The Dark and Light Sides of Chantel McGregor

The Dark and Light Sides of Chantel McGregor

By Wes O’Neill

There simply is not enough women guitarists that get the same acclaim that their male counterparts do and even when it’s deserved. It’s a male-dominated world and something needs to change – doors need to be kicked in by ladies with amps cranked up and playing that can go from a scream to a whisper with just as much force and subtlety.

Fortunately, there are players that can hold their own with the “big boys” in Samantha Fish, Nita Strauss, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Orianthi and others…along with Chantel McGregor. There’s no top of the guitar magazine polls here, ladies doing their thing and damn well at that.

One of my guitar students, a young lady in fact, when I first asked her a couple of years ago what she wanted to get out of learning excitedly proclaimed “I wanna learn to shred and not just play to typecast in acoustic songs or on a fucking ukulele.”. That brought warm feelings to my heart and a sense of hope…

Chantel McGregor is such a lady to inspire such aspirations that are not beyond reach with self-belief and dedication. Ahead of playing a blistering show at The Tunnels Bristol, we sat down with Chantel for what’s been happening, her advice on being a woman in what some archaically view as a man’s world and what’s coming next. It’s about to get dark but with a light side also…

 

It’s been a couple of years since your last album “Lose Control” What have you been up to?

We’ve been on tour for 2 years since the release of “Lose Control”. It’s been constant, we’ve played in a whole load of countries in Europe, we’ve just got back from 3 weeks in Germany in fact, so it’s been tricky to get time to do another album. But…that’s now sort of in the process of coming to a head with writing nearly done and us heading into the studio in the next few months to get that down and releasing it hopefully next summer.

 

“Lose Control” was quite gothic, taking inspiration from a variety of sources you were in to at the time. What kind of musical direction are you taking this time?

It’s dark. Darker than before, in the way that it’s more personal than the last one. The last one was southern USA gothic themed, dark but not personal in any way that I wrote about dark things from my life – I’ve now been doing that. It’s a bit of a personal trip and a gamble as I’m really trying to dig deep with the emotions I have and stories to tell, it’s quite hard, to be honest with you.

 

Are you finding that’s helping you come to terms, and not to pry, with whatever has gone in your life?

No! Hahaha! No, it’s horrible! It’s like everything that I’ve put into a box, you know every bad relationship, every self-doubt, every moment that hasn’t been right all coming at me at once. Opening that box opens old wounds and it’s like ‘Oh my God, why I am trying to sing, play and write about this kind of stuff, why didn’t I just leave it be, why did I think of doing this?’.

 

In that case, what’s the idea behind putting yourself through that instead of writing in a third person or about other things?

As in taking the easy option? I don’t know, ‘cos I’m stupid or something! Seriously though, I think I’m at that point where I should really write about something that is really my own with my own feelings and emotions rather than relying upon other peoples. It’s easier to write songs about other things and other people than it is about yourself. When you’ve locked emotions away, revisiting them is hard but I did feel that I needed to do that as you know, we all have to do it at some point really. Either that or I’m just a bit sadistic, masochistic…or just weird!

 

How is this going to come through on the new album, in the guitar or in the lyrics?

Probably more towards in the lyrics as the music bit with the riffs, changes, grooves and all that isn’t really difficult for me to play. If I’m writing about a telly show, then it’s easy as you’re not digging deep, but when it comes to writing about how a relationship ended and how it’s made you feel then it’s really tricky.

 

As you mentioned, you’re looking at a summer release (it’ll be a dark summer by the sounds of it!), any specifics on production you have in mind that you can share with us?

Well, assuming everything runs to plan, but in my world, you never know, but yes, summer is slated for it. Production wise we’ll be down to London probably, the same producer that I use as it always seems to work out with him and he’s great…probably just that. We’ll have to see what we come out with when tracking, and that’s all you’re going to get on that for now!

 

Moving on from the new album, how important do you think music education is or are there other routes that you can take learning and playing?

I started playing when I was 3 and started having lessons when I was 7 until I was 16 and then I went on to do a degree in music a bit after that. To be honest with you, most of the things I have learnt, the really valuable and meaningful things have been from improvisation and jamming around with people more than the strict educational side of it. Lessons are good though, as long as you’re getting something out of it and always. It’s important to have the educational side of it in some ways but I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone.

 

Being a woman in the guitar world, what would be your advice be to other women playing guitar or thinking of doing so and to those in bands already?

