Rockin’ bluesman Larry Miller storms the Robin tonight. Martin Longley caught his combustion up in York…
28th November, 2013
It looks like Larry Miller lives to rock. Right from the outset, he was cranked up to maximum performance level, in terms of both adrenalin and volume. Here is a blues rock guitarist who has a similar appeal to that of Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore.
He teeters on the very brink of mainline rock’n’roll, but still grasps hold of a dirty Delta tone, blistering up the slick rawk solos.Miller also has designs on being a stand-up comedian, or maybe just a simple absurdist. Any tension he might have just built up via scorching pyromania can be instantly the fuel for self-mockery. It’s clear that Miller feeds off the energy of his audience, seeking the warm glow of attention.
He imagined himself playing to an empty house, even though the venue was packed with a fairly respectable mass of bodies for a frozen Thursday night. His nervy self-analysis reminded this reviewer of England’s other blues wizard axeman, Billy Jenkins, in the way that lightning guitar string-singeing technique could ram up against music hall buffoonery. Miller was pretty adept at this conflicting balance of abilities.
His cohorts were all game for rucking, the keyboardist switching from gushing Roland piano to reeling Nord organ sounds, the bassist solidly pumping, and the steamhammer drummer an old hand in Gary Moore’s band.
Miller didn’t bother having an opening act, as he started early and played for around two hours, with only a brief break. It didn’t drag in the slightest. Miller and crew’s exuberance was infectious. Most of the songs took ten minutes or so to develop their verse-chorus-solo-solo-solo curve, flying through “The Girl That Got Away”, “Messin’ With The Kid” and “Delilah” (which Miller turned into an emotive ballad, despite completely mocking absolutely everything just prior to its delivery).
The only questionable move was playing Moore’s “Parisienne Walkways” as an encore, which seemed like a too-obvious choice, and a curiously slow-moving tune with which to climax the night.