Dick Heckstall Smith: A Story Ended

at The Astoria, London on Monday 6th June 2005


List of Artists  in order of apperance

  • Big Chief

  • Eddie Martin Band

  • Pete Brown Band

  • John O'Leary Band

  • Mick Taylor Band

  • James Litherland & Barbara Thompson

  • Jack Bruce - Gary Moore - Gary Husband

  • Colosseum

On one of the great musical nights of the year, it is with a little sadness that I paused to consider that a superb musical bill of fare such as this could only come about because of the passing of one of Britain’s most colourful and innovative musicians, Dick Heckstall Smith.

On a brighter note, even the normally reticent Dick would surely have loved the fantastic vibe, and the spirit of co-operation both and off stage for what proved to be a magnificent night’s music.

All artists involved had some direct musical input into Dick’s life. And while Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Gary Moore and Colosseumwere the obvious headliners, there was an equally inspiring undercard worthy of Dick’s lasting musical legacy

The John O‘Leary Band further added to the evening’s many displays of virtuoso playing with a dazzling display of Chicago Blues. And while Paul Butterfield’s "Born In Chicago" may not have been the most interesting choice of song of the night, John’s lovely harp work, and sweet timbred vocals fitted perfectly in between Jules Fothergill’s considered slide and Winston De Landro’s impeccable guitar lines. Roger Innis on bass and Joachim Greve on drums provided the perfect rhythm section as the band tore into "Snatch It Back".

Jules and John remained on the stand to augment Mick Taylor’s band. After a languid opening Mick quickly found his inimitable guitar tone, and swapped some delicate lines with the impressive Fothergill before delivering one of the evening many highlights with a show stopping rendition of the Stones’s "No Expectations". On this number alone – which comes from 1968’s "Beggars Banquet" album – Taylor showed just why he is still considered to be one of the guitar greats.....................

..............the audience left the venue as drained as most of the musicians.  A great night for Dick Heckstall Smith who will be sorely missed.

Pete Feenstra, Get Ready To Rock