By Kieran Webber
Perranporth has recently become a hotspot for musicians and music lovers alike, thanks to the refurbishment and expansion of the popular beach bar The Watering Hole. This year alone the likes of Tom Jones, Lee Scratch Perry and Wheatus have graced the stage of the popular establishment, and most recently the legend that is Seasick Steve.
The Watering Hole had created a mini-festival atmosphere for the special occasion with a tent surrounded by fences and bars lining the sides, there was plenty of chatter, laughter and alcohol for the eager masses arriving to see the country blues artist.
As night set in the moment we had all been waiting for was upon us, the lights shot on and Seasick Steve shuffled on stage with his notorious air of charisma and humble attitude following him. After staring out into the crowd and observing his adoring fans, young and old, he heads to the pre set up area which has amp stacks that are old and battered, a rickety but sturdy chair and a selection of homemade and (presumably) home restored guitars. Truly, Seasick Steve equipment was an extension of himself, a collection of rickety, worn out instruments whose age, much like their owner won’t ever stop them.
As he grabs the cigar box guitar the night truly begins, within the first few chords the crowd explodes and a huge grin dances across his bushy white beard. Across the night Seasick Steve plays his classics such as ‘You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks’, ‘Summertime Boy’, ‘Walkin Man’ and of course ‘Started Out With Nothin’. In between the songs in classic style he regaled the crowd with a litany of tales, the stand out one being about his drummer (who by the way fucking shreds it) who has a tendency to throw his symbols during certain songs when he gets into them. He told this to Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones who didn’t beleive him until it happened and as Steve puts it “He did the cutest little jump live on the Jools Holland Show when my drummer here threw the symbols towards him, he didn’t beleive me but I told him”.
Seeing Seasick Steve is more than just watching someone perform it is sharing a moment with the forever humble musician, together you listen to beautiful music that is emotive yet simplistic. The charm really is in the simplicity of his music and this comes across live too, throughout his set there was moments of deep emotion and sadness, there was moments of reflectiveness and moments of pure energy that had the crowd going wild. It really was a fantastic show and unlike most artists of today he played his whole 2 hour set and came back on for the encore, he is a real trooper and he loves his music and playing his music to his fans. At The Watering Hole Seasick Steve furthered his status as a music legend and showed us why he is held in such high regard.