2018 In Review

2018 In Review

As usual, we take a look at the year’s happenings – or at least some of them – and bearing in mind that again we have lost many great people, not least dear friends during 2018. The best way of paying respect is to savour their creativity and friendship and keep the music and whatever their achievements in our minds, not least for those coming after us…

A blight on the music and indeed theatre scene continues, in the form of both male and female oafs chatting away during shows about their lawn mowers and stomach ailments. We didn’t turn up to listen to any of that ! Just eff off with your loud mouths. Every venue should have an MC who makes it clear that being quiet during shows is not just polite but mandatory. The 606 Club, The Bedford and others have this and it makes me feel more like going to these places.

We at JLTT would like to thank all the PRs, managements, venue operators, labels and above all artists who Share our articles and reviews, so that they are read globally…we can usual embed new videos and include upcoming tour dates for you all and get those tickets sold ! If you don’t bother to Share our produce, fair enough – BUT don’t then send us press releases on that act including six words in The Sun or a sparse-vocabulary paragraph from some dope on C*** Rock Monthly…

Stock Photography 

Black Country Communion hit The Apollo in London like they had never had a break.

In our humble opinion, Glenn Hughes is our country’s greatest and most relatable rock star and wrings the best out of his colleagues

King King joined Rhino’s Revenge at Shepherds Bush Empire and both outfits turned in sterling performances. RR’s Jim Kirkpatrick is also in FM

Kenney Jones brought his own crew to London’s 229 Club for a run through of many pop rock hits, packing the place out

Atomic Rooster performed a fan-friendly gig at Under The Bridge on a mild January evening filled with classic songs, first class musicianship and Pete French‘s easy on the ear lead vocal

Laurence Jones showcased his new album at London’s Borderline, with plenty of guitar and keyboard forays on his newer more classic rock sounding material

Songhoy Blues lit up The Forum with energy and blazing solo’s in an unrelenting African tumble of rock and soul. Well worth seeing

The legendary Joe Brown and his friend Henry Gross performed and intimate acoustic evening in the beautiful Cadogan Hall with a mixture of popular songs and entertaining stories

Live Dead played Under The Bridge again – our pal Tom Constanten loves the sound there – mining the slinky guitar weave that makes all that Dead material leap into 3D. An exciting, flowing sound

The Hallows played Camden’s The Blackheart and the trio’s impressive but moving songs sprang to life, vocally and instrumentally. The group has its own sound

Seal was joined by a full band and orchestra for two-sold out nights at the famous London Palladium in support of his album ‘Standards’. He has a smooth voice which blended perfectly with the music. He was taken aback though when a female audience member shouted “Get on with it!” whilst he queued up the eleven-piece orchestra!

British rock band Stone Broken have worked hard by playing festivals and support slots and were now headlining the Islington Assembly Hall with JLTT friends Jared James Nichols and The Bad Flowers along for the ride. It was one of the strongest rock package tours of 2018

Robin Trower in power trio format weaved his stellar guitar spell over Islington Assembly Hall with songs old and new. Support from Sari Schorr plus guitar and keys

We braved atrocious winter weather to catch US blues rockers Otis play the Boston Music Rooms. Also in attendance – most of Black Stone Cherry

Catching Deodato and his funk crew at Ronnie Scott’s was a huge thrill for me. Noting the snow turning to sleet, the master dubbed percussionist SnowBoy RainBoy. The outfit displayed massive melodic power

20th Century Boy at G Live told the tale of Marc Bolan and T Rex in quite a stark way and with a fabulous and lively cast, the whole show packed with catchy hits

Rockin’The Blues was presented by Provogue/Mascot Label Group and brought guitarists Eric Gales, Gary Hoey, Quinn Sullivan and Lance Lopez to The Garage in London for an evening of blues rock guitar at its finest. It was so popular that it will return in 2019 with a new trio of artists

Mary Spender held her Borderline audience spellbound, with just one colleague for company. Her poetic lyrics and neat guitar stylings bring her songs to life and her stage banter is utterly down to earth and charming

Ladies Of The Blues at Under The Bridge gave the crowd three hardhitting acts in the shape of Erja Lyytinen, Kyla Brox and the witty Connie Lush. A very satisfying evening, all round

Lisa Stansfield stopped at GLive in Guildford to support the release of her new album and brought a funky Barry White-esque band with her. Her special guest was IRIT who treated the crowd to her upbeat songs and charming personality

Seated upstairs for the live show by Finbar Furey at Islington Assembly Hall, we could hear the man sitting in front happily singing along. Usually that might be annoying…but NOT when it’s Ralph McTell!

