Led Zeppelin Classics Mastered by Violins and more

Led Zeppelin Classics Mastered by Violins and more

Led Zeppelin Classics Mastered by Violins and more

 

 

Tonight, was the juxtaposition of classic rock courtesy of Led Zeppelin favourites with the Heart of England Orchestra, renamed for the UK Tour with Zep Boys Black Dog Orchestra.  Tonight the Colston Hall stage had the unusual combination of Marshall Stacks with music stands for strings and brass; with the drummer front and left of stage held within a Perspex cage.

Australian Zep Boys have a passion for Zep’s music and have created something more than a tribute band. Does it work for me a mix of yes and maybe? The Colston Hall audience was definitely won over as they got up and danced and cheered the boys from down under. The lightshow was spectacular and the musicianship superb. For me though there was something missing, the orchestration by Nick Buck was good, but something was missing. What was it? Then it dawned on me it was the freedom of improvisation that a live rock show has that makes live music have that element of danger and interest as the rock on stage goes off-piste.

Led Zeppelin Classics Mastered by Violins and moreThe thirty-Five piece Black Dog Orchestra added a new dimension of strings, brass and woodwind. The trombones overpowered at times, and more cellos would have given a deeper tonal texture. Upfront was the Zep Boys who knew how to rock with Vince Contario leading with vocals that capture the essence of Robert Plant. Joining Vince were Tzan Niko with a phalanx of guitars including the trademark double neck; bassist Warwick Cheatle and in his cage drummer Bradley Polain, who in 2017, thrity-Seven years after the untimely death of John Bonham found the inner Bonzo in the delivery of Moby Dick. The set list was divided in two halves and there is no doubt that some worked better than others in this experimental format.

Led Zeppelin Classics Mastered by Violins and moreThe opening of the evening with Black Dog Orchestra, was an intriguing overture and insight into the evening as Black Dog, Stairway to Heaven Kashmir and other snippets flowed out over the auditorium.

The first set highlight was The Rain Song, though it did lose the balladic form with the addition of the orchestra. Ending with Rock n’ Roll the audience were left wanting more; there were a lot of happy  Zep fans in the house tonight.

Opening the second set with Kashmir, the combination really worked the sound was balanced and the ethereal sound of the orchestra exploded with a wall of lush strings cascading over the guitar.  In the set was Stairway to Heaven another outing for the twin-neck from Nico as was Song Remains The Same.  Closing the night with Whole Lotta Love, the audience went wild and there was a lot of love on the room for Zep Boys and Black Dog Orchestra.

The combination was a crowd pleasing winner, proving once again the power of Zeppelin’s songs. Rock is a flexible beast and Led Zeppelin discography certainly met the world of classic instruments front on and came out on top.  Yes, the combination of Marshalls and violin stands worked most of the time and certainly the first tour to the UK of Zep Boys combining with Black Dog Orchestra is a success in the eyes of the audience last night in Colston Hall.

 

Led Zeppelin Classics Mastered by Violins and more

Hayseed Dixie, French Hard Rock Excites The Globe Cardiff Tonight

Hayseed Dixie, French Hard Rock Excites The Globe Cardiff Tonight

 

Hayseed Dixie, French Hard Rock Excites The Globe Cardiff Tonight

 

Hayseed Dixie, French Hard Rock Excites The Globe Cardiff TonightWith a sold out show, everyone was at The Globe to hear the unique Hayseed Dixie take on classic songs we love to hear. Before the main event up on stage was an unknown entity, on the second night of their first UK Tour, a young French band, Dätcha Mandala. The band met Hayseed Dixie when playing Las Pieds Dans La Vase last year. With 22 dates they will be reaching audiences who will be amazed by the hard rock energy with psychedelic overtones all to a backdrop of blues riffs. Tonight the energetic leg flying Nicolas Sauvey, Bassist who takes the lead vocals and adds the tone of Harmonica whilst guitarist Jérémy Saigne who kneels as the high-octane Gibson fills the air provided an energetic front for the band.  With a stand-in drummer following the band’s drummer breaking his wrist we were treated to a warm-up act that certainly got the musical adrenalin running.  This is hard rock colliding with Buddhist spirituality they are a band who entertain and certainly put on a show.

