Eagle Vision [Release date 06.10.17] Also available: CD/DVD, Bluray
When I saw Jeff Beck in Birmingham in 2014 I was somewhat underwhelmed. In spite of an audience of a certain age hanging on every note the performance came across as perfunctory and lack lustre . He also said even less than Joe Bonamassa.
The gig at Hollywood Bowl in August 2016, celebrating 50 years of his career, was always going to stand a better chance not least because Beck had to interact with several luminaries. But it’s as much about these artists as Jeff.
The set-list is fairly predictable and covers early sorties in the Yardbirds and with Rod Stewart. It is the core mid-seventies to mid-eighties material that really stands out – ‘Freeway Jam’ and ‘You Never Know’ (with Jan Hammer) reminding us that this was the decade when Beck’s best recorded work was done. ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers’ as ever remains a highlight.
Becks pays his dues to the blues with the Beth Hart voiced ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ and the Buddy Guy showcase ‘Let Me Love You’. But the cabaret really starts with Billy F.Gibbons singing ‘Rough Boy’ and Steven Tyler’s appearance for a Yardbirds’ double-whammy. At least Tyler injects some animation to the proceedings.
The contemporary is reflected in opener ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ from Beck’s latest studio album, with Rosie Bones looking like she’s just serviced Jeff’s hot rod, whilst the assembled ensemble pitch in for the finale of ‘Purple Rain’ a tribute to the then recently departed Prince.
For Beck completists, one to collect, but nothing really earth shaking here for the doubters. And, yes, he also said even less than Joe Bonamassa. ***
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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