Like the old TV comedy show Not The Nine O’Clock News, this is of course Not The Nimmo Brothers – it’s the Stevie Nimmo Trio Plus The Other One. With Stevie Nimmo having suffered a nasty broken arm in a cycling accident, Alan Nimmo has been drafted in to play guitar on this UK tour, but it’s still the Trio’s regular set that’s on offer. Having both Nimmos onstage and interacting does, however, change the dynamic – especially on home turf.
Kicking off as usual with the tough and muscular ‘Roll The Dice’ and ‘Still Hungry’, Nimmo
junior certainly gets to grips with the gutsy
riffs. But it’s on the epic ‘Running On
Back To You’ that they really gel.
Stevie tells the tale of how he came up with the idea for the song while
on a motor biking trip with his brother, who got very pissed off with the
constant interruptions to their journey while he captured his thoughts. But none of that stops him going “full
Kossoff” – Stevie’s code for Alan being totally in the zone - on a stunning
rendition of the first solo. Not for the
last time either, as it turns out.
|Stevie Nimmo - a great little mover
Introducing ‘Change’, Stevie admits it feels strange to be performing without a guitar, and says he considered equipping himself with a kazoo, but was told “if I did, and I quote, I’d get booted in the baws”. But he certainly seems relaxed, despite the constraints of a swollen arm in a sling, and as bassist Mat Beable leads the audience clapping on ‘Good Day For The Blues’ he’s getting right into it. More importantly, whatever awkwardness he feels doesn’t get in the way of him delivering on the vocal front throughout.
I’m not entirely sold on Clapton’s ‘River Of Tears’ as a song, but the lead guitar intro is a delight – even if it looks like Stevie is giving Alan reminders of the notes rather than just whispering brotherly sweet nothings in his shell-like. The younger Nimmo needs no coaching on the solo though, which leads into the convincing emotional crescendo of the ending, on which drummer Craig Bacon also kicks up a storm. It’s a good warm-up for the roar that is ‘Chains Of Hope’, on which they collectively get heavy as lead.
|The Other One goes full Kossoff
Bacon launches the jam fest that is ‘Lovin’ Might Do Us Good’ with an offbeat drum break, while Alan plays around with the riff a little on the intro, before letting rip on the jam section, leading Stevie to comment that if you’ve got to get a stand-in “then why not get the best fuckin’ guitar player going?” But then he would say that, wouldn’t he?
The set closer ‘Going Down’ shows them getting heavy and funky at the same time – funkin’ heavy, if you will, with Stevie peering over Alan’s shoulder as he solos, and Alan going head to head with Mat Beable as they insert a quote of the chunky riff from King King’s ‘More Than I Can Take’.
For an encore they give us ‘The Storm’, by Glasgow legend Big George Watt, which has become a staple of the Trio’s set. It’s a widescreen classic that deserves a wider audience, and with any luck Stevie Nimmo will record it for his next album. But in the meantime Alan Nimmo, who like his brother learned much from Big George, does it justice by conjuring up a simply huge amount of sustain on a howling solo.
However relaxed Stevie Nimmo looked in the course of this performance, I’d wager that he’s still having to contend with a fair amount of pain from that broken arm at times. But the show didn’t just go on, it went with a bang and a good deal of humour – the mark of true professionals.