Mavis Staples – 13th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle
By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)
During the first three songs, I had to stop taking photos and stand and just take in the fact I was in front of the legendary Mavis Staples and she was belting out Slippery People by Talking Heads as though it was her own and to be fair she smashed it! This was a night to savour and whilst the set did feature new songs from the latest album you still felt like you were totally familiar and at home with them all. I have to say I most impressed with how strong her voice still is. You expect a little wavering but nope not this lady she just hit everything spot on and effortlessly! Big shout to the band and backing singers too who were just brilliant.
After Take It Back Mavis explained that the song had been written for her by Benjamin Booker who had opened up the night earlier the mention of Ben’s name raised a large cheer Mavis then jammed the chorus of Bens’ Witness track which she guests on the album not realising Booker was side stage raising an even larger cheer she got Ben up and played the full track with her band just nailing it!
If You’re Ready, I’ll Take You There, Freedom Highway, talks of protest marches, Dr King, family, The Staples Singers etc gave the night a very very special feeling indeed! “A lot of love in the room” is often an overused phrase but not tonight! Love was most definitely in the air.
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