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Hayseed Dixie, French Hard Rock Excites The Globe Cardiff TonightHayseed Dixie has been a crowd-pleasing act since they formed in 2000; after fifteen albums ‘Rockgrass’ must be hitting the crowd-pleasing button. This is a band that despite having a brand new album Free Your Mind and Your Grass Will Follow did not provide a sales pitch it was about delivering songs,  a mix of  Dixie’s originals and their creative re-working of songs from across the genres of popular numbers.  Not many set lists include War Pigs, Bohemian Rhapsody, Ace of Spades and Oliver’s Army. Hayseed Dixies DID! This Bluegrass ho down meets classic rock as the acoustic bass and guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin are on a collision course of rock & country creating a genre of their own grass rock it is music mayhem that works it is infectious.  Sold out at The Globe means the venue is crammed with excited fans who just want to have fun, they did not need any encouragement from the foursome.  The members may have changed but the music has stayed the same.  Tonight, John Wheeler, Jake Bryers, Joe Hymas and Tim Carter came and conquered the capital city once again. As they explained, “we have playing this music longer than many marriages, must be doing something right as we explore Drinking, Cheating, Killing and Hell”. We all agreed in one very loud voice.

Hayseed Dixie, French Hard Rock Excites The Globe Cardiff TonightThis is a band that does music their own way with its foot tapping, arms waving let’s dance to the beat and harmonies. They may not appear to be taking themselves too seriously. Do not let the jokes and wise cracks fool you; this is music that delivers in spades.

Tonight Liz from Bluesdoodles was tired post-festival fatigue was setting in having been in Sheffield all weekend. So Tuesday night more live music, but having missed seeing Hayseed Dixie too many times she wasn’t going to let sore feet get in her way.  The music was fun, lively with a good time vibe so staying until the last note died away was a pleasure, not pain. Why?  A set list that is a rollercoaster of hell raising mayhem that hits the spot all post bank holiday blues were blown away by Hayseed Dixie in Cardiff tonight.

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 Hayseed Dixie, French Hard Rock Excites The Globe Cardiff Tonight

Bristol Springs Alive With Blackberry Smoke

Bristol Springs Alive With Blackberry Smoke

Bristol Springs Alive With Blackberry Smoke

 

 

Spring sunshine warmed the pavements as the crowds gathered on the street outside the O2 Academy Bristol. The draw tonight was a double hitting rocking with energy delight with Biters opening the cavalcade of music, culminating with Blackberry Smoke. The bands are both label mates and friends so the pairing made sense on many levels to the audience it was the music, quality.

Bristol Springs Alive With Blackberry SmokeThere was a rock n’ roll, retro bite as the band kicked off the night it was full steam ahead for music fun and games.  The quartet from Georgia, stepped onto the stage with a step back into the past Norman Greenbaum, Spirit In the Sky. This is a band that have both feet in the 1970’s including a number celebrating the golden age of rock 1975. With the task of warming the crowd, they immediately connected with the Bristol tonight, with a shout out for the gigging venue on a boat we all love where they have played. Thekla the venue where we hear first many a band that become firm favourites, demonstrating the importance of a vibrant and varied landscape of venues in a city. Cardiff, please take note; Womanby Street is a cultural asset!

Bristol Springs Alive With Blackberry SmokeNow, back to the music with influences flowing through the veins of the music but never clogging the artistry with hints of Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzie and a large helping of T-Rex.  Biters, have a forthcoming album due out 19th May on EarAche records; The Future Aint’ What It Used To Be. The superb and ear-catching single from the forthcoming album Stone Cold Love full of T-Rex vibe was part of the opening numbers and we certainly were riding a retro rollercoaster of delight. Fitting in with the southern rock/country rocking vibe Georgia and Gypsy Rose fitted the starter menu perfectly. This is music that entertains. Energetic young band the perfect platform of hooks that caught the vocals and licks that made you shout with joy as the drums pulled the rhythm through every number.

Bristol Springs Alive With Blackberry Smoke

The Bristol crowd was excited and ready for more rock in the form of Blackberry Smoke.  Back in Bristol, a band they are road warriors getting their distinctive sound majestic Southern Rock, authentic. They are as they describe themselves Too Country for Rock; Too Rock for Country the sound is a collision of two genres into a crescendo of rock that is full of southern warmth and edgy charm. Tonight Like An Arrow Tour rolled into Bristol, the city music fans appreciated this as the venue was packed from top to bottom.  Opening with Fire In The Hole we are ready to put reality on hold and be transported into the land of Blackberry Smoke with the setlist full of songs from the discography covering the whole of the twenty-first century. Yes, Blackberry Smoke are a millennium southern rocking explosion.   This is good time rocking music with an edge, the sound Bristol Springs Alive With Blackberry Smokepermeated through the crowd creating an electric party atmosphere.  With Waiting For Thunder from current album having the audience singing and this will be a keeper for a live set becoming a classic.  The melding of American music is evident in a number that rocks and Charlie Starr, pulling on the tradition of the holler and the lead break from the keyboard under the guidance of Brandon Still is picked up by the guitar. What a number only five songs in and the venue is steaming with this heavy hollering delight. The music flows with an energy as the southern rock credentials pour through the O2, with Pretty Little Lie.  The wonderful southern slide sound from Charlie’s Gibson 335 was a joy to behold, and the keys add that extra tonal layer we are all transported to a special place that live music takes you. There has to be the jam moment, tonight A Sleeping Dog, from The Whippoorwill album is segued with Your Time Is Gonna Come as Zeppelin and Allman’s sounds are pulled into the version tonight. This is the moment when time stands still as the audience is collectively transfixed by the music we are a single entity absorbed and re-vitalised by the cleansing sound of guitars washing the dust away.

