Review: Jack Bruce Big Blues Band, Corn Exchange, Ipswich, April 5

Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce - Credit: Archant

This was one of those nights where I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know the Jack Bruce back catalogue but I wasn’t sure what the setlist would be or even who else was in his band.

I shouldn’t have worried, as what we got was a varied choice of songs and some fantastic musicianship.

Jack started the show with a short bass solo on his fretless, that developed into the first song, First Time I Played The Blues. This was done as a three- piece with just guitarist Tony Remy and drummer Frank Tontoh.

It went down really well with the near-capacity crowd who were mostly of a certain age and could remember the Cream years.

Highlight of the evening for me was a 15-minute version of Spoonful, the classic Cream song. It started as a slow burner with a heavy bass riff and developed into another bass solo with changing time signatures called by Frank on the drums.

Then there was a wailing guitar solo with the reverb turned up high. The band were really having fun now and went straight into the Albert King song, Born Under A Bad Sign; Jack belting out the vocals, his voice as strong as ever.

To end, another two Cream classics; White Room, which led into a drum solo that was so long I thought I was back in the 70s, and finally, Sunshine Of Your Love, again with punchy horns kicking in. The band had played for more than two hours, which is pretty good value for money.

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Mark Westall

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