The juxtaposition was too good to miss: son (if not the seventh son) of the greatest Chicago bluesman ever, and the Town Hall’s demure, yet petite grandeur: dripping with Masonic curlicues from its roof beams, like a municipal Rosslyn carved in wood instead of stone.
Not that Mud Morganfield seemed to mind. A giant vision in a bright red suit among his monochrome band, at one point he broke off from a mumbled soliloquy about how much he liked the ladies to disappear briefly backstage, before re-emerging with a bunch of red roses, which he proceeded to go down and distribute amongst the ladies (some of whom were very definitely of uncertain age). His charisma filled the hall, and quite possibly much of the surrounding residential area.
His band may have been clad in shades of grey, but the noise they produced – even allowing for the hall’s suburban sound system – was very definitely the blues. Special mention goes to Wes Weston on harp and Ian Jennings on a turbo-powered double bass. Inevitably it was his father’s work that was most recognisable, among them Hoochie Coochie Man, I Just Want to Make Love to You, and as a blistering encore, the irrepressible Mannish Boy.
If you were there and that last one didn’t make you want to move your feet, have yourself checked immediately by a qualified medical professional for vital signs.