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Live Reviews

Live From Old York: Juan Martin, Chantel McGregor, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Andy Fairweather Low & Wilko Johnson

By Published: November 5, 2012
Another man with a hot guitar sound is Wilko Johnson, although attempting to pick apart the seams between "'solo"' and "rhythm" is a challenge, when the riff becomes the abstract explosion, then jolts back again. Only a few weeks earlier, Johnson's old band had played at this very venue. Even if the current Dr. Feelgood now featured no original members, its style remained closer to that of the old combo. Since departing Feelgood in 1977, Johnson has evolved to the point where that outfit's established sound is now incorporated into a general landscape of garage rock, with jazzed, funked and souled trimmings. Most of these emanated from the exceedingly agile bass antics of Norman Watt-Roy (an old Blockhead), who was caught in a perpetually soloing frenzy, even as he delivered each sinuous bass line. Johnson's hair of yore has been replaced, or rather, has vanished to reveal a shining dome. His manic chicken-walking (complete with equally manic staring eyes) remained the same, telegraphing each scattershot guitar punctuation. Playing for well over an hour, Johnson stirred up a rarely witnessed atmosphere of crowd-exultation. This was another crammed gig at Fibbers, with a pact of electricity transmission made between the audience and band.

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