nottingham, was very nearly a sell out, with all the good seats taken, which also saw an all seated floor. Having been given a photo pass, I was relishing the thought of capturing the guitar god in all his glory tonight, especially at this great venue – chances like this don’t come along all that often. Having people sat towards the front of the stage meant we couldn’t shoot from the pit, like we normally would, but we were allowed to shoot from the sides which was perfectly acceptable, as I’d hate to ruin someone else’s enjoyment of this amazing show.

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Once I found a suitable position in which to shoot from, I did in fact study the first three tracks, ‘See See Baby’, ‘Never Make Your Move Too Soon’ and ‘Angel of Mercy’, in great detail through my lens, hoping to capture Joe in that perfect position. Joe makes playing his chosen six string for the evening, a custom Gibson guitar with his signature etched into the neck (which is a really nice touch), look a breeze. What he manages to do with this, or any guitar is so absolutely amazing, that I can only describe as being music to my eyes (and ears) as it was as much a visual spectacle as it was an audible delight and was truly magnificent to behold. So much so in fact, every time he turned away from us, to jam with other band members, like his bass player Michael Rhodes, I simply wanted to pick him up and turn him around to face us, the crowd again, so we could continue to watch those magic fingers at work!

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Joe does in fact continue on with his UK tour, with Cardiff on 27th October, then Bournemouth on the 28th and finishing off with Brighton on 31st, or so the tour flyers say. Joe does in fact have another date, on the 1st of November at Mr. Kyps, in Poole Dorset, which see’s him keep a promise he made some ten years ago at his first ever show in the UK, at the same venue. This is in fact a free concert, details of which can be found on Joe’s site, but as this is a free show, I can only assume all the tickets have now gone, but it’s worth checking out, as this guy is one not to miss!

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Full set list consisted of:

1.See See Baby 2.Never Make Your Move Too Soon 3.Angel Of Mercy 4.Hey Baby 5.Oh Beautiful 6.Happier Times 7.Trouble Town 8.Going Down 9.Gave Up Everything 10.Double Trouble 11.Breaking up Someone’s Home 12.Love Ain’t a Love Song 13.Sloe Gin 14.Ballard Of John Henry 15.Spanish Boots 16.All Aboard

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Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)