Charlotte Street Blues

Will Hatchett

It's a long queue for one who is barely famous

Soho. A weekday night. A crowd snakes through the rain

Folk, some in their fifties, wait patiently for you – us


Inside, the ambience, part concert hall, part pub

Is a fitting space for your soaring Les Paul

With its intimate tables – a New Orleans club


Sweat, fear and sorrow, in the dark, gave us these songs

Danger is part of the contract we all have

The crowd, restive and drunk, wills you to go on


Scowling, as if pride was not a mortal sin

You hack through a familiar repertoire

From the Bluesbreakers, a band you were never in


A camera flashes, a snarl crosses your face

Offended you lash out – like a wounded animal

To show generosity is to be truly great


Your last song is a cliche, painted on velvet

With its lurid colours and predictable lines

Are you a blues immortal? Not really – not yet


Your face distorts to the tortured howl of your guitar

The last riff in your book of tricks – not doing an encore

I turn away. The puzzled crowd calls for more