Steven Seagal’s Blues Band played Liverpool’s O2 Academy last night in the wake of the controversy surrounding him being dropped from an Estonian music festival.
Before the doors had opened at the Evol Presents gig, the humble Hollywood heavyweight was on hand to offer excited fans a chance to take pictures and get autographs.
Seagal appeared in a Don Corleone style coat draped over his shoulders, slicked-back black hair, a neckerchief and orange sun-glasses.
His style seemingly adding to the enigma, prompting one gushing woman to turn to her friend and: “I was always going to fancy him Debbie, he’s black.”
After the quick turnaround from supporting act The Viper Kings, who were capable in their own right, the crowd were forced to wait around 45 minutes for the cult action hero to appear on stage.
As the restlessness grew, chants of “Seagal, Seagal” rained out amongst sections of the audience.
Their demands were finally answered as his band took to the stage and began an elaborate instrumental. This was a clever rouse to stir up the audience’s anticipation.
It was fitting that there was green hue illuminating the band, as Steven Seagal emerged from the shadows, to a rapturous applause, quite literally to steal the lime light.
Seagal took centre stage, his goatee beard and husky voice seeming like a Tom Jones parody at first, but many fans perhaps attending out of intrigue or a sense of novelty were pleasantly surprised.
Whether he’s wielding a gun on screen or a guitar on stage, he is equally adept at both, make of that what you will.
He took to the guitar, the quick reactions from his movies not lost in his finger skills when playing the axe.
The singing was kept to a minimum and the band focused on what Jack Black would describe as “face melting solos”.
Hard hitting beats boomed out so loud you could feel the thuds hit your chest, trippy fluorescent visuals flashed across the room and as the band riffed back and forth. The crowd bopped their heads, tapped their feet and whipped out their own air guitars to play along.
After a couple of songs Seagal went on the charm offensive saying that in the hundred or so gigs he has performed across Europe: “Liverpool was the best.” I bet he says that to all the major European cities.
If that didn’t win Scousers over then what followed next surely did. After a couple of inaudible heckles, one member of the band said: “I remember when I had my first beer too.” This was followed by the drummer’s “ba dum dum tish” and fits of laughter from the audience.
Merely an hour before he was due to go on stage Seagal was dropped from a headlining spot at the Augustibluus festival in Estonia because of his his admiration for Vladamir Putin.
Seagal played a song called Boogie Man. “A sarcastic ploy to respect the beliefs of others” he said. And claimed it was dedicated to “those that don’t allow people to have their own view.” Possibly a jibe at his critics.
To say they played hard is an understatement. There was a brief intermission as Seagal revealed: “My drummer is such a beast, he broke his own drums.” They were swiftly put back together and the night came full circle.
After their final song, a nine minute jamming session with hardly a word spoken, Seagal left the stage.
It was not exactly BB King or for the musical purists but it was enjoyable nonetheless and so the majority of the crowd seemed to think so, cheering his name for an encore.
He didn’t disappoint and returned to the stage promptly, almost as though he had planned it all along…
Steven Seagal’s Blues Band duly delivered in their finale. The epic conclusion of this and most of their songs seemed to have the same theme; he got the girl, saved the world and looked pretty bad ass in the process. Roll credits.