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Dweezil Zappa brings anniversary tour to Birmingham - review

Dweezil Zappa returned to Birmingham for the festive season once again, this time to perform his father Frank Zappa’s entire Hot Rats album in its 50th anniversary year.

Dweezil Zappa
Dweezil Zappa

And what an early Christmas gift this turned out to be for Zappa fans new and old alike.

The album played a pivotal role in establishing Frank Zappa as a composer and guitarist and was also dedicated to the new-born Dweezil upon its release in 1969.

And Dweezil with his incredible band more than did it justice on the last night of their European tour in Birmingham last night with many aficionados singing his praises on the way out at the end of a glorious night.

Special mention must go to Scheila Gonzalez who was simply breathtaking on sax and Dweezil showed why he is far more than a simple tribute act to his father - his own guitar playing a joy to listen to in its own right.

Alongside Hot Rats classics like Peaches En Regalia, The Gumbo Variations and even Little Umbrellas, performed with a mini bass, the night also threw up some unique moments.

After one Brummie audience member yelled out something no one could quite make out, but what sounded to Dweezil like "bring out the bones", it inspired an amusing call-and-answer with the audience in an improvised song of the same name.

The band also managed to squeeze in a top version of My Sharona with a Zappa-esque touch.

I also went to see the Frank Zappa hologram concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall earlier this year, which was an interesting watch - but for me nothing beats seeing dedicated Dweezil and his bandmates revelling in recreating his father's music on stage.

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