THE audience at Venue Cymru were undoubtedly treated to a masterclass in musicianship on Thursday evening.

Some of the best examples of rhythm and blues, roots and Americana were in evidence as part of a visit by Shakin Stevens.

Yes that's right Shakin Stevens.

This new sound from one of the UK's most successful and beloved recording artists proves something of a departure for fans from his rockabilly and Sun-studio inspired persona, and maybe too much for some.

His new album, Echoes Of Our Times, his first LP of new material in 11 years, has been winning him credibility and all-important airplay for on the likes of Radio 2, but judging by the reaction from the audience at Llandudno, I'm not convinced this translated to a live setting.

Support-act Danni Nicholls’ earnest US- roots set established the all-American theme for the evening.

Next up was the star of the show himself, who aided by a collection of accompanying images displayed at the back of the stage, raced onto the stage and into one of the new album’s rousing tracks Down in the Hole which relates to the conditions endured by his grandfather during his life spent down the mines.

This was followed by the albums title track which celebrated Stevens' late uncle and his role in the First World War.

More of this steel guitar and harmonica heavy soundtrack threatened to put a damper on proceedings until the singer unveiled an original-sounding version of one of his early hits Hot dog and his tribute to the late Chuck Berry It’s My Own Business, saw the audience respond.

After the interval the singer once again showcased tracks from the Echoes of Our Times album, one of which a moving track about his grandmother and her connection with the Salvation Army.

This was followed by great versions of hits Lipstick Powder and Paint and Marie Marie, and an ill-judged, slow-paced reworking of, along with Green Door, arguably his biggest hit, This Ole House.

This 33-date tour may be among his biggest on the back of the release of the Echoes of Our Times album, validation of the success and faith his producers and promoter has in his new set of songs but judging by the reaction of the audience in Llandudno it is his earlier feelgood hits that they clearly cherish and will ensure his place in their hearts for years to come.