Live Reviews

Aynsley Lister – Kendal Brewery and Arts: Live Review

Aynsley Lister brings his superb blues sound to Kendal and shows just how great a guitarist he is.

In the 1990’s a young burgeoning talent burst onto the Lancashire blues festival with a vibrant brand of rocking blues amazing discerning followers of the varying styles of blues.  Through the following years regular spots higher up the bill at  more festivals and town centre blues venues celebrated this early promise as his popularity grew. Now, Ainsley Lister can display his virtuosic guitar skills headlining gigs around the country. 

Those early brash, loud years were remembered in his first half set with the song Soundman recalling when supporting Jools Holland, the sound engineer’s anger was fuelled by Ashley’s insistence on playing loud. Thirty years on, this tune, reminiscent of Robben Ford’s ‘Start It Up,’ still holds that brashness and vitality but as shown by his ability to rock, boogie and be mellow, has matured him into  play masterly guitar work and write exceptional songs with stunning riffs and a variety of solo styles. Whether strapping on Fender, Gibson or Les Paul, his playing is electrifying. 

Choosing a set list including music from all stages of his career we were treated to songs like Hurricane from his album Equilibrium  to new material from his upcoming Autumn release  like Eve Part 1. This tune related to the relationship between Eve and Villanelle from the popular drama series Killing Eve. The first half of approximately 45 minutes flashed past remarkably quickly and ended when he turned the ability to play a dampened notes solo into an art form, during Cast A Light, the second number from his forthcoming album . This mixed with slide guitar was amazing and left the exuberant Cumbrian audience begging for more after Hyde 2612.

The second set was again swamped with guitar wizardry, and favouring the wishes of Dan, the chef at a lovely local Arnside cafe (The Wayside Cafe) and newcomer to Aynsley Lister, was considerably more ramped. But there was  more control now than his earlier days  Again the numbers from old and recent albums Made Up My Mind, Amazing, Running Out On Me , A Handful of Doubt and World is Falling seemed to make the time whizz by as he enthralled us all with a generous mix of blues.

His audience rapport also showed a maturity and  confidence, even his amusing gaffes like needing assistance from bass player to remind him which guitar he should be using, his need for reading glasses to see the set list when he forgot what came next and his battle with social media, endeared him to the appreciative audience.

During the night he was most ably supported on drums with oodles of drive including some short but effective drum solos interspersing Aynsley’s playing. The bass was also providing simple bass runs which enhanced the pounding rhythm of Aynsley’s  more powerful numbers and gave fills to the more subtle mellow ones. This short line up favoured by many blues guitarists’ must have pleased the Rory Gallagher fans amongst the audience.

Every act has a crowd pleaser so Lister duly obliged when he finished the second set with what he informed us was his  most requested number, an awesome rendition of Purple Rain. Appropriately, an encore of Hero followed; during the evening Lister must have become a new guitar hero to  some as well as thrilling his faithful followers.

Aynsley Lister: Website / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

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