Review: Joe Brown Live, the Ipswich Regent, February 15
Brown started the evening with some witty repartee, introducing what he calls his “front room set”. Duelling Banjos, Mr Blue Sky (on ukulele), Tickle My Heart, all the time keeping the banter going between songs.
The band are a five-piece and this was an acoustic introduction to songs from his recent ukulele album but no genres were out of bounds; bluegrass, gospel, country... Covering songs by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. The opening set finished with one of his big hits, What A Crazy World.
After the interval we got a more familiar rock format - standing up - but not many rock bands play Henry the Eighth. Then the big hit Picture Of You saw the crowd joining in.
The diverse styles kept coming; with songs from U2 and George Harrison with whom Joe was great friends. Then a bluegrass Jimi Hendrix cover. Unusual. Finally, to finish the evening, there were a couple of rockers including Elvis’ King Creole.
There is a real authenticity to a Joe Brown gig and a warm relationship built with the audience. My abiding memory of the evening will be his personality, which shines through. It’s hard not to like him.
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