Many of Audlem's music fans de-camped to Nantwich and the Crown Hotel's ballroom last night. They were there to hear local favourites Jim Kirkpatrick and John Gunstone backing one of rock music's legends, Bernie Marsden, of Whitesnake and Here I Go Again fame – his hit that made #1 in the States in 1987.
Bernie played two scintillating sets and was clearly enjoying the whole occasion. He had everyone green with envy, revealing he had been a guest at the previous night's Led Zeppelin concert. So too had bass player in the band, Ian Rowley, who normally backs Deborah Bonham. She enjoys a successful career as a vocalist and is also well-known as the sister of the late John Bonham, legendary drummer in Led Zeppelin, and aunt to Jason, who played in his father's place – and had rave reviews – at the London concert.
Bernie Marsden is now a well-rounded entertainer: brilliant vocalist and guitarist; engaging raconteur and possessing a comedian's timing with his quips. It all made for a night everyone will remember with much affection.
The first set was blues based – Bernie had even been at BB King's New York club the previous week. The tempo shifted for the second set, as did Whitesnake's music in the 80s, from the bluesy to hard-rock, interspersed with favourites like Here I Go Again and Slip of the Tongue. Between numbers, Bernie described meeting Jamie Cullum the previous night at the Led Zeppelin concert and sitting next to Naomi Campbell. He and Jamie are now bosom pals!
The much-called for encore featured a brilliant keyboard solo by John Gunstone. Bernie was clearly impressed by John's youth, quipping "I've got guitar strings older than him." For those in the audience that couldn't get tickets for Led Zeppelin for love nor money, last night's superb music was a great consolation – well... almost!
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