Tonight, music is a celebration of the sound of Americana with a willing audience participating in Ain’t Got The Blues, no-one in the audience tonight had the blues the music was a celebration of the positive, feeling good was the result.  Another number celebrating the sound of the Acoustic guitar was One Horse Town. All to soon time was catching up the encore left us with a trio of delights. We wanted more, tonight Blackberry Smoke were on top of the game. The guitar harmonies flawless, the percussive rhythm full of edge and the vocals poured out across the auditorium.  Closing with Ain’t Much Left, the music had said it all. Live Music rocks with Blackberry Smoke and Biters tonight.

Bristol Springs Alive With Blackberry Smoke

 

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April Roadstars Are Broken Witt Rebels and Bad Touch

April Roadstars Are Broken Witt Rebels and Bad Touch April Roadstars Are Broken Witt Rebels and Bad TouchApril Roadstars Are
Broken Witt Rebels and Bad Touch

 

 

 

April Roadstars Are Broken Witt Rebels and Bad TouchSpring sunshine warming  Cardiff pavements, but not as hot as The Globe scorching from the two rock n roll sets from rising British Bands 2017 Planet Rock Roadstars show; Broken Witt Rebels & Bad Touch. First up in a lava flow of Rock from the red hot Birmingham band Broken Witt Rebels. Many bands would leave the crowd-pleasing signature number that Low, from the acclaimed EP Georgia Pine, has become. BUT, not the rebels this is the opening track they are opening on a high. High flowing rock that rolls around The Globe the crowd are jumping with delight they want more and more of Danny’s power blazing vocals, they are howling so the next number is perfect for the atmosphere created on a Sunday night, live music that Is Howlin’ good.  Broken Witt Rebels are tight, they are having a great time playing the music we want to hear. This is a band that will rise to the top as the music is hot, tasty and created by a volcanic amalgam of music that shaped the seventies into a creative free form delight of classic rock infused with soul and whisky flaming southern riffs.  The beating, pulsing heart of the Rebels is front man Danny Core, his vocals and stage artfulness catapult the band to the top of the rock face of young bands with ambition.  He makes every song distinctive, the phrasing shaping the lyrics and the rebels behind him provide him with a trampoline that bounces with musicianship that sparks with attitude and flair. The drumming is energetic full of dramatic beats and cooled with phrasing and cymbal work from James Dudley whose sticks rise high and create the percussive tone for every song. Adding to the rhythApril Roadstars Are Broken Witt Rebels and Bad Touchm is the bass work from Luke Davis whose deep notes give us tone that takes us deep into the crater of joy that is the BWR music. Up front and on lead guitar giving Danny structure and his own delicious lead breaks, riffs and the hooks for Danny’s rhythm guitar as he described his playing ‘I am just a chord monkey’, James Tranter is the guitar wizard. At times through the set Danny sinks to the floor kneeling full of emotion, this is not in praying but in victory as the songs leap from a title on a set sheet into full blazing live glory. There is another chilled side as Turn Me On demonstrated that new songs are being added to a catalogue that has depth and that makes a live band great. Closing out the brilliant sparkling volcanic rocking set was Guns, we all know this from radio play and the number of times they have played the back catalogue.  The encore was Shake Me Down, Danny and the boys definitely gave everyone a demonstration of a rock n rolling shake down that made Sunday night fizz.

 

