Joe Bonamassa performing at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Friday 12th October 2018

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Blues legend Joe Bonamassa was back at the Motorpoint Arena last night to treat his fans to a blues master class delivered in the way that only Bonamassa and his band can.

With this being the second of only three UK concerts, it was clear that he has a huge affection for Nottingham. A man of few words he did tell this audience that he had arrived in our fair city at 4.30am, at the same time in his opinion that every drinking establishment had turned out, only to be covered in what he hoped was lager.

But he didn’t hold that against the 2000 strong crowd who had paid premium prices to see him. And when the opening strains from the TV series Bonanza filled the arena, he was given a true Nottingham welcome.

Opening with King Bee Shakedown with its take on boogie blues and rockabilly saw Bonamassa at his very best with a fantastic slide solo.

There were another three songs from his thirteenth and arguably his best studio album, Redemption. Evil Mama had a rock and roll feel to it whilst Just ‘Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should was followed by the breathtakingly emotional Self Inflicted Wounds which sucked this audience in until the final note was struck.

There were some songs from 2016’s Blues Of Desperation in the form of No Good Place For The Lonely and How Deep This River Runs before a spectacular Breaking Up Somebody’s Home saw his very talented band each given a solo spot.

Following one storming tune with another, he delivered a steaming mass of Bonamassa blues with the likes of I Get Evil and Little Girl. Sloe Gin saw him become lost in the moment with his phenomenal soloing, before the main set was brought to an end with a fabulous Last Kiss and the encore number Mountain Time, which served to cement his place as the reigning King of the Blues.

On asking the hotel’s concierge if Nottingham was always as lively on a Thursday night, he was told “You should see what it’s like at the weekend, so welcome to Nottingham”. Let’s hope he visits again but next time experiences drier conditions.