Reid’s a real joy

GIG REVIEW: TERRY REID LONDON DINGWALLS – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 IN many ways, the story of this show dates back to October last year at the Cambridge Junction – when Terry Reid, born in Huntingdon, played a Cambridgeshire homecoming show in front of fans,

GIG REVIEW: TERRY REID LONDON DINGWALLS - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

IN many ways, the story of this show dates back to October last year at the Cambridge Junction - when Terry Reid, born in Huntingdon, played a Cambridgeshire homecoming show in front of fans, friends and family for the first time in 30 years.

Despite suffering severe throat problems and having administered a couple of shots of port in an attempt to regain his voice - he was clearly not himself. Despite - or perhaps because - of this struggle it became a rough diamond of a show. Extremely rough, but with sparkling, unrivalled soul. So, while it will always count as one of my favourite gigs of all time - it wasn't an entirely happy occasion and Terry must surely have flown back to America after the tour feeling he still had something to prove.

The closest show on the current tour was London Dingwalls - one of only two full band gigs on the 10-date tour.

Outside the venue, each member of the gathering crowd seemed surprised that so many others had come to see the singer. Each swapped tales of their little-known hero - one woman had travelled from Wales to see the rare performance.

Inside, no one was disappointed - it's the show that would have wowed the hometown crowd last year. The floor and balconies were packed inside the venue - "Oh, a sauna with sound," Terry dryly remarked from the stage. It was certainly hot, but added to the excited atmosphere he deserved.

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His voice was rich and soulful, sometimes rough, often beautiful.

Without Expression was joyous and inspiring, the Beach Boys' Don't Worry Baby was heartbreaking and as good as anything I've heard live this year. Marianne Faithful's version of his song Rich Kid Blues began playing from the DJ box and he began the song 'dueting' with her - before wishing her well and the band taking over the song.

And through it all shone a smile from beneath his hat and a hundred wider smiles back at him. I'm told he's likely to be back in the country next year for some big festivals, something I'm looking forward to already.

CHRIS BOLAND

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