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April Roadstars Are Broken Witt Rebels and Bad TouchShort break and many of the crowd took time out to chat with the Rebels and buy some merchandise to take home. The Globe was on musical fire as the red lights reflected back the heat of energy generated by live music.  With a young band from deepest Norfolk, there was nothing flat about the Southern rock infused quintet Bad Touch. The only task they had was following on from the dynamic crowd-pleasing Broken Witt Rebels to ensure the audience’s energy didn’t wane. Did they achieve this, Yes they did! How, Truth Be Told a mix of showcasing their latest album and the combination of front man vocalist and tambourine man Stevie Westwood, and a trailblazing secret, well not so secret weapon the guitar playing of the latest member of the band Harry Slater. The shape and approach is different from BWR, so we all wanted to hear the harder edgier rock from Bad Touch. Opening with One Night More, technical gremlins attacked the drummer George Drewery, who continued playing his loud hard drumming despite not being able to hear the rest of the band. Once sorted the band were firing on all five cylinders again.  Completing the Bad Touch sound is Daniel ‘seeks’ Seekings on guitar and bassist Michael Bailey who add such depth and tone to the Bad Touch Rock. Highlights of the set were Sweet Little April Roadstars Are Broken Witt Rebels and Bad TouchSecret from their debut album that hit the mark and Half Way Home.  Bad Touch are a sure touch that they will be making musical waves that purr with a lion’s roar of dominance. They have a sound that connects, heavy, hard and full of licks and vocal refrains that are earworms. We had cowboy refrains with Outlaw, softer with a sting in its musical tail. Stevie whirls and swirls tambourine held high but it is his vocals that gain your attention they have an attitude that makes them compelling on numbers such as Words I Never Say and then a different tone with radio friendly 99%. This is a number that has a little extra with its huge chorus and energy there is much more to be heard from these young guns of rock. Closing with The Mountain, we were left with Harry’s guitar fireworks and Stevie’s gritty vocals singing in our ears. Live music made Sunday sparkle with Rock n’ Roll.

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Tonight, everyone at The Globe came to hear and see the Roadstars a duo of bands Broken Witt Rebels & Bad Touch. The reward was seeing to young bands creating a summit of rock numbers that will become classics of the future. The future of rock is bright strong and full of vigour with these young bands.

April Roadstars Are Broken Witt Rebels and Bad Touch

 

Inbound weather for Cardiff Thunder is in Town

Inbound weather for Cardiff Thunder is in Town

Inbound weather for Cardiff Thunder is in Town

 

Do not let the clear blue skies deceive you, Cardiff is in for a British rock invasion with the promise of stormy weather brewing under the mighty hammer of Thor as Thunder hit the stage with an array of cameras. The show was being filmed tonight which added to the eagerness to get the show underway. Opening the evening, Cats In Space filled Inbound weather for Cardiff Thunder is in TownThe Motorpoint Arena’s stage with energy and ready to warm up an already excitable Cardiff crowd. The rock is classic, British taking you back to the seventies highlighted by the entrance to The Sweeney theme tune. The vocalist and frontman Paul Manzi is engaging and sings a mighty fine rock melody, reminding you why they caused a noise a few years back with Too Many Gods, their debut album.  The sound was polished with layers of sounds and textures with keys and guitars displaying in all their glories on Greatest Story Never Told a track that stood out from the others. With Andy Stewart behind the keyboard wearing a mighty fine Top Hat adorned quirky decorations the choice of The Mad Hatters Tea Party was a perfect fit and introducing fans to their forthcoming album of the same title.  With all the cats launched into space replete with rock. the crowd was ready for the forecasted stormy weather as the mighty Thunder took to the stage.

Inbound weather for Cardiff Thunder is in TownThe Motorpoint was hot the cheering immense as Jungle Boogie from Kool and The Gang rang out and the band took to the stage and Danny Bowes lifted the mic to sing, Brit Rock never sounded better in a set that was full of tracks from their acclaimed latest album Rip It Up.  The welcome from the Capital City of Wales was warm and heartfelt we wanted the evening to rock our socks off with energy and surprises and Thunder certainly delivered from the first to the last note. As ever The Motorpoint a vast cavernous space more Sports Hall than Concert Hall the echoes were present but the sound guys had certainly worked hard to reduce them for tonight to a minimum.

Inbound weather for Cardiff Thunder is in TownOpening with No One Gets Out Alive, from Rip It Up, the crowd were totally immersed into the waves of Thunder sound, the question to be asked would they let the band on the stage? Cardiff was in a mood to party especially with camera’s aloft swooping across the arena. Danny Bowes was in his element engaging and egging the crowd on to be louder as he danced and swirled around the stage with is signature boundless energy. Combining this with never missing a beat and his vocals always clear and soaring majestically out across the auditorium. Thunder is not a band supporting the frontman’s antics they are a tour-de-force to enjoy with rock melodies and riffs cascading through every track.  Luke Morley’s guitar playing was immense the solo lead breaks pulling out the emotional energy within the rock with the power of Gary James aka Harry drumming immaculately as ever a demonstration of how cymbals can be subtle as well as clanging with brute force.  Completing the quintet, bassist Chris Childs with his solid rhythms and Ben Matthews with his guitar, keys and the mighty cowbell towards the end of the set on Love Walked In.

