Dr John - Manchester Bridgewater Hall - 22.10.01

You could almost imagine Ant and Dec in the wings laughing to themselves for the umpteenth time that day "Oh, he's not a real doctor". Except he is - he's come to save your soul from the cod blues rock of Weller, Toploader et all. Now while there's dozens of you out there with your badges for the safety and protection of real music (or real ale for that matter) Dr John truly does keep it real mixing up styles like a McDonalds marketing manager with a gun to his head. "Oh yeah, shall we put a free Bin Laden soft toy in with the Burgers. That will go down swell with all the kids out there"...but joking aside Dr John really does show the kids that blues isn't just something tired and worn out.

This time its about getting back to the root of rhythm and blues. Its just Dr John and his band out there on their own - no trying to open it up to a new audience this time with guest collaborations with the likes of Spiritualised and Primal Scream. Looking like that crazy granddad you though had passed away years ago this sure is one funky Doctor with his voodoo shuffle. Hailing from New Orleans the voodoo is in his soul and that's where he performs best - when he lets the band get on with it and gets into that downright dirty New Orleans funky chicken trance.

He may be an acquired taste and not to everyone's liking (a good thing surely, it helps to keep out the riff raff) but Dr John is a true legend and if you ever get the chance to see him do so.

Alex McCann