For me, I think, and it’s taken me all this time to get to this point where I realise I’ve probably spent years wasting time being fragile and worrying about what people think…You know, all the stupid stuff like what do people think, how am I perceived, do they really care, do they like my playing, how I look, my singing, are they just here ‘cos I’m a girl, what are they saying in the bar after…all that rubbish. I’m now at a point where I can stop worrying about what other people think and for women that’s essential. Not that blokes don’t have feelings and all, but for women we can be a bit more sensitive than men and we do bother about what people think of us whether that’s image or musicianship, and we spend so much time thinking about it, tearing your life and thoughts up that you end up not concentrating on what you love doing. You need to get strong, really quickly and just sort of say “Stuff everyone else, I’m gonna do what I want to do and I’m going to enjoy it”. That’s the hardest bit – it’s not learning the scales, chords and how to play, it’s having strength in who you are and what you do being a female in the music industry.

 

Wes, thanks to Victoria Tyrer for helping put this together for Bluesdoodles

 

Bluesdoodles Review of Lose Control – HERE

 

ADVENT Mascot More Than A Glorious Dozen

ADVENT Mascot More Than A Glorious Dozen

ADVENT Mascot More Than A Glorious Dozen

Mascot Label Group once again building on the amazing year of 2016. Throughout 2017 from January to December the label keeps delivering albums from Artists & Bands Rocking the blues and more they excite the listening ear.

 

Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa

 

Beth Hart

 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

Beth Hart’s music stripped back, with the lyrics laid bare was an emotional journey for everyone tears were shed on stage and in the auditorium tonight. This is music that connects a great performer with the audience.

READ MORE With PHOTOGRAPHS HERE

Beth Hart – back with her band touring the UK in 2018 check out Dates HERE

 

 

Joe Bonamassa

 

“The album, where nothing is overdone, acoustic authenticity maintained, Joe’s vocals the best I have heard. No theatrics,  music and the power of lyrics telling the story in perfect harmony”. Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album Live At Carnegie Hall HERE

2018 UK our Dates HERE

 

Aaron Keylock

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

 

Big Boy Bloater

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

Live at The Louisiana Bristol HERE

Bootsy Collins

 

Black Country Communion

 

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

Black Stone Cherry

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

 

Eric Gales

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

Live Review The Robin 2 Bilston HERE

 

Jonny Lang

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

Live Review Tramshed Cardiff HERE

What we talked about when Bluesdoodles, Liz Aiken chatted to Kenny Wayne Shepherd? Check the conversation out HERE

Galactic Cowboys

 

Quinn Sullivan

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

 

Little Hurricane

 

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

 

Rock Candy Funk Party

 

Ronnie Baker Brooks

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

What we talked about when Bluesdoodles, Liz Aiken chatted to Ronnie Baker Brooks? Check the conversation out HERE

Sonny Landreth

 

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

What we talked about when Bluesdoodles, Liz Aiken chatted to Sonny Landreth? Check the conversation out HERE

SIMO

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

What we talked about when Bluesdoodles, Liz Aiken chatted to JD Simo? Check the conversation out HERE

 

Supersonic Blues Machine

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

What we talked about when Bluesdoodles, Liz Aiken chatted to Fabrizio Grossi? Check the conversation out HERE

Triggerfinger

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

 

Thomas Wynn & The Believers

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

 

Walter Trout

Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album HERE

Live Review Muni, Pontypridd HERE

10 Years

 

Thank you, Mascot for the music Bluesdoodles is positive 2018 will continue to be fun with Mascot Label Group

 

ADVENT Mascot More Than A Glorious Dozen

 

 

 

Bad Touch Special Guests Skid Row Tour 2018

Bad Touch Special Guests Skid Row Tour 2018

Academy Events and VMS Live by arrangement with IAA and ITB present

Bad Touch Special Guests Skid Row Tour 2018

 

 

Book Tickets Online from  TicketmasterTicketwebSeetickets

*Supporting Skid Row and Toseland
**Supporting Skid Row, Night Ranger and Toseland

* Glasgow, O2 ABC – Monday 5th March 2018

Tickets: Ticketweb 

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*Inverness, Ironworks – Tuesday 6th March 2018

Tickets: Ticketmaster – Venue Box Office: 0871 789 4173
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*Newcastle, O2 Academy – Wednesday 7th March 2018

Tickets: Ticketmaster
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*Sheffield, Corporation – Friday 9th March 2018

