Music Of Jeff Beck

Guitar Festival

Friday 14 July

Her Majesty’s Theatre

There is no doubt whatsoever that the late Jeff Beck was one of the great guitarist who with ease could move between rock, blues, jazz and very probably every other genre. He was a true guitar god. His influence is spread far and wide, most notably initially in the Yardbirds, then he gave the template to Jimmy Page for Led Zeppelin in a few solo albums, then helped instigate the classy side of jazz rock, just for a starter. So it is entirely fitting that his influence and music be celebrated at the Guitar Festival.

This celebration was put together by Beck obsessive, Paul Mason (above), usually associated with Jessica Mauboy. He brought in three extra guitarist to bring his tribute to fruition, Jeremy Sawkins, Kathleen Halloran and the brilliant James Muller. Sensibly, the various guitarists floated in and out, depending on the song and genre. The seriously impressive Halloran played on the rockier numbers with Muller perfect for the jazzier songs (and everything, really). Veteran Jeremy Sawkins covered the rest expertly. Mason has obviously put a great deal of effort in being able to perfect Beck’s singular style and his ability to recreate Beck’s sound gave this concert much authenticity.

That said, there seemed to be a lack of continuity with songs presented in a random fashion often without introduction. A simple introduction would have provided some context.

However, Mason assembled a great band and a collection of guitarists that was a treat to see and hear. Mason referred to his great respect for Muller’s playing and in turn Muller returned the favour with his usual masterly performance. Halloran demonstrated that she really is simply brilliant and having not seen her previously was a revelation.

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