It’s been a while since I’ve been to a gig this year and with it being the summer, not many bands are playing indoor shows, unless it’s some last minute shows that could be fit in between festival dates. And then I saw that Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band was coming to Sheffield’s Leadmill.

Two things. I used to (kinda) listen to KWS back in the 90s in the days when young guitar upstarts like Jonny Lang and Shannon Curfman were the darlings of the guitar press in the ‘States. I had his first three CDs which I may have just “donated” via MusicMagpie a few years ago. The second point here is the venue – despite being a resident of this fine English city for 20-plus years, I’ve only been to the Leadmill once. And even then they had to shut the show just before the main act got on stage due to a (big) leaking roof. I can’t remember said band returning to Sheffield nor a refund.

My brother and I pretty much turned up not knowing what to expect as I can’t remember much of his own songs from back then, nor had we checked out his latest offering, The Traveller. There were a few signed copies for sale at the merch desk but I went for the last XL tee with his guitars (see above). When we arrived at the hall, the opener had finished and we only waited for like 15 minutes for KWS got onstage kicking off his set with Woman Like You from the new record. In fact the first three songs in the set were from The Traveller.

(Sheffield photo from )

As for not “revising” any of his previous stuff, it didn’t really matter. You stomp your feet, and nod your head to the beat. And when he and his band played some old school blues cover (an Elmore James one), you pretend that you’re in some smokey old Chicago hall[1] enjoying some old stuff. Imran and Serih would have enjoyed the set if they were in town then. The fact I was wishing I was sitting down with a large glass of Coke with ice shows my age.

KWS ended the set with a resounding performance of Hendrix’ Voodoo Chile. It was an early night, we were walking out of the venue at dusk (half nine, actually). And I think I should just check out this 10 Days Out docu if I can find it.

The Leadmill, Sheffield 18.7.2019 set: Woman Like You / Mr. Soul (Buffalo Springfield cover) / Long Time Running / I Want You / Diamonds & Gold / Talk to Me Baby (Elmore James cover) / Heat of the Sun / Down for Love / Shame, Shame, Shame (included Texas Flood instrumental) / Turn to Stone (Joe Walsh cover) // Blue on Black / I’m a King Bee (Slim Harpo cover) / Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)

[1]Just paraphrasing.