B.B. King, Marcus Malone

B.B. King, Marcus Malone

Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 3/7/99

From the moment Marcus Malone hit the stage it was clear he intended to enjoy this performance. He established a rapport with his audience immediately, each giving the other permission to revel in an experience new to both parties.

His band’s mainly original set began with “It’s A Low Down Dirty Shame” featuring appropriate and short guitar solos from both of his axe-men. Next came”The Wrong Side Of Love”, which was more of a soul number with attendant sax solo and Marcus making full use of the stage. This was followed by the tortured resignation of “Drowning Man” during which Marcus’ stage presence became even more evident. The sax player switched to harp for this and embellished the song with some good solo work.

The funk and humor of “Busted” were followed by what was very much a rock number during which harmonica was almost inaudible. Marcus recovered well from a backward trip over a stage monitor; excitement and adrenaline both playing their part.

Due to the accepted situation with the Royal Albert Hall’s acoustics the near a capella finish of “One More Time” was the one brief chance we got to hear the true soul and strength of Marcus’ voice. (This song was also announced as the title track of a forthcoming CD). The clearly delighted audience was given “Detroit Boogie Man” as the last number during which Redhouse tore the place down to end the set.

Marcus did himself proud in front of an audience he had endeared himself to from the opening seconds. He deserves to have them behind him as his career develops.

Frank Franklin
Blueprint ’99

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