Genius on stage

This evening, in a perfect antidote to a busy day, I took N° 1 sprog to see a living legend at the Ancienne Belgique; Jeff Beck. He did not disappoint. A basically modest man and a notorious perfectionist, Beck lets his guitar do the talking, and how! A generous set saw him perform a number of his rock-and-roll classics from the past decade, together with more lyrical numbers from recent albums (his encore was Nessun Dorma). He had an excellent backing team on stage with him. We particularly enjoyed bass player Rhonda Smith’s performance (see also here) – she is clearly destined for greater things – but drummer Narada Michael Walden and keyboard player Jason Rebello were also excellent. Among trade mark numbers, we got A Day in the Life, and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. My only regret is that he didn’t play my all time favourite – Nadia. Eric Clapton once explained that Beck’s genius is, more than many guitarists’, in his fingers; he long ago abandoned plectrums and picking and you can indeed see him caressing the strings with his thumb and fingers, toying with the harmonics and wooing distinctive sounds out of the instrument. Nadia is all slide and vibrato bar but the man also has fingers of steel in his left hand. Beck can sign off this post, with his haunting Corpus Christi from his latest album, Emotion and Commotion.