Inbound weather for Cardiff Thunder is in TownThe perennial crowd pleaser River of Pain (Shooting at the Sun), proves Dany’s voice is as lyrically powerful and full of singing acrobatics as ever and makes Thunder’s rock a fizzy delight, a storm brewing that always refreshes and never cools the Cardiff Crowd. In between the half a dozen tracks from Rip It Up including the title track and yes Cardiff did Rip It Up, the cheering of the crowd was off the Richter scale. Old favourites were given an airing sounding fresh as ever with Backstreet Symphony and Don’t Wait for Me slipped into a set list that was alive with hallmarked British Rock verve and energy.

Friday night provided a big kick start for the weekend and before the encore, Cardiff was having the weekend of their lives. With three more numbers filling in the encore sandwich was She Likes Cocaine from Rip It Up a special track on the album with the addition of Lynne Jackaman’s powerful rock operatic soprano crescendos. Tonight for Cardiff Jackaman stepped on stage and lifted the atmosphere a notch higher. What a way to lead into the last song of the night. A great gig by one of the best live British Rock acts around.

 

 

Inbound weather for Cardiff Thunder is in Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The Tunnels

Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The Tunnels

Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The Tunnels

 

Outside as the March wind blew through Bristol, we knew that the hot sirocco of a vocals storm was brewing in The Tunnels as Kaz Hawkins and her band hit the stage. Kaz is riding on a blues fuelled crest of a wave as she embarks on a mini British tour and they were tight and hot across a set that made us laugh, cry and be awash with the emotional power of live music.  Fresh from a solo trip to Nashville and the band reaching the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge with the U.K. having a band showcasing British Blues for the first time at the event.

Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The TunnelsTonight, it was as we all expected a rip-roaring performance from the band who grow from strength to strength. The rhythm section brothers bassist Ján and drummer Peťo Uhrin provide more than a solid base. The rhythms were deep and adding another layer of drama into the mix is the fiery fender displays from guitarist Nick McConkey. His tasty licks and hooks are a feature of the Kaz sound providing the perfect accompaniment for the full-on power of Kaz.

Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The TunnelsThe set was full of firm favourites from her debut album Get Ready and her latest Feelin’ Good with numbers that mix up the blues with funk, country, and Celtic soul, every number  sung as if for the first time from the heart. Every song is a special moment for everyone who had turned out to The Tunnels on a Thursday night. Those who missed her tonight in Bristol missed a night of live music fireworks. As Kaz sung Believe With Me, we all believed in the music being delivered this is blues with an extra shot of high-octane energy. As Kaz arranged her signature petticoats as she sat behind the keys to sing This Is Me, dedicated to everyone searching for inner strength and a pray for all of us to love ourselves for who we are. Like all of Kaz’s numbers, the emotions are raw, personal and hit your spine with honesty and soulfulness. Kaz’s songwriting is always aspired by real people, I Saw A Man,  about a homeless man Kaz met in London, but always dedicated to Belfast man Norman the intensity of the lyrics are added to by the drumming of Peťo using felted drumsticks, the beat is muffled beating out the endless repeating rhythm as if walking the streets as Kaz narrates the tale hitting the high notes with perfect pitch and howling with pain and then the deep colour of her powerful voice adding to the drama.

Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The TunnelsTonight was a time for smiling as well as tears with fans flying in from Belfast and an old friend from school days seeing after a long time no wonder Belfast Time was included in the mix. But Kaz is more than the power of her vocals it is her ability to connect with people. As she shares fears and bad times of her life along with celebration of hitting two out of three life goals, making a career in Music, being a non-smoker both ticked off and now she embarks on becoming fit under the supervision of her personal trainer.  Kaz laughs with you and at herself, with a wardrobe failure her hair would not behave, first losing the scarf and then escaping the pins. This is Kaz, a real person who wants you to find the power of life through her songs.

A song that always brings a smile and tonight we all enjoyed singing on Hallelujah Happy People a real highlight of her set as is Feelin Good, a great rearrangement of this classic. With a great emotional lead break from Nick as the first half finished we were all feeling good in the presence of Miz Kaz.

Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The TunnelsOpening, the second set was a Kaz solo with her acoustic guitar a song she recently wrote in the Bluebird Café in Nashville, The River That Sings. Dedicated to Alabama legend Tom Hendrix and the wonderful stone wall, taking over thirty years to complete in memory of the 600 miles his Great, great Grandmother walked. As the notes faded and the applause filled the venue the boys came back on stage.

Her teenage years were difficult and the cleansing power of the emotional Believe in Me and the songs inspired by ex-boyfriends, Drink With The Devil and Can’t Afford Me put them firmly in their place out of Kaz’s life. We had soul with Soul Superstar and a flick of the legendary petticoats and the wide smile that warms The Tunnels.  The night closed with Kaz’s re-working of I Just Want To Make Love To You, and then the Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The Tunnelsencore with Shake that allows Kaz to display the full vocal range and colour of her voice. Kaz Hawkins Kicking Up A Music Storm At The Tunnels as she took her turn on the drums,  reaffirming this is not an act to miss.