Blues Caravan 2018 rode into London town at The Borderline with musician, producer and songwriter Mike Zito, rising star Vanja Sky and Bernard Allison providing a touching tribute to his late father

Bellerby Studio in Guildford hosted a special acoustic show by Dave Kelly & Maggie Bell 

Callaghan and Jesse Terry  performed at London’s Bush Hall to a sold-out crowd

Eric Bibb and band played the very upmarket The Savoy in The Strand – giving Taj Mahal a run for his money in a warm and skilled performance

Count Arthur Strong at G Live seemed inordinately proud of a film of the scifi variety that he had made. But with the best will in the world it was a poor effort both in plot and portrayals. How he gets away with this sort of shenanigan is beyond us. And we attend every show he does!

The tunefulness and elegance of Rita Coolidge’s band show at the Boisdale made for a warming and wide-ranging set. I enjoyed interviewing her about he new album

Foreigner rocked the famous Royal Albert Hall with their mammoth collection of radio hits and were joined by John Parr and Joanne Shaw Taylor for this sell-out UK Tour

In May, the Olympic Stadium in East London was the location for the first night of The Rolling Stones UK stadium tour with special guest Liam Gallagher. Security was tight and I remember a pile of umbrellas that had to be ditched by patrons to gain access. However, once inside we got a magnificent ‘Paint It Black’, a funky ‘Miss You’ and a powerful ‘Gimme Shelter’ amongst others. The first time I had seen the Stones live and I was just blown away

The Turkish and Dutch heritages of Karsu made her Cadogan Hall celebration of the Atlantic label a true delight, with her ensemble recreating Ray Charles and Led Zeppelin songs with great aplomb. Her keyboard work is terrific and it was a pleasure to meet her afterwards

Jon Allen showcased his new Blue Flame album at The Borderline, mixing in older material and bringing in a fat-sounding horn section on many numbers

Joe Bonamassa has already performed at Hampton Court Palace with Beth Hart but this time he was playing in London prior to the release of his new album ‘Redemption’. Highlights included ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds’ and ‘Sloe Gin.’

Alice In Chains brought out the very best response and genuine affection of their audience at the SBE. New songs mixed with crowd favourites seemed to garner such a great response that the hard rockers were really touched. A stunning performance in every way

Hollywood Vampires are a supergroup like no other with Alice Cooper, Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry and Johnny Depp performing their first ever London show at SSE Wembley Arena. Depp did a stunning version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’, Cooper played a mean harmonica and Perry proved why he is one of the best guitarists around. Everyone had a smile on their face during ‘School’s Out’!

Kiefer Sutherland and crew brought their spirited songs to the Electric Ballroom and sounded even better than last time

Lenny Kravitz released his new album ‘Raise Vibration’ in 2018 and supported the release with a gig at SSE Wembley Arena in which saw him open the set with ‘Fly Away’! When he traveled all around the venue for ‘Let Love Rule’ the audience went crazy!

The fiery French female Fishbach almost spat out her pointed and personal songs at The Lexington. She seems to care little about convention and the works just burst out of her!

John Hiatt & Sonny Landreth reunited at Under The Bridge in London to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the album ‘Slow Turning’

Our reviews tend to be track-by-track because you never know what particular recordings listeners may take to their hearts. Our Q & A’s are all customised, to get the subject at their most relaxed and lucid.

Thomas Wynn & The Believers brought their American sound from their album ‘Wade Waist Deep’ album to The Black Heart in Camden, London

Run DMC played The Apollo and were there courtesy of their manager, one of our friends. Great to see the son of a lost member stepping up to be part of the act. Mr Run has the audience eating out of his hand

George Clinton’s Roundhouse show in London was I believe his last in The Metropolis, so I had to take my pal John along to witness the mighty Funkadelic and Parliament personnel bring the party to the stage. Upstairs the sound was pretty good and the audience below frenzied as they danced

Eric Clapton  was the headliner for a hot July day in Hyde Park with his friends Santana, Steve Winwood, Chas and Dave, Zucchero, Eric Paslay, Gary Clark Jr, Lukas Nelson and Promise of The Real, Ferris and Sylvester and others

Marcella Detroit displayed cool instrumental skills and songs from all era’s in her Boisdale band show, professing a love of Howlin’ Wolf to us after the set. Really impressive

Cornbury Festival returned! On interviews we managed to chat with many interesting artists. Live on the stages were Zucchero, Marc Cohn, Mari Wilson, Alanis Morrisette and others

Rodney Crowell plus two colleagues played country, ballads and blues at Kensington’s Nell’s…and he pulled actor Tom Hiddleston out of the audience to sing a Hank Williams tune!

