By Michael Wood

The guitarist’s many and varied side-projects seem to be rubbing off on his solo show.

Eighteen months ago, when he last visited the NIA , anyone dozing before the concert would have been shocked into consciousness by the thunderous, quickening drum beat opener for Slow Train.

This time around, he began with a 20-minute acoustic set, accompanied by Tal Bergman on African drums and Black Country Communion band-mate Derek Sherinian on the old Joanna. It was both beautiful and stunning in its virtuosity.

Then, with an abrupt “Thank you very much” from the guitarist, the acoustic instruments were swept aside and the full artillery revealed, as Bonamassa and band launched into a pounding rendition of Dust Bowl.

This was what his many thousand fans had come to hear.

There were plenty of full-blooded tracks to set the heart thumping  – not least a rousing tribute to The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again and the anthemic Driving Towards The Daylight from his latest album – but quieter, funkier and more melodic moments, too.

For a first encore, he delivered a somewhat wearied rendition of fans’ favourite Sloe Gin which, after referring to the “spike” in negative social media comments that would follow his decision to leave it out of some shows, he introduced with “for the umpteenth time… Sloe freakin’ Gin!"

But he then rounded off the 2hr 20min show with a truly pulsating rendition of The Ballad Of John Henry that was epic enough to send his fan club home deliriously happy.