With the love of Kaz’s warm heart and the power of her vocals ringing in our ears we collectively wish her and the band every success as they go off to The European Blues Challenge in Denmark.

 

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then Mud Morganfield

Muddy Waters re-visited at Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then
Mud Morganfield

Memories and the music that is the sound portrait of his father. More Blues within the jazz with a double bill of blues delights, Kirk Fletcher followed by Mud Morganfield. Starting the late afternoon helping of the blues, Kirk Fletcher with Jonny Henderson on Hammond and Matt Brown on drums.

Muddy Waters re-visited at Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival The second trio of the afternoon, again like Robben Ford earlier, there is no bass player. Who needs a bass player when you have Jonny Henderson’s left-hand prowess. For anyone who says the blues sounds the same come and listen to Robben Ford followed by Kirk Fletcher, two trios with the guitarist and vocalist the main attraction, both from the USA; inspired by the roots of the blues from the Cottonfields of the Southern states of America. Kirk Fletcher is more intense dripping in blues licks, soul and emotion. Kirk Fletcher recognised by many as an outstanding blues player, having been lead guitarist for four years with The Fabulous Thunderbirds and as part of the Joe Bonamassa sound. Everyone, who loves the blues was saddened to hear the death of blues harmonica maestro James Cotton, it was no surprise that Kirk dedicated a number to him.

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then Mud MorganfieldAs the afternoon morphed into early evening no-one was running out of the hall as Kirk played Run, Run, Run. With a new album in the pipeline joining his four previous albums, a live one and three in the studio; we had a preview with a number dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan a stylish instrumental that blended the trio together. The afternoon set consisted of tracks from his repoitoire made alive with the power and energy of a quality jam as Jonny and Matt took up the blues challenge laid down by Kirk’s dynamic guitar playing. If you didn’t know you would have thought they had played together for years, rather than just for the festival as he heads off to Europe for a tour.  The good news is he is back in the UK in the autumn and will definitely be back in Bristol at The Tunnels. The set was smooth a cocktail of blues guitar with a new song included with Kirk exploring the eternal question Wish I Had The Answer. This is blues that is full of the whole palette and warmed the hall up for the second helping on the double bill Mud Morganfield.

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then Mud MorganfieldAs the band supporting Mud filled the stage it was the first harmonica, first bass and first grand piano, as we settled to enjoy the reliving of the blues power of Muddy Waters through his son Mud Morganfield brought up in Chicago by his mother and uncles, his father Muddy was an occasional visitor. He did not take up music despite being surrounded by music growing up until after his father’s death in 1983. Following a dream he decided to swap truck driving to being a professional blues singer with his vocals instantly recognisable in the similarity to downtown finger clicking Chicago blues as Mud Morganfield shared memories whilst creating a sound portrait of his father this is so much more than a tribute it is the reenactment, as near to the real deal as is humanly possible. We also had the first slide guitar of the day and it was deliciously sharp as Mud was dancing to the beat much to the delight of Colston Hall this evening.

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then Mud MorganfieldThe blues were hollered up in every shade with lead breaks and play from all the instruments in turn as hooks for Mud’s vocals as he delivered his father’s catalogue of classics. Mud Morganfield is the legacy that keeps the legend live on stages across the world. We definitely got our Mojo Working, as we met the Seventh Son and left with the Backdoor Man. The musicianship was fantastic and we all left with the soul of Muddy’s legacy ringing in our ears as we moved on to the next act at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival.

 

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Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

 

Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues FestivalColston Hall over the weekend is filled with music, from the foyer to the main stage. Opening Saturday afternoon Robben Ford’s guitar and vocals were joined by Hammond Organ supremo Jonny Henderson and jazz/blues drumming wizard Evan Jenkins.  This was Robben Ford bringing blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival.

The audience sat in anticipation waiting for the fireworks to spark as blues meets jazz creating the sound that defines Robben Ford across the years. The set list was a journey through various albums with a cluster from his acclaimed current album Into The Sun. The trio worked perfectly with an intuitive understanding of where the music was taking them forming shapes and colours that sparkled; with Jonny and Evan playing off each other, opening up the guitar leads breaks for Robben, they sat above the keys and drums but never distant from them. The three musician’s synergy added to every number they shared with us, the audience who collectively purred with the delights of music of the quality as part of a festival that is five years on becoming an integral part of the Bristol music scene.

Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues FestivalMy favourite moment was Rose of Sharon from Into the Sun with the Hammond’s chords and Evan’s drumming creating a backdrop where Robben’s guitar could fly with the six-strings sparking with energy and blues-drenched style. We heard a firm favourite the tribute that Freddie King, Cannonball Shuffle, for a few moments Robben brought the spirit of Freddie into the auditorium. Robben’s vocals were full of warmth drench in the blues with a story to tell, yet the trio raised the bar with the instrumental, from Bringing It Back Home. On That Mornin’ wow, I truly believe the audience collectively held their breath so nothing disturbed the music being delivered, we were all in a special, unique collective musical moment.

No one would argue, Robben Ford was on fire this afternoon for the Bristol Jazz & Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues FestivalBlues Festival. This was a masterclass in blues guitar playing full of timing, emotion and the soul that makes blues blend and bend around the lyrics.

Closing out the afternoon with an authentic blues number, Set A Date, provided a perfect ending as jazz collided with blues and many will be Setting a Date to see Robben Ford live wherever and whenever he plays in the U.K. again.

 

Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr

Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari SchorrBristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari SchorrBristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr

 

Colston Hall, returns with the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival. The venue is awash with music, a chance to catch up with friends and chill in the foyer with an array of free spectacular shows. Tonight The Lantern shone bright as Lorna took the vocal lead for Northsyde and their distinctive blending of blues, funk twisted with the free flow of blues jam tradition weaving in the Allman Brothers and a rocky edge.

Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari SchorrTonight, Lorna was resplendent in Black Top Hat and flowing wig, by the end of the set both were dispatched to the wings and the cropped urchin beauty was revealed adding a vulnerability that is counter intuitive to the strong vocals. With a collection of Northsyde defined numbers the set list played to the combined strengths of the band, Lorna up front with vocals that curl and turning lyrics into an angst-ridden journey through the melody. The grounding of the melodies are defined by the powerhouse of a rhythm section, Hayden Doyle on drums and the distinctive bass lines of Ian Mauricio. Yes, you were right left-handed Ian has the stringing on his bass upside down. Pulling the rhythm together and building complexity is the wizardry of Jules Fothergill’s guitar explosions of licks, and hooks for Lorna’s vocals to build on and exploit using her vocal range from growl to pure soprano. With an outing of Mr Sistabish from the hotly anticipated fourth album due out this Summer, we had funky Cherry Picking, and Mercy – the live track from Storytellers Daughter.  Tonight melded into the music adventure Living Colour, Stevie Wonder and with Denny Ilett entering the fold adding another layer of Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorrguitar as he played with Jules they were having fun. This made Northsyde’s signature cover Whipping Post rather special for their first trip down the M4 to Bristol.  The interplay between Jules and Denny was unforgettable in its majesty. What a start to a night dominated by vocals that soar above the band. Short break, and Sari Schorr and The Engine room filled the Lantern with blues that rock with the dynamic energy and power of charisma being shared across the audience so that everyone is touched by the gentle dignity that is Sari Schorr.

Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr

Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari SchorrNo gentle warm up with Sari and her band, she hit the ground running and the tension power and sheer beauty of live music just kept coming. The set list was dominated by tracks from her critically acclaimed debut album Force Of Nature. The album title perfectly describes Sari’s voice it is a true force of nature. Sari leaps into the vocals shaping and building the lyrics, every song she has a tale that you want to follow. Yes, she has confidence in the lyrics and her vocal prowess, more importantly, is her unwavering confidence and joy with the Engine Room the band that surrounds her. With Innes Sibun on guitar, we are in for a pyrotechnic display, controlled and wild and cool under the pressure of the amp blowing during the first outing of Black Betty tonight. With no guitar on stage, it was Anders Olinder’s keys that seamlessly took over with chords that filled the Lantern. The Engine Room are an organic force that works around the demands of the song and Sari, with a rhythm section that fills out the melodies with textures as the two Kevin’s collaborate, O’Rourke on drums and Jeffries in charge of the bass line.

Sari Schorr Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorropened with Ain’t Got No Money the set continued to build and flow, with a preview of what is to come in the highly anticipated second album we heard Cat & Mouse, a highlight of the set and really whets the appetite for more Sari live and recorded. No subject is taboo for Sari, with Domestic Abuse explored without judgement with emotionally charged Damn The Reason. With Sari, the voice is an emotionally charged instrument combined with theatrical movements of hands and swirling dance steps the tension builds as though you are listening through Sari’s whole being. Heroin and addiction is explored with Aunt Hazel and we visit Oklahoma. Closing with Ordinary Life, Sari in the introduction praises her musicians, record label but above all Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorrthe audiences that gives her the stage to sing from. Ordinary lives are anything but ordinary, with the melody that is gentler and at times Sari sings A Capella with a vulnerability as we are all special we are all looking to find our true potential. Sari with the Engine Room has definitely found hers we want to hear that voice perform over and over again. The interpretation of every song is special full of energy if languid with pathos and Innes guitar matches the mood wild and reflective he is always entertaining and his solo lead breaks are a feat to behold every time.

