Jeff Beck: Performing This Week...Live at Ronnie Scott's

Jeff Beck is joined by guests Joss Stone, Imogen Heap and Eric Clapton for some truly incredible performances during a week-long residency at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London.

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck: Performing This Week...Live at Ronnie Scott's

Distributor: Eagle Rock
Length: 155
MPAA rating: N/A
Contributors: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Imogen Heap, Joss Stone
Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment
First date: 2009-03-31
UK Release Date: 2009-03-30
US Release Date: 2009-03-31
Artist website

In the fall of 2008, a CD of Jeff Beck's week-long residency at Ronnie Scott's in London, was released with the publicity promising a future DVD of the performance. Well, now Jeff Beck: Performing This Week...Live at Ronnie Scott's is finally here and man, was it worth the wait!

The DVD not only includes bonus features like excellent interviews with Beck (something of a rarity) and his band, but it also significantly expands the performances to include things that were not available on the CD—most notably a jam with fellow former Yardbird, Eric Clapton. These additional songs, combined with the interviews, push the running time to nearly three hours, which makes it a must for any Jeff Beck fan, or indeed, any fan of live music.

Obviously, the audio is superb, even noticeably improved over what was on the CD, and the video is perfect. The view is better here than it could have possibly been for the audience at the time, simply because audience members had to contend with candle light at the tables. Not only that, but the close ups on individual players and instruments are unparalleled by any concert film in recent memory.

Naturally, most of this detailed camera work is focused on Beck, his finger work, his effortless technical wizardry and his whammy bar. However, plenty of attention is paid to the trio of talented musicians behind him, as well. Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and keyboardist Jason Rebello are all kinds of impressive when it's their turn in the spotlight, but it's 22-year-old bassist Tal Wilkenfeld who will really blow you away. She may look all of 12, but make no mistake, this is one funky woman! It's especially fun to watch the interplay between her and Beck, as she is clearly over the moon to be onstage with him and he looks every inch like a proud parent presenting a prodigy.

I'll wager not many people have ever seen Jeff Beck smile so obviously or so much when performing, and in fact the whole band is grinning from ear to ear throughout. It's a pleasure to see how much they are enjoying themselves, and it only adds to the heightened musical atmosphere.

The crowd, which includes several celebrity faces—Robert Plant can be seen openly digging it during a number of songs—is quite pleased, too. In fact, some are so clearly pleased as to be completely transfixed. And who can blame them? In addition to jaw-dropping performances of "Beck's Bolero", "Behind the Veil", "Blast from the East", "Goodbye Porkpie Hat/Brush with the Blues", a truly thunderous "Big Block" and a mesmerizing cover of "A Day in the Life", Beck brings some very special guests out to share his spotlight.

First up, Joss Stone steps in for a lovely version of "People Get Ready". Later, Imogen Heap steals that spotlight on her own "Blanket". Beck seems pleased as punch to have her, and she returns near the end of the set to accompany the band on the blues standard "Rollin' and Tumblin'". Still, it's when the night's biggest guest steps onstage that the gravity of the evening is beyond refute.

Introducing him as "someone who knows his way around a Stratocaster", Beck welcomes Eric Clapton to the stage with evident excitement and they launch into the Muddy Waters/Willie Dixon classic "Little Brown Bird" with Clapton on vocals. It's electrifying! Clapton doesn't often appear in situations like this anymore, so it's a rare treat to see and hear him trading licks with Beck Dixon's "You Need Love". This is more than two legends wailing the blues, it's two friends having a hell of a high time, and bringing down the house to boot!

After watching, it's not hard to reach the conclusion that Jeff Beck: Performing This Week...Live at Ronnie Scott's is one of the most impressive concert DVDs to ever come into existence. It far exceeds expectations on all fronts—sound, picture, performance, track lists, guests and extras. If there is a complaint to be voiced, it's that the DVD version fails to feature the set Beck played with the Big Town Playboys, which is included on the Blu-ray release. But that's a minor failing, and if anything, Jeff Beck: Performing This Week...Live at Ronnie Scott's will provide a reason to finally make the switch.





