Photo of band Man Of The World

Man Of The World
The Regal, Tenbury Wells – 24th February 2024

A classic 1930s cinema turned community theatre/cinema hosted the Man Of The World project. A full-to-bursting auditorium added to the sell-out tour to date, no surprise given the subject matter: Peter Green, arguably one of the finest guitarists to come out of the 60s British Blues revival. His music, whether with John Mayall or Fleetwood Mac, is memorable and fuels this show. The band consists of Remi Harris, a renowned jazz guitarist; Dave Small on vocals, percussion, and harp; drummer Shane Dixon; and bassist Tom Moore.

Remi Harris
Remi Harris

The band was not here to reproduce Green in the form of a tribute band, though indeed it is a tribute; they have their own qualities. It’s true to say that Remi delivers through the use of the Gibson Les Paul and occasional Fender, much as Peter Green did when he replaced Clapton in Mayall’s band in ‘66. Opening up with the behemoth ‘Black Magic Woman’, Dave’s vocals are gritty, Remi on the Gibson is superb, backed by the explosive drums of Dixon and subtle bass from Moore, everything the audience could wish for, adding enthusiastic applause. For the instrumental purist, how could you not include ‘The Supernatural’, wrapping itself around you like a cosy blanket, the soft, atmospheric drums a perfect framework for Remi. ‘You Don’t Love Me’, found Dave adding flashes of harmonica to the boogie rhythm, and who could resist the gorgeous slow-burning, ‘Need Your Love So Bad’, beautifully presented by the band, Tom’s bass pivotal to that sumptuous sound. There was only one way to close the first set, the unworldly ‘Green Manalishi’, complete with a two-pronged crown, a mystery to all back when Peter delivered it, wonderfully strange and exotic, it still is; Shane seems to enjoy himself drumming up a storm as Remi delivers a stunning lead, Dave weaving a conga tattoo into the percussive roll-out.

Time to catch a breath in a short break before diving into the second set, a couple of ‘extras’ in ‘Jigsaw Puzzle Blues’ and Freddie King’s ‘The Stumble’, preceded by ‘Oh Well’ Part 2, perverse; back in my day, it was split across two sides of my vinyl, here too, before sliding gracefully into the esoteric sensuality of ‘Albatross’. Magical, Dixon’s drum reverb adding essential depth, how can you not luxuriate in such beauty. Dave rides out on his ‘Long Grey Mare’, waving his harp as he enjoys the galloping rhythm. Moore’s bass underscores the slow, moody, ‘Jumping At Shadows’, with Remi picking out the stark but striking riffs. This show wears the banner, Man Of The World, so it would be impossible not to include one of Green’s greats. It’s simply gorgeous, diving deep into the magical world conjured up in Green’s mind, a classic delivered dutifully to the ecstatic, appreciative audience. ‘Oh Well’, you know it can’t end there, Part 1, “don’t ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to”, don’t take that personally, just get out there and ‘Shake Your Money Maker’.

Man Of The World is a sell-out no matter where the band plays. It says much for the love of the late lamented Peter Green, but it also says so much about the quality of this band in delivering his iconic music so brilliantly, without compromising their own collective musical integrity. I’m sure given the success of this run, this show will post more dates. Grab a seat while you can and lose yourself to the music.

Words & Photography by Graham Munn

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