Walter Trout
The Playhouse
Whitley Bay


No matter how bad a day you think you've had, the likelihood is that Walter Trout has endured worse...and lots more of them. Paralleling Wilko Johnson, it's borderline miraculous that he's still alive. In recent(ish) times Walter's documented his experience (somewhat graphically) on the brilliant "Battle Scars" album, and at each show he preaches the importance of becoming an organ donor, highlighting the acute shortage and (needless) tragedy that result from the deficit of demand over supply.

Musically, Walter's survival over many years is down to the fact he's good. Yet, despite his "taste, tone and tenacity", you can't help but feel that his talent deserved a little more success than the admirable recognition he continues to accrue. From a selfish perspective, we all get to enjoy him close up, in packed, intimate settings - where this brand of fire is best served.

Whitley Bay Playhouse has a seated capacity of 630. Tonight it would appear to be pretty much full. Support came from The Trout Brothers' Band (two of Walter's sons, plus (as John Trout puts it) "a brother from another mother", hep-dude bass player). Competent, blues rock (as one might expect, given the pedigree), and entertaining to boot. All well and good, but we're here to see Daddy Trout.

And sure enough, at the alloted time the main event gets underway.

By way of a "tune up", we get an unmistakable volley of what could only be Walter...the firey Strat tone with the suitably firey delivery. Then we're away, with a setlist made up partly of Battle Scars (with accompanying narrative), partly older material, partly covers and partly jams. These days, this is largely "standard fayre" for one of Walter's shows, although from a personal perspective there's a shade too much nepotism given the amount of time John Trout spends jamming with his "Old Man". John's a decent player, and to a certain degree I welcome his involvement and the obvious delight it brings to Walter. There's just...a little too much of it. Harsh? Personal taste, but there you go. Ultimately, it was a very good gig, and I particularly like Walter's supporting cast of Troubadours. They know how to play, how to tee him up, and I get the impression they really are enjoying it.

"Battle Scars" material will always be a highlight in my world, but I was particularly bowled over with his rendition of Dylan's "Girl From The North Country". Fantastic.

This was the first show from the UK leg of his current tour. If it gets better from here, you're in for a real treat further on down the road. Go see him!

Set List

01 I Can Tell
02 Life In The Jungle
03 Say Goodbye To The Blues
04 Battle Scars Story
05 I'm Almost Gone
06 Haunted By The Night
07 Tomorrow Seems So Far Away
08 The Blues Came A Callin'
09 Please Take Me Home
10 Serve Me Right To Suffer
11 Drum Solo
12 Going Down
13 Encore Break
14 Girl From The North Country
15 Little Queenie

Walter Trout - Guitar & vocals
Johnny Griparic - Bass
Michael Leasure - Drums
Sammy Avila - Keyboards

With contributions from
Jon Trout - Guitar & vocals
Andrew Elt - Vocals

Sound Forge Pro 10 >
Trader's Little Helper (level 8) >
Torrent Site

A Rocking Regimental Recording

It should go without saying that you should support the artist by buying their CDs & LPs (preferably at the gig - Walter always comes out to sign post-show) and attend the concerts. The Geese that lay our Golden Eggs need feeding.

However, following Walter's powerful advocacy at each show, you might also consider signing up and "carrying the card" to become an organ donor.