‘Royalty’ at the Corn Hall in the shape of Paul Jones & Dave Kelly!

British blues royalty paid a visit to the Corn Hall last weekend, with Paul Jones and Dave Kelly (describing themselves as 40% the Blues Band) performing an acoustic set of blues classics.

The pair made an unassuming entrance, notwithstanding a warm welcome from a full house, as seated throughout,  they took us through some of the musical influences and songs that have meant so much to them over the years. With a winning combination of chat and music, we heard work from the likes of Chelsea Holland, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, as well as a light sprinkling of their own compositions. It should be no surprise that Kelly is so good on the guitar, but divested of colleagues and amplification, his mastery of the acoustic slide guitar was refreshingly apparent, while Jones’s ability to play harmonica and sing, seemingly at the same time, at times defied credulity.

This was an evening characterised by good humour and casual charm, interspersed with anecdotes of careers that stretched back decades, and a few well-known faces in the audience. It felt more like time spent with old friends than a concert.

By David Vass