Mean Fiddler, London, England
"Things have certainly changed for the ex-Guns N' Roses six-stringer in the last 14 months. From his farewell performance with GN'R at Wembley on 31 August 1991 in front of 72,000 people to this - his last date on a brief 4-date European jaunt in front of a capacity Mean Fiddler crowd of 500.
From the word go you could see Izzy was enjoying his new role as band leader and frontman as the show kicked into life with the first single to be released in this country - Pressure Drop - a cover of the Toots and the Maytals reggae classic. The Izzyfied version is certainly a far cry from the loose reggae groove of the original, with Izzy belting out a heads down rocker that could very well turn out to be a classic.
The Ju Ju Hounds proved themselves to be a band of high pedigree and msot importantly, of great talent. Rick Richardson (former Georgia Satellites) on lead guitar was a joy to the senses as he effortlessly carved out the solos, whilst the rhythm section of Charlie Quintina (drummer for Bob Dylan) and Jimmy Ashurst (former Broken Bones bassist) maintained the groove, ably assisted by Izzy on rhythm guitar and that familiar rasping voice.
The main set included the majority of the material from the Pressure Drop EP and the eponymous debut album. The highlights were the laid back blues/reggae of Can't Hear 'Em, the rockin' Train Tracks and the Ronnie Wood composition Take A Look At The Guy.
For the encore, Rick Richards took over the microphone for a cover of the Bo Diddley tune, Pills. This version was almost certainly inspired by the New York Dolls version of the song, as out went the laid back blues of the original as the band upped the tempo (and the volume) and literally stormed through the song.
The night was rounded off with a song that I thought had been forgotten long ago - Goodnight. Guns N' Roses performed the same song way back on 1 March 1986 at the Roxy, Los Angeles.
All in all, it was a great evening. Although there is zero chance of Izzy and the Ju Ju Hounds reaching the dizzy heights of GN'R, Izzy was having fun, and it showed. He said absolutely nothing during the show except for the title of each song, although this was not surprising. This guy wears his heart on his sleeve and that heart is pure rock 'n' roll."