Dale Storr strode onto the stage at the Liverpool Marina brimming with all the confidence of a man truly at the top of his game. Straight off the mark he dealt out hot New Orleans blues with a mild contemporary twist containing the right amount of bluesy essence and ramshackle slurring, to give it that New Orleans spice. With no support act to warm up the crowd, Storr marched on through offering up jaunty classic after jaunty classic from the New Orleans blue cannon, to the over enthusiastic crowds delight.
The James Booker song Classify kicked off as a mournfully sensitive number but suddenly erupted into a hearty Boogie Woogie piece which is easily comparable to Jools Holland. Storrs virtuosity was the real star of this show, shining brightly through the concert with pieces cascading from his finger tips with tremendous ease and loose style. Storr’s voice added smoothness to the hard edged New Orleans experience with sprinklings of saxophone to liven up the mix.
The only downbeat moment of the night was the venue, although it is rather nice I, and it is only a personal opinion, feel like that it is slightly too wedding venue orientated and I think this does affect the music. All the representations of this dirty piano and blues style no matter how well played and interpreted would fail slightly at this venue. It doesn’t in fact seem to fit it and as such a sort of alienation occurs and thus it could be felt that it would distract more than absorb the music. This aside, Dale Storr had enough stories and enough style to draw you away from the venue and overcome this minor inflection by the skin of his teeth. Song after song composed images of dirty gin shacks in New Orleans, boozey regulars and good times by the old piano and this is exactly what it was aiming to do. This was not ground breaking music and the lack of a young crowd was disappointing but the audience was enjoying the music to its full degree and clearly expressing it in their own way.
A sensitive version of Summertime brings lightness to the heavily boogified set with much needed hard hitting emotion and sweet soulful vocals that compliment the night with perfection. This is a well earned rest bite as the songs, drenched in blues, started to blend into each other. Storr got around this however with a good reading of the material and ultimately the listener was not bored by the never ending walking bass notes. Storr’s love of the material was evident and made for a virtuosic as well as a highly enjoyable evening out watching some blues music.