- 29 Jun 18
Fans were treated to a two hour-plus romp through his musical youth...
If you've ever wondered what 'Out Of Control' would sound like performed at full throttle by the James Brown Soul Revue, you sort of get your answer tonight as Steve Van Zandt and his 13 Disciples Of Soul treat an adoring Vicar St. to a funked up, pre-encore cover of the early U2 single complete with added "We've got to stop Brexit" refrain. That's more down to our friends on the other side of the Irish Sea but we appreciate the solidarity.
Steve, who must be sweltering in that long rock 'n' roll gypsy coat of his, kicks off with an equally inspired cover of Arthur Conley's 'Sweet Soul Music', a scene setter - "Spotlight on Otis Redding now... yeah yeah" etc. etc. - for the two hour-plus musical romp through his youth that follows. Looking even more pleased to be here than he does when he has Bruce next to him, the stop offs include '50s street corner doo-wop ('The City Weeps Tonight'), the Southside of Chicago (Etta James' 'The Blues Is My Business'), Detroit (his man love letter to Jimmy Ruffin, 'Some Things Just Don't Change'), Arthur Avenue ('Princess Of Little Italy'), and, of course, Asbury Park (the song Bruce and him wrote for Southside Johnny, 'Love On The Wrong Side Of Town').
With a full brass section, Young Blood Lowell 'Banana' Levinger on keys, Andy Burden doing his wizardly multi-instrumental thing and three of the funkiest soul sister singers to ever step outside of New York City, it really is a feast for the ears.
It takes me a while to realise that the smiley blonde lady busting out the moves next to me is Steve's wife and soul mate Maureen Van Zandt.
James Brown gets the cover treatment himself courtesy of 'Down And Out In New York City', the Godfather's early '70s foray into the same Blaxploitation territory that produced Isaac Hayes' 'Shaft' and Bobby Womack's 'Across 110th Street', which are both namechecked during Steve's between song Professor of Soul raps. His own songwriting prowess is highlighted by 'Standing In The Line Of Fire', a bonkers but highly effective mash up of Ennio Morricone and the music he wrote for Lillyhammer, which bridges the gap between the Jersey Shore and Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. And, no, we haven't forgotten that Gary U.S. Bonds had a hand in its conception.
It's only June and we've already got ourselves a shoo-in for Club Gig of the Year.
We're indebted to megafan Simon Vincent who captured Steve's U2 cover on his phone...