Sunday, 10 October 2010

Gig Review - Joe Bonamassa Folkestone

Last night I went to Folkestone to see Joe Bonamassa. I went with my brother, it's been years since we went to a gig together but it was just like the old days when as teenagers we went to loads together and met a couple of friends in the queue just before the doors open.

Mr Bonamassa admitted he'd never heard of Folkestone and was confused by the venue. The Leas Cliff Hall is built, as its name implies, on a cliff overlooking the channel - on a clear day you can see to France from the roof. Now since it is built on a cliff you enter at the roof of the building and there is a little building above ground as you approach the top of the cliff... see the photo below. So Joe was looking at this little building thinking "And you are going to get 1500 people in that!".

To the gig - no support and Joe hit the stage just before 8pm and left just after 10pm. 2 solid hours with now breaks, he hardly spoke at all between numbers so in terms of value for money cannot be faulted at all. He was brilliant - he is one of the finest blues-rock guitarists around without any doubt and a good vocalist and show man to boot. My brother and I commented that it is all him the whole show - i.e. you just watch him, the band more the competently support him but he is the show.

He ended up the main set with Mountain Time which is one of my favourites of his and it was just brilliantly done - I think a woman just along from me was wiping her eyes.

Throughly great night out. If you don't know him check him out and if you get the chance go see him live.

For the guitar anoraks he used a lot my list from memory is
  • Dark Sunburst Bonamassa Les Paul
  • Blue Sunburst Bonamassa Les Paul
  • Gold top Bonamassa Les Paul (plastic h/w changed from stock black to more standard style cream
  • 2 cherry sunburst Les Paul Standards (one his so called "Gary Moore" guitar)
  • Musicman Albert Lee three humbucker, rosewood necked guitar
  • A green sunburst Musicman Luke model
  • Acoustic - not a Yamaha and sorry for once I didn't know... I think maybe a Yairi as it had a split bridge like I've seen on them and diagonal inlayes on the headstock, again I think I've seen Yairi's like that

Post publish note... thanks to Richard for pointing out my missing guitars...
  • Gibson Korina Flying V (58 model)
  • Ibanez 70s destroyer - i.e. Korina Explorer copy


  1. thanks for the photo...I lived in Folkestone for a while many years ago and always have a hankering to go back and see the place. Glad the gig was so good as well.

  2. It all makes sense to me, espcially a solid state hard drive and 6GB memory, i d/l so much music/burn cds etc i need SPEEEEEEEEEDDD!
    still loving the c.d. btw!

  3. Hi Furtheron

    I too attended the Gig with my wife and another couple and thought it was excellent.

    2 Guitars you missed:

    Korina Explorer & Korina Flying V

    But hey ace memory on the rest. I guess I have an advantage as we were standing to the left of the stage by the Guitar Tech & rack.

    JB is a great performer and I have to say is probably more enjoyable in a small setting like LCH.


  4. Richard - you are right. I realise that now...

    Actually the Explorer was a 1970s Ibanez destroyer - one of the "law suit" models. I believe JB has fitted it with Gibson Burstbuckers but otherwise all 70s original

  5. OK OK so you know all the techy bits as well!!! However he could certainly make them sing, talk & cry.
    I don't know about crying but I was certainly dumbstruck by Mountain Time and the Acoustic numbers in particular. As I said on the night, I only wish I could get those high frets half as clean and even at half the speed that Joe does.
    btw is it my imagination or does the gold top have a longer than normal fretboard?

  6. Bonamassa is fantastic! Check out "Blue and Evil" here:

  7. Hi

    My husband & I were also at the gig on Saturday. Having just returned from a musical pilgrimage which included Nashville, Memphis & Clarksdale, following Highway 61 - final destination New Orleans we were in serious need of cheering up & a repeat prescription of great music - Joe did not disappoint-however we had not seen him before and were not at all familiar with his catalogue so were hearing most of the numbers for the first time - seeing how efficient your memory is for his guitars - could you perhaps do the honours and remind us of some of the names of tracks we saw performed on Sat.

  8. So cool 2 C Everyone Ev so in 2 the music as well as the thechy bits!!! Great posts..If you keep reviewing like this I'll be able to keep up my jealous streaks by flying there in my imagination!!!!


    Keep 6 Strangin' !!!

  9. Cradle Rock
    So Many Roads
    When The Fire Hits The Sea
    So It’s Like That
    If Heartaches Where Nickels
    Slow Train
    Steal Your Heart Away
    Sloe Gin
    Ballad Of John Henry
    Happier Times
    Never Make Your Move Too Soon
    Great Flood
    Young Mans Blues
    Woke Up Dreaming
    Mountain Time
    Bird On A Wire
    Just Got Paid

  10. @anonymous - blimey well done. I was hoping to wrack my brains to get some of this but you've done way better than I would have... thanks

  11. He'd better have been good if you had to go to Folkestone...;-)

    ...I'm back in Blogland old bean. Banned for ever from Mad Mike's America. Been banned from pubs but never a blog! I am impressed with myself!..;-)

  12. Wow! Things have changed a bit around here! Just catching up with you. Looks like you are enjoying your new found freedom :-)