I was in Scotland the other week for a short trip and was lucky enough to see John Mayall on stage! He was on an 80th Anniversary Tour, and was playing in Dundee, a few minutes drive away from Broughty Ferry, where I was staying. I was ready for a great evening!
John Mayall, started playing piano at the age of 14, when he was attending Art School. Soon afterwards he started playing guitar and harmonica. In 1963, he formed the John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, which included some of the most famous blues musicians of the era, like Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Jack Bruce during its existence. For the show in Dundee, Mayall was on keyboards, harmonica, guitar and vocals (yes, crazy performance!). Rest of the band consisted of Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass and Jay Devenport on drums.
The concert took place in Caird Hall, Dundee’s main concert venue, which has hosted many many great musicians and bands like Eddie Cochran, The Beatles, The Who, The Sex Pistols, The Jam and The Clash… It is located in the middle of city and it has excellent architecture. With large colons and big doors, it charms you before you even approach the stairs.
The support band King King, from Glasgow, took stage around 8 and they put a good show. Singer and lead guitarist was in kilt and was fun as he was very talkative and making audience laugh. Honestly, I didn’t get many of the jokes as he was talking with strong dialect, very Scottish!
And there he was, legendary John Mayall on stage holding the microphone and welcoming us! He talked very short periods but it was great to be there listening to him. John Mayall and his band put on a great show playing songs from Sonny Boy Williamson to Freddie King. Once the show was over, he was signing and of course it was so crowded, so many people trying to make photographs with him. He accepted all one by one smiling to us and talking with us. It was an excellent evening ending with great memories.
This tour was to celebrate his 80th birthday which was last week. Happy birthday, John Mayall! Thank you for the great music!