Dan Tyminsky headlined this year’s very civilised Nashville Meets London out at Canary Wharf, in a park. He and his group brought American Gothic to life. ALSO the splendid duo The Sisterhood played, so I finally got to tell Rod Stewart’s daughter some Rod tales…

Glen Matlock featuring Earl Slick played tracks from his new album ‘Good To Go’ at the Boisdale alongside the hits

NPG who used to back Prince came over to play the Indigo. They seemed to sound best on their own era’s songs that the earlier Revolution works. Inviting Beverly Knight to guest was a cool move, that lass is ALWAYS great

Muffin Men the Zappaphiles returned to Pete Feenstra’s Boom Boom Club for a typically exciting, funny and inventive set. As a bonus they were shifting back catalogue items at a discount, so many of us could keep our collections complete. Such a thrill to catch them again…

Canadian Steven Page took to the Union Chapel stage in August and treated the crowd to new material and Barenaked Ladies favourites

Ethan Johns played new material at St John’s Church down in Guildford, joined by an alluring violinist who also sang beautifully

Suzanne Vega at G Live gave her fans two complete albums in the show, her skilled players finding all the tones and cadences that made the discs so fascinating

Rick Astley had an intimate Kingston album launch for ‘Beautiful Life’ in a church

Devon Allman Duane Betts at Islington Assembly Hall played a fluid and wide-ranging evening, managing to visit some Allman Brothers gems along the way

The Secret Widget Festival in South Surrey (Hurtwood Polo Park) included Saiichi Sugiyama and a great set in many modes, Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre featuring on drums Darby Todd, Robin Bibi, Dutch rockers Focus, Chris Farlowe and his evil stage banter and much more. The sound was the best I have ever heard at a festival. Cool to chat with Kenney Jones, too

Beaux Gris Gris rocked the Tuesday Night Music Club over at Coulsdon, launching a new album and with two of The Hoax in the lineup. Greta sang like an angel

Jawbone is a roots supergroup mining a sound like The Band at the Islington 02. Marcus Bonfanti and Paddy Milner impressed whilst Dave Hanson’s opening spot with another guitarist showcased his own numbers

Ben Waters’ Cadogan Boogie Woogie Festival brought in players from all over the world in the event’s first year. Here’s hoping it will be an annual event in the music calendar

I had never seen the mighty David Crosby do an ‘own’ set, so catching him and group at the SBE was quite magical. Only one Byrds-era song, though. Lee Shore was magnificent

Dionne Warwick and orchestra at Royal Albert Hall was a great event at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Her singing drummer is her son. Opener Jon Allen with just a keyboard player accompanying made the most of the acoustics with tunes from all releases

Dana Fuchs brought her Memphis soul band to the Borderline ins  support of her new album

Sari Schorr and her band rocked the Godalming Wilfried Noyce Centre with a sturdy set and an ever-improving ensemble sound. It’s a nice comfortable venue, too

Afterhere’s debut album knocked me for six, so a bunch of us attended the release show at the 229. The performance highlighted the shadowy but sensual songs well and not without the odd touch of humour Glenn Gregory can come up with

From The Jam and Nine Below Zero joined forces at Dorking Halls for the ‘All Mod Cons’ 40th Anniversary UK Tour

Joan Armatrading at G Live demonstrated absolute control and direction, playing and singing exactly what she wanted but throwing in the odd crowd favourite along the way

Sons Of Pitches out at Dorking Halls displayed not just their vocal skills on a theme of Number One Hits but also their strong sense of humour, even daring once again to follow audience choices on themes in improv sections. Plenty of laughs but no lack of finesse

Roger Daltrey held an autobiography launch at London’s Royal Festival Hall and whilst the questioner was somewhat shaky Roger did put over his positive philosophies and sense of directed, tempered by some decent objectivity

We took a chance on heading to the SBE to catch Japanese guitar ace Hotei and tempted by the planned inclusion of our man Zucchero to the evening. Hotei turned out to be a wonderful player and arranger and vocalist and showman. His group and backing singers were clearly having fun and the set backing Zucchero sounded ace.We got lucky on this one!

The Silver 60s night at Wimbledon was topped by the majestic sound of The Searchers but took in Vanity Fare and P J Proby…these evenings are packed with fun and melody

Chris Youlden performed an intimate gig at Troubadour to celebrate his new album release and what a voice he has!

Robert Cray always seems to sing and play his best at G Live and this night was no exception. He didn’t include many big hits but his group have such colour and impact it matters little

Caro Emerald and group at the Royal Albert Hall ticked every box for me – lively, tuneful, warm she makes every tune come to life as the players explore every opo and latin style there has ever been. Excellent!

