Mud Morganfield, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Saturday July 27th **
It was all happening down in the front row of the Saturday night concert at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. For the first hour of the gig by singer Mud Morganfield half of the front row was busily engaged in flouting the no-filming rules and the other half was bopping in the aisle. By the second hour, the number of dancers had swollen as the original boppers were joined by couples from all over the theatre. And it wasn’t long before the star of the show, realising that what was happening in front of the stage was proving more interesting than what was happening on it, began inviting dancers up to join him.
Frankly, for those of us who had hoped to be entertained merely by listening and watching (which we had been during an opening set by Jenson Interceptors Blues Revue and Shades of Blue), this provided some relief from the monotony of Mud Morganfield’s performance. For much of the first half of his set, he had sung similar-sounding songs with unintelligible lyrics; a bit more variety (some ballads and some R’n’B) came into play after his brush with two female dancers from the audience. And when I say brush, I mean nigh-on encouraging them to rub up against him. The two male dancers who had also come up on stage somehow de-materialised, and Morganfield announced that the better female dancer would be given a CD if they waited at the end of the show ..
* First published in The Scotsman on Monday, July 29th