In the presence of greatness – Wilko Johnson live at The Greystones

Storming onstage with a cheery hello and his mighty band – Wilko rampaged through an hour and a half of solo and Feelgood classics, ranging from the opening Some Kind of Hero to the closing (extended version) of Bye Bye Johnny, revisiting such classics as Paradise, Sneakin’ Suspicion, Roxette, Out On The Western Plain, Cairo Blues, (the increasingly poignant) When I’m Gone, Back in the Night, Dr Dupree and She Does It Right – and others I’ve forgotten in the heat of the moment!
This man must have an extraordinary constitution as the pace barely let-up in all the time he was on stage, constantly darting back and forth, machine-gunning the crowd with his iconic tele – playing it behind his head (a cheap trick – but a good one!) and during an extended Don’t Let Your Daddy Know, holding it and talking to it as if it were his teen love, face to face.
By the end of the evening he was drenched in sweat (and some of the rest of us were a tad warm too) but we had experienced a night not to be missed, a legend still at the top of his game, accompanied by a blindingly good bass player – Norman – loved the bass solo, swing, taste and melodic wit, and a sterling drummer – Dylan Howe. A poignant end – with the crowd waving Bye Bye – WIlko has long connections with the city of Sheffield – after all half of the breakthrough Stupidity was recorded in the City Hall, it was only appropriate he come back to say goodbye, Farewell Sheffield, as the posters said.
Some Kind of Hero? Oh yes. And long may he remain so.

It was a bit like this -but in a tiny hot room in Sheffield!

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