Tickets: SeeTickets – Venue: 0114 276 0262 (9:30am – 4:30pm)
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**London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Sunday 11th March 2018

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*Hull, Welly – Monday 12th March 2018

Tickets: Ticketweb, Hull Box Office – Hull Box Office: 01482 221 113
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*Manchester, Academy 2 – Wednesday 14th March 2018

Tickets: TicketwebSeetickets Venue Box Office: 0161 832 1111
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*Cardiff, University Y Plas – Thursday 15th March 2018

Tickets: TicketmasterSeeticketsCardiff Box Office
Student Union: 029 2078 1400
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*Liverpool, Hanger 34 – Friday 16th March 2018

Tickets: TicketmasterTicketwebSeetickets
Venue Box Office:
 0151 703 0100
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*Coventry, Kasbah – Saturday 17th March 2018

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*Norwich, Waterfront  – Monday 19th March 2018 

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*Bristol, O2 Academy – Tuesday 20th March 2018

Tickets: TicketmasterSeetickets  Box Office: 0117 927 9227
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*Brighton, Concorde 2 – Wednesday 21st March 2018

Tickets: TicketwebSeeticketsConcorde Box Office
Box Office: 01273 673311
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*Nottingham, Rock City  – Thursday 22nd March 2018

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Bad Touch’s current album, “Truth Be Told” celebrates classic rock with Southern boogie influences, with heavy guitar riffs and an iron-clad, tight rhythm section, in the great tradition of Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin. The band have built up a formidable reputation as one of the UK’s premiere rock bands who consistently put on an energetic and compelling live show for their fans. Their commitment to their fans and their music not only reaches new heights but also connects with new fans who are discovering their music for the first time.

Bluesdoodles Thoughts:

Truth Be Told   – Bad Touch by the time the first guitar riff is played, the vocals growl you know this is going to be Classic Rock that will rock and roll your soul on a musical fairground ride of enchantment   -Read the rest HERE       

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically The excitement fizzed like a can of shaken pop as Bad Touch exploded on the stage Read more HERE

In Conversation with Bad Touch before the headline tour – HERE

“Bad Touch know their music and their music knows no bounds.”
– Rush on Rock

“Strong and melodic…Bad Touch are infectious.”
– This Is Not A Scene

“Soaring riffs…powerful vocals…Bad Touch win over the crowd with ease, thanks to a refreshingly modern nd.”
– Unknown Press

“Bad Touch are growing into one of the UK’s best new bands.”
– Rock Gig Reviews

Brilliant as always… Bad Touch’s performance was
of headlining status.”

– Planet Mosh

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Touch Special Guests Skid Row Tour 2018

 

Noble DAY EIGHT Bluesdoodles Advent Calendar

Noble DAY EIGHT Bluesdoodles Advent Calendar

Noble DAY EIGHT Bluesdoodles Advent Calendar

 

 

 

 

It is definitely a Noble DAY EIGHT Bluesdoodles Advent Calendar. This is a huge thank you for the music that has inspired and motivated Bluesdoodles, with exciting albums and tours that makes the music year speed by.

 

ALBUM REVIEWS – IN CONVERSATION WITH – BANDS ON TOUR

DAsh Wilson Broken Machine New Single & on TourAsh Wilson

Broken Machine Album Review HERE

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

 

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues ChallengeRainbreakers       

Rise Up Album Review HERE

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

 

 

Michael Schenker Live In Tokyo Rocks Your Socks OffMichael Schenker

Live In Tokyo Album Review HERE

 

 

Q&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and TouringErja Lyytinen

Stolen Hearts Album Review HERE

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

 

Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall Acoustic Album

Joe Bonamassa

Live In Carnegie Hall Album Review HERE

 

 

Manhaton Records Delivering Quality BluesRobin Trower

Time and Emotion Album review HERE

 

 

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones

JW Jones

High Temperature Album review HERE

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

 

Suzi Quatro The Best Is Legend Her New AlbumSuzi Quatro The Best Is Legend Her New AlbumSuzi Quatro The Best Is Legend Her New AlbumSuzi Quatro The Best Is Legend Her New AlbumSuzi Quatro The Best Is Legend Her New AlbumSuzi Quatro The Best Is Legend Her New AlbumSuzi Q

Legends Album review HERE

 

Wilko Johnson

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Sari Schorr

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

Live Show in Pontypridd – What a night of live music HERE

As Mollie says Truth Is A Wolf on her Debut AlbumMollie Marriott

Truth Is A Wolf Album review HERE

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

 

