BB King: Live At The Royal Albert Hall 201

Blues legend in laid-back form, with guests including Slash and Ronnie Wood.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Just turned 86, BB King’s live shows have, for several years, featured the great man seated reflectively picking at well worn career landmarks.

It’s remarkable that BB is open for business – rather like a fine battleship in dry dock – at all. But while the working parts are in order, the flashes of firepower are a decidedly distant echo of his glory days. King chats and purrs appreciatively while Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks – then Slash and Ronnie Wood – do the honours, providing spine tingling licks that echo his fabled, fret-thrilling style.

Like all BB live recordings, this DVD-accompanied set is dwarfed by the still unbeatable Live At The Regal from 1965. Even so, the respectful and playful mood, enhanced by the assured flow of BB’s celebrity fans, handsomely services his formidable legacy.

Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.