Moses (pictured right) has an eminent set-list to swing through: "Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby?" "Cry Me A River" (she considers this one a challenge, which she rises to admirably), the early Lionel Hampton hit "Evil Gal Blues," "What A Diff'rence A Day Made," the comic swagger of "Fine Fat Daddy," and her own "Dinah's Blues," co- penned with Lemonnier, who makes a modest kind of bandleader, firmly directing, but avoiding his own potential for extravagance. Moses makes little dancing jogs across the stage, the most open of performers in her nakedly exposed enthusiasm. She shows a genuine astonishment (and gratitude) at the extremely enthusiastic crowd reaction. Moses is a frothy storyteller, providing rich background to the songs, which she interprets with the combined qualities of warm, inviting, forceful and dramatic, yet always relaxed and natural. She's a flamboyant singer, but there's no danger of histrionics, just lowdown R&B, suffused with her sometimes almost uncomfortably personal confessions.
So, here's B.B. King, back in Europe again. He appears way more sprightly than on his last tour, even though he remains a seated being. On the joking front, he's particularly lively, keeping up a run of self-deprecating quips about his age and his condition. Mister King jokes that his knees, back and head are in a bad shape, that he's living with the big inconvenience of diabetes. All he has to do is sing and play the guitar (though traditionally never at the same time), and he also proves the vitality of his artistic expression. Your reviewer has witnessed The King on several occasions over nearly the last two decades, and this Gentian gig is his best showing of them all, smoking with a potency that's cuttingly supported by his band, and in particular the hard-hitting heftiness of the horn section.
King's sheer lust for entertaining is what drives him, his love of his fans and the accompanying bright lights. There is no frailty in his singing or playing, the old guitar sound is full-bodied, and almost ripping when he launches into the first heartfelt solo of the night. King's robust voice is deepened by humour and strength. When guitarist Dennis Charles and bassman Reginald Richards flank their leader, sitting down, it's an excuse for an extended sequence of almost-surreal banter, as if the band are indulging in a low-key club session. Later, old Belgian comrade Boogie Boy (otherwise known as Paul Ambach) springs onstage for a guest spot, sticking around on the jackhammer keys for a couple of numbers. Many of the expected classics are here, and "When Love Comes To Town" is gratifyingly shorn of its U2 pomp, delivered as a swift roller. At the other end of the scale is Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" (B.B. even jokes about his own mortality), taken into a dispersed zone of near-abstraction. Not surprisingly, he ends this near-two-hour show with "The Thrill Is Gone."
One moment, you will be redirected shortly.