Who will join Stone Broken on Probably The Tour 2018The Bad Flowers

Single review HERE

 

 

Manhaton Records Delivering Quality BluesKing King

Exile & Grace Album review HERE

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

 

Black Country Communion Marches In With Rock on BCCIVBlack Country Communion

BCCIV Album review HERE

 

 

Bad Touch

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

 

 

Samantha Fish the Belle of The West on this AlbumSamantha Fish

Belle Of The West Album review HERE

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

 

Dan Reed Network New Album Video plus Supporting ExtremeDan Reed

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Cardiff – What a night of live music HERE

 

 

Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The GlobeDan Patlansky

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Live Show in Cardiff – What a night of live music HERE

 

 

Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and MatesJared James Nichols

In Conversation – This is what we Talked About HERE

Festival Fun Steelhouse HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Read Why Tonight Glenn Hughes was pure Gold as he Resonated across The FleeceGlenn Hughes

Live Show in Bristol – What a night of live music HERE

 

 

 

 

Noble DAY EIGHT Bluesdoodles Advent Calendar

 

 

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – Throughout 2017 Liz and Kevin travelled to hear good music to share on Bluesdoodles. Bristol was the number one city we visited not surprisingly as it is just across the Severn from South Wales.  So behind Door Six, we are re-visiting the live music that made our feet tingle and ears buzz. Live music invigorates and is a great night out, meeting up with friends sometimes listening to bands for the first time. This could be they are a young up and coming band or one you have only heard the music captured in a studio.   Whenever and wherever you are listing to live music supporting musicians and having fun it is a special memory moment. Coming up behind other doors will be Gigs in Wales and Festival fun that made 2017 such an enjoyable year.

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – The Louisiana, Bristol 
Trio  Bristol Bands – Rita Lynch – Husky Tones – Drunken Butterflies
Big Boy Bloater

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – Thunderbolt, Bristol
JW Jones

 

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – Robin 2, Bilston
Eric Gales

 

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – Tunnels, Bristol

 

Samantha Fish
Bad Touch – Mollie Marriott – Flowerpot
Black Crow Chicken
Simon McBride
Erja Lyytinen – Red Butler
Kirk Fletcher – Ruzz Guitar Review
Ash Wilson
Devon Allman – Mark Pontin

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – O2 Academy, Bristol
Blackberry Smoke

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – Marble Factory, Bristol
Monster Truck

 

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – The Forum, Bath
Beth Hart

 

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – Colston Hall, Bristol
Dan Owen
Zep Boys Black Dog Orchestra

 

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017

 

 

Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – The Fleece, Bristol
Glenn Hughes – Stone Broken
King King – Bad Touch

 

 

What is rather strange having checked the venues visited the towns and cities all begin with the letter B! is that for Bluesdoodles Have been here!

Manhaton Records Delivering Quality Blues

Manhaton Records Delivering Quality Blues

Manhaton Records Delivering Quality Blues

Bluesdoodles Advent Calendar December 2nd

2017 Manhaton Records have kept on delivering music that excites with their bands in the recording studio and gigging live.

 

 

 

Albums – Manhaton Records Delivering Quality Blues

 

Manhaton Records Delivering Quality Blues

 

King King continues to wow the crowds with Critically Acclaimed Exile And Grace – we said  Rock just got classic again thanks to Exile & Grace with blues roots are never exiled Read More….. 

Alan Nimmo Talking  to Liz @BluesdoodlesRead What he said HERE

 

 

 

Manhaton Records Delivering Quality Blues

 

Robin TrowerTime & Emotion – we said The album is full of strong chords, interesting licks and deft hooks from the wizard of the six-strings – Read More HERE

 

 

 

 

 

The album is full of strong chords, interesting licks and deft hooks from the wizard of the six-strings;Sari Schorr – A Force of Nature

Muni Centre Pontypridd Sari Schorr & Engine Room opening for Walter Trout – READ HERE

Sari in Conversation with Liz @Bluesdoodles Read what we talked about it HERE

Sari Schorr delighting Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival 2017 Read What We said HERE

Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New

Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With NewBroken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New, plus four new tracks.  The debut feels comfortable why? It is a blending of tracks from their two acclaimed E.P’s that had fans demanding a full-length album. The new numbers show the direction of travel and how far the band have come. A result of touring endlessly at festivals, opening shows and part of the Roadstars earlier this year.  In Broken Witt Rebels own words – “Our album has been a long time coming. It’s a culmination of the past two years of hard work and we couldn’t be prouder of what it’s become. We’ve crafted the record to take the listener along our journey so far, and it also marks a milestone in our career as we move from the unsigned world to being with a label. We’re very proud to have signed a deal with Snakefarm Records, and with the Snakefarm team behind us we can’t wait to take things to the next level.” Some will moan we already have the E.Ps. People always moan! But – many will not as fans have arrived at the #UpTheRebels party later than others. Bluesdoodles reviewed Georgia Pines but not Howlin’, now we have an early collection of the boys’ music.

