Review: Stevie Nimmo Trio +1, HRH Blues 2018

Review: Stevie Nimmo Trio +1, HRH Blues

Reviewer: Stephen Borkowski

Photo: Stephen Brophy

I think it’s fair to say that one of the many reasons why so many fans trekked to Sheffield for this years HRH Blues was due to the fact that both Nimmo Brothers were appearing on bill with their individual bands.

It strikes me as ironic that individually the brothers have gained the success that they never quite achieved when playing together. It seems that the popularity of King King and the growing reputation of Stevie’s solo band has increased to the point where there is a huge demand for the brothers to tour together again, though it seems unlikely for now as both bands are busy with their own projects.

Sunday evening and the crowd were warmed up having been thoroughly entertained by Ben Poole and were ready for a double dose of Nimmo.

The band are technically called The Stevie Nimmo Trio and Stevie would normally have played guitar and sang, however back in September 2017, he had a cycling accident which left him with a right broken arm so since then they have been billed as Stevie Nimmo Trio +1.

Stevie and his band walked out to a thunderous cheer, Craig ‘Crispy’ Bacon on drums, ‘Dangerous’ Dave Devlin on guitar and new bass player Kelpie McKenzie, who unlike many bassists who stand at the back, holding the groove, Kelpie was throwing shapes and bouncing around with the biggest grin on his face..

The band wasted no time at all and launched into ‘Roll The Dice Again‘ and ‘Still Hungry‘ in quick succession, however there were technical issues with the bass rig and HRH techs rushed on stage to sort the problem while the band played on without the bass.

The problems sorted, Stevie finished the songs and laughed off the ‘Gremlins’ before explaining why he wasn’t playing guitar and explained that while frustrating, had he not have had his accident, the audience would not have had the pleasure of hearing Dave Devlin play and that would have been a shame as Dave was an incredible player and handled Stevie’s songs with ease and added his own flair to the intricate solos.

The set drew mainly from Stevie’s critically acclaimed ‘The Sky Won’t Fall‘ album and many of the audience were very familiar with the material and sang along to tracks ‘Change‘, ‘A Little Lovin’‘, ‘Might Do Us Good‘ and a cover of ‘Going Down‘.

The highlight was when Stevie said that as part of his slow progress on the road to recovery, he was going to borrow Dave’s guitar and play just one song and that could only mean one thing…his cover of The Allman Brothers ‘Gamblers Roll

For the next 7 mins or so the audience were held, everyone taking in every note, the pain on Stevie’s face evident at times alongside happiness to be playing and the determination to show us that he will one day be back playing full time to his usual impeccable standard.

His allotted time came to a close in what seemed like a blink of an eye and he left the stage the way he came on….with a huge smile on his face.