The Cheltenham Crackerjack Entertainment Guide | December 2008

*** Crackerjack rating: 9 / 10 ***

You could hang a fake Constable above a reproduction fireplace in a neo-Regency house, but you would need a time-machine programmed to the late Sixties to access a more authentic experience than John Campbell delivered in Cheltenham last night. It takes a brave man to attempt to emulate Jimi Henrix but John pulls out all the stops and the audience was with him in spirit.

He opened with the early chart hits of Foxy Lady and Hey Joe, a soulful The Wind Cries Mary before the heavier Machine Gun then slowing for the bluesy Red House and Hear My Train A Coming. Playing the best-known numbers, the band also improvised with a medley of the classic Purple Haze and Third Stone From The Sun

The power house rhythm section of drummer Kevin O’Grady and bassist Mark Arnold could also sensitively assist Campbell through the ballad Angel and respond to audience requests finishing the second set with Little Wing and Voodoo Chile.

The band first played the Bacon theatre 14 months ago and impressed enough to double their audience this time around.

Jeremy Bristow