Run the Jewels - "Ooh LA LA" (Singles Going Steady)

Run the Jewels' "Ooh LA LA" may hit with old-school hip-hop swagger, but it also frustratingly affirms misogynistic bro-culture.


New Translation of Balzac's 'Lost Illusions' Captivates

More than just a tale of one man's fall, Balzac's Lost Illusions charts how literature becomes another commodity in a system that demands backroom deals, moral compromise, and connections.


Protomartyr - "Processed by the Boys" (Singles Going Steady)

Protomartyr's "Processed By the Boys" is a gripping spin on reality as we know it, and here, the revolution is being televised.


Go-Go's Bassist Kathy Valentine Is on the "Write" Track After a Rock-Hard Life

The '80s were a wild and crazy time also filled with troubles, heartbreak and disappointment for Go-Go's bass player-guitarist Kathy Valentine, who covers many of those moments in her intriguing dual project that she discusses in this freewheeling interview.


New Brain Trajectory: An Interview With Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree

Two guitarists, Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree make an album largely absent of guitar playing and enter into a bold new phase of their careers. "We want to take this wherever we can and be free of genre restraints," says Lee Ranaldo.


'Trans Power' Is a Celebration of Radical Power and Beauty

Juno Roche's Trans Power discusses trans identity not as a passageway between one of two linear destinations, but as a destination of its own.


Yves Tumor Soars With 'Heaven to a Tortured Mind'

On Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor relishes his shift to microphone caressing rock star. Here he steps out of his sonic chrysalis, dons some shiny black wings and soars.


Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras' tētēma Don't Hit the Mark on 'Necroscape'

tētēma's Necroscape has some highlights and some interesting ambiance, but ultimately it's a catalog of misses for Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras.


M. Ward Offers Comforting Escapism on 'Migration Stories'

Although M. Ward didn't plan the songs on Migration Stories for this pandemic, they're still capable of acting as a balm in these dark hours.


Parsonsfield Add Indie Pop to Their Folk on 'Happy Hour on the Floor'

Happy Hour on the Floor is a considerable departure from Parsonsfield's acclaimed rustic folk sound signaling their indie-pop orientation. Parsonsfield remind their audience to bestow gratitude and practice happiness: a truly welcomed exaltation.


JARV IS... - "House Music All Night Long" (Singles Going Steady)

"House Music All Night Long" is a song our inner, self-isolated freaks can jive to. JARV IS... cleverly captures how dazed and confused some of us may feel over the current pandemic, trapped in our homes.


All Kinds of Time: Adam Schlesinger's Pursuit of Pure, Peerless Pop

Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he would shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means one of the brightest stars in the power-pop universe has suddenly dimmed.


Folkie Eliza Gilkyson Turns Up the Heat on '2020'

Eliza Gilkyson aims to inspire the troops of resistance on her superb new album, 2020. The ten songs serve as a rallying cry for the long haul.


Human Impact Hit Home with a Seismic First Album From a Veteran Lineup

On their self-titled debut, Human Impact provide a soundtrack for this dislocated moment where both humanity and nature are crying out for relief.


Monophonics Are an Ardent Blast of True Rock 'n' Soul on 'It's Only Us'

The third time's the charm as Bay Area soul sextet Monophonics release their shiniest record yet in It's Only Us.


'Slay the Dragon' Is a Road Map of the GOP's Methods for Dividing and Conquering American Democracy

If a time traveler from the past wanted to learn how to subvert democracy for a few million bucks, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon would be a superb guide.


Bobby Previte / Jamie Saft / Nels Cline: Music from the Early 21st Century

A power-trio of electric guitar, keyboards, and drums takes on the challenge of free improvisation—but using primarily elements of rock and electronica as strongly as the usual creative music or jazz. The result is focused.


Does Inclusivity Mean That Everyone Does the Same Thing?

What is the meaning of diversity in today's world? Russell Jacoby raises and addresses some pertinent questions in his latest work, On Diversity.

Collapse Expand Reviews
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.