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Aynsley goes to ‘Toon….. The Cluny, Newcastle.

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4th Dec.
What can you say; the 1st week-end of December and Aynsley at The Cluny is becoming as much a music tradition as the Lindisfarne Christmas gigs at City Hall back in the 70’s & 80’s. Certainly the atmosphere in the packed room (even on a Sunday!) is warm, friendly and this time with an air of keen antici…..pation. Last year, Aynsley & the band teased us with 2 new songs from a promised upcoming album: this year the album is out and there’s a bagful of new songs to be aired in ‘Toon.
Aynsley gets the crowd nicely warmed up with a instrumental Blues shuffle, based on a Bluesbreakers(?) before laying into Inside Out and then we get our first introduction to Eyes Wide Open in the form of Il Grande Mafioso. This song is a bit of a departure on the album, but stands out and stands well in the live format, enough reverb on the Fender that even Hank Marvin must be feeling it…. and from there onwards new was mixed with, well, slightly less new; a stroming All of Your Love, the sensitive Kalina vying with the likes of Early Morning Dew and the guitar v keyboard duel of Sugar, as well as Aynsley’s cover of Champagne & A Reefer. and mix in a couple of crackin’ bass solo’s from Steve Amadeo, then a coule more new numbers like Handful of Doubt & Stay.
Set closer was, as ever Purple Rain; if Aynsley ever had plans to drop it from the set, 2016 wasn’t the year, with Prince being one of the many notables we’ve lost in the year. Not quite getting away for an early finish one a “school-night”, the encore was a bouncing Possession.
Verdict on the new material; well, vintage stuff; it’s classic Aynsley but still fresh & interesting.
A good night to meet up with friends old & new, even Bluebell came out, good to see.

Kalina - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1LIkZFx4p0
Il Grande Mafioso (from St Helens) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDxQ8dZxoo4

     

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There are only three real monsters; Dracula, Blackula & Son of Kong..

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15th Dec, 2017

There’s no festive knitwear in sight nor a sleigh bell to be heard but Aynsley’s December visit to The Cluny is as much a part of my Christmas build-up as carollers roasting on an open fire. Not that means to imply any “Grinch” like comparisons as once these “four musketeers” let loose they spread a lot of joy and merriment.

As usual, we have the dynamic backline of Steve and Boneto in perfect synchronicity and giving great solo outbursts during Hyde. Aynsley, as ever, wielding the guitars as a master swordsman with foil, rapier & sabre, dextrous, supple and deadly. And then, a new face, a hirsute face, Lee, behind the keyboards, full and fruity - and that was just his shirt; giving riposte, remiss & passata-solo to Aynsley’s flurries, especially during Tore Down.

The vast majority of the show was balanced between Aynsley’s two most recent albums, from the opener All Your Love; Il Grande Mafioso; Other Part of Me; Home; Possession; the main exception being Purple Rain, trimmed to sit in the main set. Try as he may, I think Aynsley’s still of the mind to move on from this classic cover but sometimes you’ve got to yield to fan pressure.

As ever though, a great night of music and catching up with old friends; especially good to see Bluebell (Joy) for the first time in a while and of course, “our” Steph, who’s positively glowing.

     

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There are only three real monsters; Dracula, Blackula & Son of Kong..