Review: Dave Mason’ Traffic Jam, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Worcester-born Dave Mason may not have toured in the UK for over four decades, but it was great to see the one-time member of Traffic back in the UK and performing in Cardiff on Tuesday evening.

Opening with 40,000 Headmen from Traffic’s eponymous 1968 album, the Dave Mason Band consisting of Alvino Bennett on drums, Tony Patler on keyboards, Johnne Sambataro on guitar and Dave on lead guitar and vocals proceeded to treat the audience to several Traffic classics.

Among the songs featured were Dave’s lyrical reworking of Dear Mr. Fantasy and The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys, while Tony Patler provided strong vocal performances on Rock N Roll Stew and Medicated Goo

The first half rounded off with Feelin’ Alright, which has been covered by over 50 artists including Joe Cocker. Recently it featured in a bank advert allowing Dave to joke “The bank are now giving me money!” before launching into the song.

The second half focused on Dave’s solo career featuring his American hits Only You Know and I Know and We Just Disagree. The material itself was very strong and its surprising that it hasn’t had more recognition.

A rocking version of Apache in tribute to Dave’s childhood music hero Hank Marvin of The Shadows stirred a positive response from the audience, as did the one-track encore All Along the Watch Tower in tribute to Jimi Hendrix with whom Dave performed on the original single.

Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam concert only scratched the surface of a 5-decade career, but it was a fabulous overview. Let’s hope he’s back in the UK soon.

Read Andy Howells interview with Dave Mason

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