Ian McNabb – Concert review – The Grace, London 15 April 2023

This gig got moved at the last minute from The Slaughtered Lamb to The Grace which is next door to The Garage.  A small narrow upstairs venue, totally painted in black with a low ceiling – not a great start.  It’s also in a really shite area of London in my humble opinion😊.

Ian came on at 20:00 wearing his trademark hat and sporting a Levi’s jacket done up at the top and not bottom – scruffy style guru or what?  He played for about 1 hour, a break for 15 mins and finished at 21.45. No encore.

I have photo of the setlist but basically he didn’t do a lot of those listed and what he did was certainly not in the order specified.  As a consequence I’ll just mention the few I can remember – due to being old and pretty trolleyed by the end of it.

‘Liverpool Girl’ was introduced with usual Scouse witticism and ‘Merseybeast’ was memorable with him changing the lyrics to one verse which was very funny (see the video) and also a reference to be woke !  There were also a few audience singalongs which was good.  It’s funny how you know the words, after not hearing the songs for ages, but wouldn’t be able to sing them without accompaniment.

I took a couple of videos – you can view them on my YouTube channel by clicking on the links below:

He played Gretsch guitars – a white 12 string and two other 6 strings, along with a Korg keyboard – alas he only played 2 songs on the organ one of which was ‘Makin’ Silver Sing’.

There was a bit of audience banter especially during the first set but I get the impression he was a bit pissed off and cut the gig short (compared to the previous nights set list!) – and no encore – unheard of!!  He also didn’t come out after to chat with the crowd around the merchandise stand.   But I guess it was to do with a 10pm curfew when the staff were kicking us out. 

I did manage to get a signed LP (‘Utopia’) which is currently playing on the turntable and is another top LP from him.

So a very short review for a change.  We had a good time, enjoyed the music and will be back to support him in future.

Marko [18 April 2023]