FITTINGLY for a Zen action hero, Steven Seagal is a man of few words but, for the purposes of this appearance, many blues licks.
He is a serviceable guitar player and singer, with a gruff, understated tone, although it did seem more likely that he attracted a capacity crowd on this return trip to the Ferry (he played a mini-residency here seven years ago) because of the film star part of his mixed CV.
Consequently, there was a lot of phone filming from fans keen to capture their own Seagal action movies, with would-be directors demanding that he take off the Panama hat fixed low over his brow.
Anyone hoping for some playful interaction was to be denied: Seagal was stoic and businesslike in his execution of traditional and original material but not without feel – he has, after all, been playing guitar for 50 years now, even though his recording/touring career has only really taken off in the last decade.
His band Thunderbox were crucial in mapping the course of the set which mostly fell into hypnotic roadhouse blues territory but was also spiced with dirtier juke joint grooves such as Boogie Man, some jazzy Chet Atkins licks from his younger, slimmer lookalike guitarist (ponytail, beard, shades – check) and an extended acid blues rock wigout towards the end of the set.
When he returned briefly for an encore of Hoochie Coochie Man, he brought a tad more filth to his rendition than Eric Clapton had mustered on his recent visit.
(Seen on 17.07.14)