on 6 January 2014
Over 30 years have passed since I first saw George Thorogood and the Destroyers in concert. Yet when I had the pleasure of seeing them again on their most recent European tour last year, it was like nothing had changed. In the best possible way of course! The extraordinary energy was still the same! The white hot intensity was still the same! The ferocious hard rockin' groove was still the same! And, best of all, the same infectious enthusiasm, and delight-in-performance, was right there. Just as it always was! And I suspect, always will be!
This live album is the official audio record of that tour. And although it was recorded in Switzerland, it has exactly the same track listing, and same full-on approach, we were treated to here in London. Like I've said before, in another GT&D review on these pages - no by-the-numbers playing or phoned-in performances here. By my reckoning, these guys have played some of these numbers at least 5,000 times. Maybe 10,000 times. But they sound just as fresh as they did 30 years ago! How do they do it? In my humble opinion it is because, first and foremost, they are genuine fans themselves. They love what they do, and take enormous pleasure in sharing it with anyone who comes along. It's a little bit like those halcyon days, way back in another lifetime, when we nipped round to our mate's house with our latest vinyl album tucked under our arm, discovered together the musical treasures therein, and got totally blown away by them.
The tracklisting on this album is drawn from all stages of the Destroyers' career - from their very first waxings for Rounder Records in the 70s to their recent homage to Chess Records (2120 South Mitchigan Avenue) a couple of years ago. And, as usual, fabulous cover versions abound, with everyone from Sonny Boy Williamson to John Lee Hooker, and Bo Diddley to Hank Williams, represented. But, perhaps best of all, for this reviewer at least, the encore is the utterly stupendous Madison Blues by the great Elmore James. Another performer who always gave 150% in performance, with nothing held back. Entirely appropriate in the circumstances.
Do yourself a favour! Buy this, bring your mates around, and have yourself a Rock Party...