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Jack White, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

For all of the White Stripes's red, black and white insignia, their frontman Jack White has always been about the blues.

His lauded work has long been fuelled by blistering blues riffs, country-punk and R&B – from the White Stripes's lo-fi garage, through The Raconteurs's alt-rock and The Dead Weather's psych-rock, to current solo album, Blunderbuss. Each of these vehicles was given a loud and thorough seeing-to.

White's entrance was extraordinary, firing head-on into what felt like the screaming climax of an epic Led Zeppelin jam, and this sense of drama and sonic dexterity didn't let up. The spectacle came in two thrilling parts (both flushed in monochrome), serviced by White's alternating backing bands. First up were the all-female, country-fried Peacocks, all vintage gowns, fiddles, double-bass and pedal steel; then came the saloon-style all-male Los Buzzardos, whose raw and down-home virtuosity evoked The Bad Seeds and The Blockheads.

An early, searing-blues appearance from Blunderbuss highlight Sixteen Saltines testified to White's enduring knack for shaking new life out of old traditions.

There were also string-drawn, big-band arrangements of favourites: the Peacocks-backed rock hoe-down of the Raconteurs's Steady As She Goes and their thunderstruck country-prog variant of the Dead Weather's I Cut Like A Buffalo; the Buzzardos-tooled rock-brawl on the White Stripes's The Hardest Button To Button, and an incendiary Seven Nation Army that saw the voluble crowd drown out White's almighty blues-force. No small feat.


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