Joe Wheldon live stream gig review
Two sobering asides have coloured my perspective of late. Driving over the Northway bridges and discovering no cars on the motorway at peak times was symbolic. Additionally, turning over the page on our calendar on Saturday the 1st and discovering not one date had been highlighted or protected in May…amplified what we are all going through.
However, throughout, aided by his “fancy new amp” Joe Wheldon has kept going and his regular busking spots on a Friday night have become another highlight of our weekly calendar. In part for the NHS – he passes all donations to this worthy cause – but in part because our Joe has to perform. One has a sense that our “Poundland Bob,” despite his nervous laugh, is growing in confidence weekly and it is clear why.
It is clear young Wheldon did not grow up just listening to his contemporary chart’s diet of “butter and bread.” Not for him the clichéd and obvious, he has explored vinyl record boxes, dived into ply-wood towers of CDs and downloaded musical inspiration from clouds of opportunity. George Ezra maintains he arrived at his singing voice because he grew up listening to the blues. Let’s be honest Muddy Waters would impact on your singing style too, just as it did with the Rolling Stones. Master Wheldon and his voice is the by-product of all that he has explored musically; not just his voice but also his personal treasure-trove of musical gems. And we are thankful…
Thankfully, Joe has an arsenal of songs for his not inconsiderable Friday night’s audience. As a performer he knows that the watching unblinking screen wants distraction and the chance to hum along. The opening Bill Withers homage is as recognisable as the three stripes on his sweatshirt – maybe it didn’t inspire reckless dancing or the torches on countless mobile phones to be employed – but the scuffed box of reduced red wine from the corner shop would have flowed a little more easily and added to the atmosphere of contentment. The buoyant versions of a Town Called Malice, inspired greater interest, the languid Johnny Cash standard was as welcome as a replenished glass and the unique version of Friday I’m in Love, was sang with the gravelly belief of someone who understands one of the best cures for these times. Time is indeed a teacher…
You can teach yourself to play guitar and you can learn all the songs that you want but ultimately- is your particular take any different from the others? The DJ and drummer Mark Radcliffe is fond of saying, regarding performance, “a little ridicule is to be expected,” although, this may still put some of us off from stepping out on to the stage. Wheldon has not only grasped the opportunity he has done so in his own inimitable style. It’s more than symbolic that there is a great deal of traffic on his Facebook page: Joe Wheldon musician/band. Consequently, make sure you highlight the next date for his future event on your calendar – just so you have something to look forward to! Joe Wheldon Esquire donates his Friday evenings to help the NHS and our self-preservation but the sessions also bridge the gap between not performing and connecting with his audience: “How is everyone doing then?”
By The Swilgate Scuttler