Night Train @ Bottom Jools

Posted by thenighttrain on October 10, 2011 at 2:20 PM

This was my second trip up to the newly refurbished Bottom Bull in Bolton, the first being a few weeks ago to see Hydra.


The place was popular a few years ago as a live music venue and it is good to see that noble tradition re-established.


Although quieter than I remember the place in it's heyday (and let's face it, the weather last night was appalling) we were told that Friday nights have been busier recently with Saturdays attracting more in when a football match was being shown.


The area set aside for the band is 'boxed off' at the back of the pub, which is good in that at least all equipment, leads Etc. are well out of the way of any staggering punters. Night Train overcame any sound issues which may have been apparent before with this set up with a great P.A. and a well balanced mix.


Taking to the stage at around 10pm to the now customary sound of an old steam train pulling into the station and with added smoke machine effect, Alec resplendent in top hat and tails and standing with his back to the audience whilst new guitarist Wally (ex Ian Gillan Band and Victor Brox so Alec tells me) dressed in a vintage black and white soldier jacket launched the band into a blistering version of Cream's (ok Robert Johnson's!) 'Crossroads'.


The set continued with a mix of blues and 50's/60's R&B hits including 'Money', 'It's All Over Now' and ending with 'Baby Please Don't Go' into which Alec ad libbed at least half a dozen other memorable snippets of classic songs whilst Wally loomed out into the crowd teasing us with his guitar prowess and showmanship.


After a brief fag break (and free bar for the band - and I was impressed, they were on soft drinks!) they continued with a tight second set (Rob on drums and Tony on bass kept the whole thing together throughout) and which once again saw Alec launching into improvised medleys of songs by the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Doors. A couple of Rory Gallagher tunes impressed me particularly - 'Messing With The Kid' and 'Bullfrog Blues' with Alec making good use of the trusty gob iron! There was even a bit of comedy with Alec 'bemoaning' the fact that he hadn't made it to boot camp this year!


Finishing off with possibly the shortest version of 'Gloria' I've ever witnessed (and believe me I've seen them do it many times over the last 30 years) not to worry though they were soon back for a great encore of 'Wild Thing'/'Louie Louie'/'Hang On Sloopy'.


Considering this line up hasn't been together too long , well done lads! and if Alec asks you if you 'wanna go for a ride?' , well it's cheaper and more entertaining than rail travel.

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