Like a Fine Wine; Jon Amor’s Southgate Residency

I’ll do this now, get it ticked off, although I probably shouldn’t, a bit wobbly still; strictly professional all the way!

Said it before, Andy has too, and once Mr Ian Diddams wished to express it in his own words, a sentiment we can all agree on; Devizes is truly blessed when, monthly, our homegrown blues legend Mr Jon Amor, as regular as clockwork, arrives with cat and mouse team, drummer Tom Gilkes, bassist Jerry Soffe, and a guest of honour at the trusty Southgate. If this month was our easter egg, we stuffed our faces…

A week later than the usual first Sunday of the month, Jon’s superb trio did again, tore the place down with an electric set of electric blues, and the juke joint was bumping, grinding like sardines with shades on. It’s the highlight of the month in Devizes, worthy of giving up your Sunday roast for.

Thing is, it seems to be an occasion I never tire of, for as samey as it might sound, it doesn’t, it matures like a fine wine. Any similarities are welcomed; we love what Jon and Tom and Jerry do, but the diversity hinges on the guest.

For their touring efforts, they bring us back a souvenir, a musician friend who you’d gladly buy a ticket to see play. I asked Jon if they “knew what they were letting themselves in for?!” He assured me not all of them. But from what I witness, they always come away with a ‘well, that was well worth the squeeze’ expression.

This occasion was of no exception, Philadelphian soul blues virtuoso Leburn Maddox was mingling among the punters, likely in an attempt to keep awake. Missing his flight from Paris, he kipped in the airport and came to us via Dublin, but when it came for his time to shine, it was immaculate.

With fruity banter, exceptional finger-picking, and that authentic grizzly blues vocals, Leburn is the real deal, and Southgate regulars were in awe. He gave us some of his originals and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, as well as customarily jamming with the trio.

It only leaves me dripping in anticipation as to what delights Jon can pull from his magician’s tophat next. Tune in next month, folks.


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