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Aaron Neville/ Dr John & The Nite Trippers

Dr John & Aaron Neville
Dr John & Aaron Neville

Perth Convention Centre

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Last weekend Perth witnessed a musical storm created by two pioneers of the soul and blues movement from New Orleans – Hall Of Fame inductees, Dr John & Aaron Neville.

Dr John & The Nite Trippers opened up with the sound of Dr John’s voice still croaking and wailing from the gutter,  a sound that reveals he has lived and breathed the blues in depth.  Still as charismatic as ever before on piano, he played with a looseness that defines his sound.  His Nite Trippers rose to the occasion, keeping it gritty enough to support him, particularly Sarah Morrow on trombone who played in ways that no one had seen it played before. A highlight of his band.

Dr John was in fine form for all his songs, including those Mardi Gras favourites such as Iko Iko and Big Chief,  while songs from his classic album Gris-Gris offered his unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, Creole roots and psychedelic rock.  Dr John gave us a good serving of his multifaceted talent when he took guitar and played Let The Good Times Roll. He also got the audience singing along to favourites Right Place, Wrong Time and his encore Such A Night which was an apt closing of his set in which he received a deserved standing ovation.

Some may say that the ambience of Aaron Neville’s set following the Mardi Gras energy of Dr John’s, warranted Dr John to headline, however with both artists being of formidable status no one was complaining.

Although Neville’s hits have mainly been noted in the

’80s and ’90s, the sound that highlights his angelic soulful voice is that of the ’60s and early ’70s.  However, his band, apart from his brother Charles Neville on tenor sax, clearly imbued the ’80s sound.  One could say it made an interesting juxtaposition for classic soul songs he delivered such as Stand By Me, A Change Is Gonna Come, Ain’t No Sunshine and Use Me.  Nonetheless, his band fit the bill for his massive ’80s and ’90s hits such as Everybody Plays The Fool and Don’t Know Much.

Neville’s gifted voice poured down upon us seemingly from the heavens for his encore, making our hair stand on end for Amazing Grace firing the audience into a standing ovation.

If you missed out, luck would have to be on your side for this hurricane to hit Perth again while these two artists are in the later stages of life. It was truly an inspiring, sensational and memorable night to cherish.

RANDA KHAMIS

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