LITTLE STEVEN MAKES IT A BIG NIGHT AT THE INDIGO
Little Steven And The Disciples Of Soul/Marcus King Band
O2 Indigo, London, Saturday 29th October 2016
The cherbubic faced 20-year-old Marcus King led his six piece band through a storming set like a seasoned pro and it felt like we were back in 1973 listening to the Allman brothers.
This tight driving unit with two horns really do mean business and the vintage feel is no bad thing at all.
Currently number two in the USA Blues Chart, the Marcus KIng Band are touring extensively in support of their debut self-titled album and they cover all range of blues styles with a jazzy feel to some numbers and a funky feel, similar to early AWB, on a couple of others.
King's playing style is a cross between BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughan and shows an assurance that defies belief when you take his age into account.
Vocally he has quite a high register with a course edge to it and comes close to being Janis Joplin-esque at times. This was overall an assured performance from a guy who is starting to make big waves in the blues world.
With the leader of the E Street Band off promoting his autobiography, his trusted number two has resurrected his 1980s side project for a one off London show, with the promise of more to come.
Steve Van Zandt could be drawing his pension but instead he just keeps on going. Actor, sideman, producer, DJ and a man with an unrelenting passion for recreating 1960s rock and blues.
The curtains part to reveal a solid fourteen piece band including a five piece horn section and he strolls onto the stage with his trademark bandana, hunched shoulders and a scowl across his face.
The band is a mixture of American and British musicians, many seasoned pros including saxmen Leo Green and Ed Mannion and touring E Street keyboard man Charlie Giordano and despite a couple of sound gremlins, they launched into a storming set comprising of covers, standards, Disciples originals and tracks written for other artists.
The band clicked into a groove early on and created a fantastic wall of sound feel, particularly good on a Motown style medley. He dipped into his own catalogue of songs written for Southside Johnny, as well as paying homage to Paul Butterfield, Curtis Mayfield and Electric Flag.
That famous old nasal New Jersey rasp may not be the gentlest of voices but it fits the songs perfectly and the three backing singers (jokingly referred to as the Stevettes) sugar coat the sound.
A few new songs were showcased with the promise of a new album next year and former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, in town for his support slot with Bad Company at the O2 earlier on Saturday night, joined him for a cover of Marvin Gaye's 'Can I Get A Witness', and the audience lapped up this and the whole the show after waiting twenty seven years for this solo performance which was only announced a couple of weeks in advance.
Van Zandt genuinely loves his job and you could tell the whole band was having great fun and long may it continue.