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Gary Moore: Live At Montreux 1990/Live At Montreux 2010/Blues For Jimi

Album Review

Threesome of live snapshots from the much-missed Belfast giant.

Three years have passed, but the knowledge that Gary Moore has left the building still stings. This wasn’t in the script. The Reaper rang the wrong doorbell. At 58, the Belfast bandleader stood on the cusp of what should have been a fascinating elder-statesman period (he had another studio album in the works), while his sweat-drenched, shag-haired, smack-in-the-mouth shows hadn’t lost a lick of momentum. Moore had more.

Maddeningly, in the end, 2008’s Bad For You Baby was the swansong, and we must console ourselves with retrospectives such as this: a three-disc DVD set that bundles three gigs from 1990, 2007 and 2010. Given that the timeline also charts Moore from his solo peak to the summer before his death, this review could easily turn maudlin. Let’s not do that. Somewhere up there, the guitarist would surely baulk at being cast as the blues-rock Princess Di – but he’d no doubt relish that his music still sounds so blow-the-doors-off brilliant.

Shot at the London Hippodrome in October 2007, Blues For Jimi has been covered previously in The Blues, so we’ll not labour the point, other than to say that highlights like an incendiary_ Purple Haze_ and a meaty Red House show a talent for dragging a cover along by the hair that evades many of the wimps on the Experience Hendrix tour. 

Live At Montreux 2010 finds Moore a few months away from his heart attack, and while the guitarist looks a little paunchy and frazzled, the show comes racing out of the traps, with warp-speed, axe-melting solos aplenty and facial expressions that suggest a prostate examination with a power-drill. At times, it might even be a little too ‘rawk’ for these pages, yet this disc is a gem because it has the trump-card of three new songs from Moore’s uncompleted album, the best of which is the Lizzy-esque Days Of Heroes.   

Live At Montreux 1990 is the pick, though. Granted, this footage is showing its age: the production values are not as sharp as elsewhere, while the band look risible in polka-dot shirts and voluminous double-breasted suit jackets. Yet the show itself is dynamite, capturing a perfect storm of material (he’d just released the defining Still Got The Blues album) and youthful fire (still in his thirties and relatively lithe, the guitarist could almost pass for Brian May). 

Moore might lean on a few of the old masters, rocket-fuelling covers of All Your Love and The Stumble, and bringing out Albert Collins for a classy Further On Up The Road. But really, this is pretty much the exact moment he secured his own legend, and as he sprays that godlike touch over originals like King Of The Blues, Texas Strut and Still Got The Blues, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect exponent of blues-rock.

Yeah, we know: these gigs have all been released before as individual DVDs, but this pack represents a thrifty way to secure 307 minutes of top-drawer Moore.

Via Eagle Vision

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