Joanne Shaw Taylor – Chester Live Rooms, 21st October 2016

Joanne Shaw Taylor
Joanne Shaw Taylor

Anticipation ahead of seeing Joanne Shaw Taylor was understandably high.  Having seen her in  the support slot for Joe Bonamassa earlier in the year and, also, on Later … With Jools Holland recently, Shaw Taylor certainly has established herself as an artist of sublime skills. Then add to the mix the unrestricted confidence of youth in the shape of her own supporting artist Aaron Keylock, and ask what’s not to look forward to.

The proof of the pudding, though, is always in whether an artist can pull it off live and without any hesitation in this case it is clear from the moment the lights go up on her near two hour set, Joanne Shaw Taylor certainly can.

The same can be said of the young guitar legend-in-the-making Aaron Keylock. Without so much as an album available on the merch stand– his debut A Cut Against is due in January – here is a young man who has played with notables such as Blackberry Smoke already in his career and no wonder. My God can this guy play. Ripping into his set with All The Right Moves he then breaks into the multi-paced and insanely intense Down which has the crowd going berserk by its completion.

Indeed, if ever there is a sign as to how good a support act is, surely it is in the way a room fills from the bar. That’s certainly the case here. Aaron Keylock and his band of Jordan Maycock on bass and Sonny Miller Greaves on drums – who both play with a passion and power reminiscent of an early Foo Fighters – take things to a whole new level with Just One Question. Seriously good, seriously loud and seriously accomplished, Aaron Keylock is definitely a name to note.

Joanne Shaw Taylor’s, however, is a name that is now so firmly established – with her own career taking off at a not too dissimilar age to that of young Mr Keylock – and is the embodiment of what hard work and patience can deliver.

Oh, and more than a modicum of talent.

From the off its as if the Black Country lass’s first toys in the crib were a Telecaster or an Esquire rather than a rattle and a teddy bear. Dyin’ To Know  starts proceedings with two more newbies from Wild quickly following in the shape of the luxurious Nothing To Lose and the album’s first single No Reason to Stay.

Then come two from her previous album.  The second of which, Diamonds in the Dirt, gently  slows thing down after Shaw Taylor and Luigi Casanova on bass cranked it up on  Jump That Train . Man-oh-man this woman makes a guitar bleed and her smoky, husky vocals ripple across each and every vein, corpuscle and nerve ending before shredding them like so much raw meat.

Things drop a little with Tried, Tested & True from The Dirty Truth album, but only a little as the dynamism of Just Another Word – replete with yet another devastating guitar solo – and a pulsating Kiss The Ground Goodbye, thanks in no small part to Oliver Perry on drums, sets the gig on the home straight.

A richly haunting Wild is the Wind, which as a nod towards the late great David Bowie more than respects the great man’s influence, seeps beautifully into Going Home; a song which drips class from first note to last.

“Bloody hell,” Shaw Taylor says from the stage, “I feel as though I’ve just come in from the rain, I’m sweating that much!” and no wonder. This was a truly electrifying performance, high energy from both artists on show and if you are lucky enough to catch them for yourselves, then prepare to have you’re the guts ripped right out of you.

Searing, sultry, stunning and simply sensational from beginning to end this was certainly one hell of a night and one that will be remembered for a very long time indeed.


Joanne Shaw Taylor with Special Guest, Aaron Keylock

The Chester Live Rooms

October 21st, 2016


Set List

Dyin’ To Know

Nothing To Lose

No Reason To Stay

Jump That Train

Diamonds in the Dirt

Tried, Tested & True

Watch ‘Em Burn

Time Has Come

Just Another Word

Kiss The Ground Goodbye

Wild is the Wind

Wanna Be Your Lover

Tied & Bound

Going Home


Mud Honey


Tour Dates

22 Oct  – Southport – Atkinsons 
23 Oct – Shrewsbury – Theatre Severn
26 Oct – Leeds – Brudenell
27 Oct – Stockton – Arc 

28 Oct – Dunfermline – Carnegie 
29 Oct – Aberdeen – Lemon Tree 
31 Oct – Bury – The Met 
02 Nov Southampton – Brook 
03 Nov – Brighton – Komedia 
04 Nov – Harpenden – Public Halls

05 Nov – Bury St Edmunds – Apex 

About Chris High

%d bloggers like this: