Hucknall was simply great

What an evening the sell out audience at the Ipswich Regent had last night when Mick Hucknall and his band came to town with R&B sounds of Bobby Bland.

Mick Hucknall - Tribute to Bobby Tour

Ipswich Regent

Tuesday 8th July

What an evening the sell out audience at the Ipswich Regent had last night when Mick Hucknall and his band came to town with R&B sounds of Bobby Bland.

Mick is touring the UK evangelising about the amazing sound of Bobby 'Blue' Bland - well he certainly converted me and the rest of the Ipswich crowd!

The evening started with Georgia Wonder - an extremely talented duo of Stephanie Grant and Julian Moore - who warmed the crowd with their own blend of Folk/Country melodic rock.

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When it came to the main event, Mick launched the set with a film explaining his passion for the Bobby Bland sound.

Unusual way to start, but perfectly fitting as the visual display built up the picture of Bobby 'Blue' Bland - a Rhythm and Blues Icon in the US but sadly lacking the fame of other R&B artists such as BB King had gained in the UK.

Mick explained how passionate he is about bringing this sound to the UK and how it had influenced him in his earlier works. Now that was older and had the life experiences that could portray the meaning within the lyrics, now was the time to pay his tribute to Bobby Bland.

As the film closed with Mick singing unaccompanied within his recording studio, his sharp suited band entered the stage and launched straight into the concert to an appreciative roar from the crowd.

Mick powered through Bobby Bland hits including 'Cry, Cry, Cry', 'I'll Take Care of You' (a song previously covered by Van Morrison), 'Yolanda' and 'Stormy Monday'

Mick's band was awesome throughout the night - they just seemed to be enjoying every note they played. Special mention has to go to lead guitarist Kenji Suzuki, who brought a new sense of 'cool' to playing the guitar when dueting with Mick through 'I Pity The Fool'.

Mick hasn't lost any of his stage presence and with the audience crying out for more at the very end, Mick and the band returned to the stage to give us an encore of three songs - 'Ain't That Lovin' You', 'Farther Up The Road' and 'Lead Me On'.

This concert gave me much more of an understanding of the Blues influences to Simply Red's early hit songs such as 'Money's Too Tight To Mention' but an even greater understanding and appreciation to an R&B legend - Bobby Bland. Thanks Mick!

Chris Ozanne

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