By Jeremy Miles
Almost exactly 44 years ago I saw Jeff Beck for the first time trading licks with Jimmy Page in The Yardbirds.
A dozen years later I witnessed him driving a heaving, sweaty rock audience into a drunken frenzy that ended with everyone jumping up and down to Hi Ho Silver Lining.
Who’d have thought that all these years later -the proverbial flies in his pea-soup finally drowned - he’d be ending his concerts with an achingly beautiful rendering of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma?
But that’s Beck for you. A curious case of the rock star gone walkabout. Where he’s heading is difficult to say. His concert at the BIC was a masterpiece, his guitar playing beyond compare. But it was more of a showcase than a show.
Fronting a superb three piece band featuring Narada Michael Walden on drums, Rhonda Smith on bass and Jason Rebello on keyboards, Beck delivered a performance that was stunning in terms of feeling and nuance.
Stand out moments for me included People Get Ready and his astonishing reading of The Beatles’ A Day In The Life. He also visited some soaring Celtic anthems, some tasty funk, a little bit of blues and paid his respects to the ghost of Les Paul.
But the production, for all its fine playing, superb sound, brilliant lighting and occasional odd departures into tracks like Over The Rainbow, lacked any real cohesion.
New Orleans support band Trombone Shorty actually turned in a tighter, more entertaining set.