Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul – 2nd July 2018 – Whitley Bay Playhouse – Review and photos
By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)
On entering the auditorium the first thing you see is that the big red curtains are drawn across the stage and you immediately get the feeling you’re at a big “SHOW”. However, as the curtains part and the band kick off with Arthur Conley’s Sweet Soul Music the soldout crowd are all up on their feet clapping singing and dancing their collective butts off!! This is Steven’s second visit to the North East in less than a year having played at the O2 in November 2017, but it wasn’t just the same set. Tonight though was the opening night of the Mouth of the Tyne Festival and what a great way to start it!
Little Stevie brings a huge 15 piece band on stage, with full brass, percussion, backing singers, keyboards the works brought the feel of an Apollo Theatre night out to our little seaside town! Etta James, Gary US Bonds, Southside Johnny, James Brown, Jimmy Barnes numbers all get the Van Zandt treatment alongside his own Disciples Of Souls work mainly taken from the debut Men Without Women.
Two and a half hours they played with no break for the encore just ploughed straight through. To be fair he’s used to that playing with Springsteen but even so the set never lost momentum and kept everyone’s attention
Steven had been in Newcastle the day before and went to The Tyne bar to see The King Bees, who he not only dedicated the Animals Club A Go Go to but also invited them to the show as guests and this is what stands out about Steve Van Zandt to me, it’s not the trademark bandana and coat or the Sopranos or Lillyhammer it’s his genuine love of keeping music alive whether through gigs like this or his radio show he just wants people to discover great tunes
A mention has to be given to the organisation Teachrock which he is championing too, whereby he is inviting teachers to come along to a seminar in the afternoon and then allowing them free tickets to the show where available as an appreciation of those who try to educate others.
Under The Gun, Princess of Little Italy and closer Out of the Darkness were personal favourites of mine but to be honest the whole show was a highlight start to finish!!!
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