Old Dominion and Eric Paslay  performed songs such as ‘Hotel Key’, ‘No Such Thing As A Broken Heart’, ‘Friday Night’ and ‘Even If It Breaks Your Heart’ at a sold-out SBE

Woman 2 Woman at G Live had a first-class band bringing to life the songs of Julia Fordham, Judie Tzuke and Beverly Craven

Erja Lyytinen rocked the Borderline in November with her fluid band

Wayne Kramer the ace guitar man from Detroit brought the truly all-star lineup of the MC50 to The SBE to celebrate their first album Kick Out The Jams and much more. Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks was the opening star and drove his roadies mad flitting from harp to mike to sax and scooting about. Kramer had him add sax to the MC50 encores. A thrilling night out

Katie Melua was joined by Gori Women’s Choir and full band for a beautiful Christmas show at G Live

Pete Murray the Australian songsmith played Bush Hall and spent time chatting with us beforehand. An interesting character whose songs benefit from a choice band who seem to master any style..even flute fusion!

Jeff Goldblum‘s matinee at Cadogan Hall was filled with songs, jokes, and audience interaction. Imelda May even performed a selection of songs!

Kandace Springs’ show with her trio later that day over at the Royal Festival Hall was tuneful and fluid but lacked the intimacy of her previous performance at Ronnie Scott’s. Springs is adept at acoustic and electric piano and a most charming raconteur

Peabo Bryson strode on to the London Palladium stage with big shoes to fill, as he commenced a tribute set to Barry White. Whist his voice does not have the depth of White’s Bryson ticks every other box – feel, stage comfortableness, nimble moves, phrasing. So this was a fine show of White hits plus some of Peabo’s own but with the funk orchestra led by Leo Green making it sound nothing short of glorious. Good to see Snowboy on percussion and the two guitarists keeping this supple

The Music Of Cream  celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Cream and was performed by Malcolm Bruce, Will Johns and Kofi Baker. They even invited Pete Brown onstage to sing ‘White Room’!

German rockers The New Roses played The Underworld and have a linear Creedence-style core, taking in some acoustic numbers. The guitar breaks rocked, the bass thrummed, the drumming was crisp and the sandpapered vocals just so. A worthwhile act that connected with the crowd

Knowing nothing about an act cleans the slate for a first impression. Glenn suspected that Bernhoft & The Fashion Bruises might be cool and boy were they on form! Singing in the style of Mayer Hawthorne, Bernhoft keeps this moving with original songs, a band who all sing and some spiky electric guitar outings. The NY brother and sister-led funk-pop group Lawrence opened the show an exhilarating set

Christmas Without Tears is the annual seasonal variety show to benefit the homeless and put on by the waspish Judith Owen and US star Harry Shearer. The stars turn out to sing and entertain, all around a brilliant jazz trio house band. It’s always great to listen to Clare Teal, Rob Brydon dusted off his Mick Jagger impression. But the act that had us on the floor laughing was dubious psychic Clinton Baptiste.

 

Bloodwise at the Royal Albert Hall was the annual charity show / carols concert. Packed to the gills and a warm performance, ranging from The 27 with Mud 2 to the lovely Natalie Rushdie to pop veteran Tony Christie. A melodic treat

Ben Poole brought his current outfit out to the Half Moon, Putney for an album showcase and more. The best we have seen him, keyboard forays the icing on the cake. Great to catch up with old pal and BP drummer Wayne Proctor afterwards

The Pretty Things performed at Indigo with their The Final Bow performance, even bringing on guests David Gilmour and Van Morrison. A well-received and sparky show in three sets. It was filmed

Black Stone Cherry rocked the SSE Wembley Arena on the last night of their UK Arena tour with their friends The Cadillac Three and Monster Truck

Paul Carrack had a one-off at The Playhouse by the Thames, with the SWR Big Band providing the music as Carrack sang his heart out on swing hits, own composition rearrangements and seasonal fare. A wonderful rich sound

The Overtones revisited G Live, having lost member Timmy this year. The loss was acknowledged but the performance kept lively and mostly upbeat. The band are fantastic and features the brothers Riccardi. Recommended

Wherever we can, we like to carry great images – so we have to thank our photographers John Bull, Laurence Harvey, Paul Clampin, Judy Totton, Al Stuart, Kieran White and others.

Still one of the greatest pleasures in journalism is happening upon an act with potential and having a chance to help them on their way. Especially support acts, we come across some crackers. These are artists that the likes of Simon Cowell will never ‘get’ as his team of sycophants line up this week’s Abba Hits slot – you won’t find a Kate Bush or a Tom Waits that way!

We take the view that a lot of ticket prices now are way too high, often to be a distance away in a soulless arena with surly staff and sky-high food and drink charges. And to hand over your money a year ahead of the performance?! What a racket!

Onwards and thanks again to you, our readers

Pete Sargeant & Glenn Sargeant

Feature Image Photo Credit: Stock Photography

Gallery Photos have individual credits on each photo