The blues rocker pays a visit to the south-west to the delight of the local fans keen to see this talented musician again.

Aynsley Lister is back at The Tunnels in Bristol, for what is becoming a regular visit. He seems to be forever on tour, in the UK and Europe, and always attracts a crowd. His talent has been recognised again, having received two nominations for this year’s British Blues Awards, for Best Male Vocal, and Guitarist of the Year. The crowd in the venue know why!

Without a support act, Aynsley has split the evening into two sets, with a 15-minute break in-between. The band features Boneto “Bunny” Dryden (drums), and new recruits Christian Dezulu (bass) and Jools Grudgings (keys).

The first set starts with “Big Sleep,” which is a great tune, pure rockin’ blues. It features an incredible solo to get the crowd on board. Next are five straight from the last album, Home, starting with the title track – always a favourite. “Broke,” with its talk of hardship, is probably more relevant now than when it was written.

Aynsley follows with the funky blues of “Inside Out” – another favourite with the crowd. “Sugar” ends the first set, with a long, full-on blues introduction. It is by far the most bluesy song in the half, with superb guitar work from Aynsley being matched up with his strong vocals.

After the break, it’s back with “Hyde 2612,” before “What’s it all About,” from the Equilibrium album. “Free” is next – a song that Aynsley wrote a few years ago about a friend he had lost. Aynsley dedicates the song to Brian Burns, who died the previous night of a heart attack on the way back from a gig. He was an avid blues supporter, who many in the crowd had known, and this is a fitting tribute to a great man.

The Freddie King classic “Tore Down” is next. It features a fantastic keyboard solo, some great drum work, a steady bass, and the obligatory Aynsley solo. It has everything in one song – even an amusing guitar/keyboard duel that brings smiles from the band and the crowd alike.

Aynsley tells us he is getting lots of job satisfaction tonight, and enjoying what he is doing. The crowd notices, too – the performance is one of his best. The set is brought to a close with “Possession,” another storming track, with some blistering work again from Aynsley. The show tonight is only the second time the band have played together in this line-up, but the bass and keys show no signs of being the new boys, as they sound tight.

The people still want more, and the band comes back out to give us the usual crowd-pleaser “Purple Rain” as the encore. Sounding wonderful as always, with guitar work even Prince himself would be proud of, the crowd sings along to end the evening in style.

Another superb performance from this great guitarist – it’s easy to see why he has received his many awards and nominations in recent years.

Aynsley is on tour around the UK from October to December. Check the website for dates.

Aynsley Lister
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