The new and enthusiastic Belgian fan club Elvis Matters organized its first meeting. And to make a good start they invited James Burton to come to Mol, Belgium.
The show was very well organized; a lot of attention was paid to details, the venue (a bit hidden in the forest), the shop, the consumptions (although it was a close call on the beer front, and that in Belgium…) the fan club even made their own slips to pay for consumptions.
The show was opened by the King of Belgium band that tried to play three tunes before James Burton took the center stage. James was the James we all know from conventions or Elvis The Concert, dressed in black with a colorful vest and his white Fender guitar. He played his signature song for Emmylou Harris "Oooh Las Vegas!" before he invited Jenson Bloomer to join him on stage.
With Jenson on stage the show really started to rock, he surely knows how to get a crowd off their seats and on their feet (although it took some time before he managed to get the Belgians that far). The band and Jenson knew who the people came for, and made sure that Elvis’ former lead guitarist got the spotlight. Besides several Elvis classics during which James showed his guitarpickin’ in the solos, the band performed several of the classics that are signature songs of James; like Ricky Nelson’s “Hello Mary Lou” and his own, written with Dale Hawkin, “Suzie Q”. Not every song went flawless, due to a lack of rehearsal time, but overall the band was satisfying as accompaniment.
You could really see James was having fun on stage, and the band gave him the spotlight he deserves. James did a few “specials”, like playing the solo of Johnny B. behind his head, which made the crowd go wild and resulted in an enthusiastic standing invitation.
The second special performance was an acoustic version of “Funny How Time Slips Away” on a Dobro guitar, especially brought in by a fan (who won’t probably play that instrument herself anymore) for this meeting. This performance resulted in a second ovation for James and Jenson Bloomer who brought the song very well. If only James had done some of these “acoustic” performances live with Elvis some thirty years ago …
When the musicians thought they were ready the crowd almost demanded them back on stage for an encore, resulting in a third highlight; a spontaneous jam session in which some blues classics were performed, “Reconsider Baby”, “Steamroller Blues” and even “Merry Christmas Baby” came by.
Overall, if this is “only” the start of the club, we have high expectations for their upcoming events.