We had already seen Seasick Steve live in October 2010 at a small venue, The Blues Kitchen in Camden, and so we had some idea of what to expect when we went to see him on Tuesday at the Hammersmith Apollo. I have to tell you he lived up to and surpassed all our expectations! He sang a mix of songs from his new album Sonic Soul Surfer along with some from previous albums plus a cover of a song from the 60’s and every one of them was fabulous.
Steve comes across as genuine, humble and truly gifted. He sang and played a variety of guitars throughout the 2 hour set many of which he had made himself from bits of old junk like a hub-cap and a wooden washboard! Accompanying him as usual was his friend and drummer Dan Magnusson, the pair have an unmistakeable chemistry and for some songs he was also joined by talented violinist Georgina Leach.
As well as singing and playing Steve laughed, joked and told stories of his life all the while thanking us the audience for being there and for buying his albums. At times he seemed genuinely moved by the audience reaction and when someone started chanting ‘Stevo’ he explained how the first time he heard it he had thought it was booing until he realised it was actually his name! At one point he plugged in a record player saying how happy he was that vinyl was making a comeback because music sounds better on vinyl than on cd’s.
At the end of the set he thanked the audience again as well everyone who made the show possible, including the lighting and sound guys plus the bloke who gave him his various guitars between each song each by name. He also brought the support act back on for a final bow with him stating they, Dutch trio My Baby, were his current favourite new band and I would have to agree with his praise for them they were very good.
I’m not an expert when it comes to music but I know what I like and I like Seasick Steve and his music very much. In his mid-seventies he has more charisma and energy than many musicians half his age or even younger. If you have the chance to go and see Seasick Steve live then do, I certainly intend to again if I can. If not then treat yourself to one of his albums, you won’t regret it.