Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1093

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Tony Lyndsay : Pizza Express Holborn 19/09/2019

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Pizza Express have a fine reputation in bringing over US acts Gregory Porter being a case in point and more recently Judith Hill and Prince protégé Andy Allo.So it was great to see Tony Lindsay on the bill with a rare two nights at the club.I caught him on day one and he was in fine fettle.Lyndsay is a consummate pro revered by his contemporaries such as Michael Narada Walden who has gone on record calling Tony a great singer in the Stevie Wonder,Donny Hathaway vein.It's no wonder that Carlos Santana chose him as his main man for nigh on 25 years to front one of the biggest bands in the world!

So completing the circle Lindsay returns to being a club singer
and without doubt Tony is something of a soul survivor. Though from Kingston, New York, his club career really began when he moved west in 1980. In San Francisco he formed his first band Spangalang, then went on to work with The Soul Soldiers, Black Magic, and the Ray Charles Project before fate stepped in and propelled him to giddier heights with Santana.You'd think this would all go to his head but he is one of the humblest artists out there.This is all to our advantage though and the intimate setting of PE Holborn was the perfect setting for his smooth silky soul offerings.

Right from the off he engaged his audience with a beguiling set
that included 'Something Beautiful' which really highlights his golden tone and the calibre of his band, with sax player John Mckillup tearing it up and pianist Eamonn Flynn whose delightful jazzy runs on the club's grand piano, was a sheer delight to listen too especially on the reworking of 'Black Magic Woman' and Sting's 'Fragile'.Guitarist Tom Gledhill was no slouch either his neo soul styling was pure ear candy-tasteful too.

TL is no one trick pony.He's equally at home with jazz too.The 6/8 blessedness of the old evergreen and Bobby Darin classic 'Just Friends' was a particular highlight,dynamic and skilfully arranged proving the man is a double edged sword and capable of channelling the great Jonny Hartman no less! 'You Don't Know What Love Is ' was another good choice too show off their otherside but 'I'ts For The Love' was a little too stadium U2 for me and sounded out of kilter in a club environment but hey, it must be hard to shake off the roller coaster ride this guy has had throughout his career!

The biographical 'In My Shoes' restored my faith and order a terrific slice of bluesy and gutsy soul.Which sums up this artist what a treat it was too see such a great singer in this intimate surrounding.Tony Lindsay is without doubt a real touch of class!
PHOTOS EMRYS BAIRD
Words Emrys Baird

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