The encore, was Black Betty as we should have heard it the first time, with the stupendous Innes Sibun solo written by him and with the darkness of vocal tone Black Betty is reworked and always a Sari spectacular and now her signature number. Tonight we heard high-octane blues of the highest quality and what a voice, what a guitarist to have both in the same band takes blues-rock to a different level.

Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr

Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr, once again Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival delivers music that is special.

 

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Monster Truck Making Wednesday Rock at The Marble Factory

Monster Truck Making Wednesday Rock at The Marble Factory Monster Truck
Making Wednesday Rock at
The Marble Factory

 

 

Monster Truck Making Wednesday Rock at The Marble Factory Wednesday night, midweek low, no one informed the loud, enthusiastic Bristol crowd out to party and have fun with live music. Before the main event the stage and Marble Factory was filled with the German duo of The Picturebooks, Fynn Claus Grabke (Vocals, Guitar) and drummer Philipp Mirtschink. Alternative, primaeval with intense drumming and the acoustic guitar amplified. The rock is hard and heavy and the blues deep with very dark rhythms conjuring the dark history behind the blues. This is music that growls with the heartbeat of the drum booming through the venue.  Returning to Bristol unsurprising the set was heavy with tracks from their new album Home is Heartache. The duo creating unique textures and tones that are mesmerising Monster Truck Making Wednesday Rock at The Marble Factory drawing you deep into the tribal grind of a combination for dirty acoustic layered with slide and the drumming that is hard and loud from a drum kit with not a cymbal in sight just a ships bell.  The rhythms punch with heavyweight intensity on I Need That Oooh with its infectious chorus. With a metallic grandeur, Cactus filled the venue. The set was intense for everyone with Fynn & Philipp drenched in sweat, they really put themselves deep into the rhythmic groove they create and the audience is hot and excited the venue is now definitely ready for a Monster Truck fest.

Monster Truck Making Wednesday Rock at The Marble FactoryOnce The Picturebooks’, kit was removed from the stage, friends had time to catch up and then Canadian quartet Monster Truck took to The Marble Factory stage to a roar of delight. Vocalist Jon Harvey, centre-stage with his trademark toolbox to rest his foot on, with no monitor posturing he lets the classic rock do the talking. Completing the Monster Truck sound, fun loving hard rocking good-time music are guitarist, Jeremy Wilderman, on keys Brandon Bliss and drummer Steve Kiely.  The set was heavy with tracks from the current album Sittin’ Heavy and the earlier Furiosity what a combination, a guarantee for a fun, energising rip-roaring Wednesday.

Monster Truck Making Wednesday Rock at The Marble Factory Opening the proceedings with Why Are You Not Rocking, the reality was the opposite we were ecstatic in the presence of great rock that had everyone jumping, cheering and empowered by music that hit home deep in your musical soul. Classic rock given a modern twist doesn’t get better than this.  This is rock that is uncomplicated and honest delivered by a band whose stage presences is warm and the playing is tight and as Monster Truck are having fun playing it would just be stupid not to join in the party they are having on stage.  The set rolled on with favourite following favourite the truck was rolling with charismatic power that was controlled, wild and infectious re-energizing as you connected to the music, hands in the air singing along to the words.   With The Enforcer full of steely determination recorded it is superb live it reaches another energy level as the iron fist of the track the chorus line pulls the whole audience we want to be enforced by Monster Truck. One of many highlights on the night was She’s A Witch, as Jon Harvey sung, ‘that girls got a demon in her soul’ we all had the demon that is Monster Truck rock in our souls tonight.

The rock was rolling, the audience sang loud and full of pleasure as Sweet Mountain River, we all wanted to be in the city with the truckers tonight.  It may be work on Thursday, but time and reality stood still tonight we all wanted them to play on and on through the night. The sheer quality of the set totally blew me away. No wonder tonight Bristol redefined Wednesdays as the new awesome live music night at the Marble Factory. Once again, words cannot do justice to the musicianship and power of live music, get out and see them for yourself you will not regret listening to the classic rock that is Monster Rock, riffing good fun with a tinge of blue.

With an encore of three wonderful numbers closing the proceedings with The Lion. The lion of rock definitely roared tonight thanks to Monster Truck. Come back soon. Monster Truck Making Wednesday Rock at The Marble Factory

 

Check out 2017 Tour Dates HERE

 

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