Peter Green Splinter Group Review, Albert Hall, Bolton

HEADLINE: Peter Green's Splinter Group, Albert Hall, Bolton.

BYLINE: Keith Raffaelli (author email )



THE spirits of American blues legends Elmore James and Robert Johnson were invoked to some tune during this memorable evening.

But the star of the show was a 55-year-old Londoner who was one of the 60s musicians who revived the music of America's poor and oppressed and helped export it back to where it came from.

Peter Green (or Greenbaum) was one of the founders of the original Fleetwood Mac and it was some of his songs and tunes from the late 60s and early 70s which pleased the audience the most.

The thundering, hypnotic chords of The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) clearly stirred the memories of some of the long-haired, middle-aged men in the audience.

This somewhat obscure song about money as the manifestation of the Devil led into some of the other old favourites -- Albatross, Black Magic Woman and the marvellous Little Willie John classic Need Your Love So Bad, given a new twist here through shared vocals with fellow guitarist Nigel Watson.

Dry ice spiralling into the red and purple spotlights perhaps conjured up images of a different kind of smoke effect.

Peter Green has made a successful comeback in this group over the last four or five years after long periods of mental illness and breakdown.

He has a fairly static, thoughtful presence on the stage and the long, grey hair sprouting from underneath his hat gives him the appearance of somebody's talented and eccentric uncle.

But the old music is great and the new stuff on recent albums including Time Traders and Real World is well worth a listen.

There was also a brilliant warm-up act from Jet Martin -- a blues festival regular -- who turns out to be Martin Celmins, the author whose biography helped to create the clamour which brought Peter Green back to the stage.

Unfortunately, the car he parked outside attracted a parking ticket.

Oh well, that's the blues for you. Alan Calvert

Date: 2001-10-26