Now to the album opening with a rousing upbeat guitar churning number with Danny Core’s vocals cascading across the instrumentation and we are not left with Loose Change with the opening number. We are on the road with a band that wants you to have a good time, loud, raw and full of youthful verve and direction. Once heard the distinctive sound will never be forgotten. This is the sound that has got us so excited when they opened for Whiskey Myers, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Cadillac Three (Ireland & mainland Europe) and played at Festivals. The four new songs are little nuggets of brilliance scattered amongst the better-known numbers.  From the heavy jam band groove of Loose Change through to the final song of the album Wait For You which provides a slower, gentler soulful side of Danny and the band. Here they close the album with an artful weaving of modern sound collecting the roots of popular music, soul and blues with a crackling edge of tension. The tension shaped by the earthy vocals of Danny Core that just pop out at you on every track.  The first of the other two new numbers, Snake Eyes, feels familiar if you have heard the band live and is stunning; the opening is beguiling as you wait with bated breath for the song to fill out. This is rock that rolls with a blues shimmer and leaves you wanting to hear more.  The fourth in the quartet of new numbers leaves you Breathless with soulful wonder.  This is a number that ebbs and flows showing the bands dexterity shaping the sound around Danny’s many-textured vocals. The drumming is ear-catching and builds the tension as Danny sings “Give me Soul, Lose My Mind, Take Control, Trust in You is all I ‘ve Got”; pleading and emotive as he sings the lines so carefully crafted.

Much has been written about the E.P.s that are re-showcased here. It is definite they deserve another airing so new fans can appreciate and love the early music. They give context to the new music how the band is shaping and developing their sound. For me, it was Georgia Pines that opened my eyes to the potential of the band and Georgia and Low still leave me with that spine quivering delight that hits the right spot. Guns powers out a real contrast to the preceding number Breathless.

Broken Witt Rebels – with a self-titled debut album have jumped the hurdle met fans demands there is an album. Now we all eagerly await the feared sophomore album. This will be all new singing as the West Midland band continues to fuse the sound of British Blues Explosion with Southern Rock and weave in influences from Temperance Movement through to Black Stone Cherry. They are a crossover band. Broken Witt rebels are crossing the divide of being unknown to the world stage and this album consolidates their mission as Danny said when we interviewed him to conquer the music world. Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New will be played loud and often until they next play live and the second album hits the decks. Up The Rebels is the shout you hear.

Broken Witt Rebels – Broken Witt Rebels – Snakefarm Records

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

    1. Loose Change
    2. Georgia
    3. Shake Me Down
    4. Snake Eyes
    5. Howlin’
    6. Breathless
    7. Guns
    8. Getaway
    9. Low
    10. Wait For You

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically. The third night of the first headline tour was a phenomenal success but as Stevie Westwood said, tonight is not about one band as he praised the two acts that set  The tunnels alight for the Headliners.  Opening the night local band Flowerpot and then Mollie Marriott, live music doesn’t get much better.

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyFlowerpot, an all-women outfit have been gaining the momentum of attention by opening for acts visiting Bristol and headlining their own shows. This young band full of raw energy had seven numbers to showcase their own brand of grungy, punk-driven rock.  The music was not hewn from a particular vein of rock. The band had their own sound and energy that flowed from the classy drumming from Jess which defined the shape of the music that allowed Morgan on Bass pick up the rhythm and rock as her flowing and at times revolving hair orchestrated her sound. Pulling the sound together Ellie on guitar provided the melodic chords and riffs for Steph on vocals to hook onto. Up front Steph on vocals controlled the band and had the audience captured as they listened to the lyrics that had something to say as we heard about snails, loser girl and a debut of a new number Bruised.  After their raw, eclectic and blistering set, we were left not battered and bruised or trailing along at a snail’s pace but ready for the next two acts as The Tunnels filled and the temperature raised by Flowerpot.

 

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyMollie Marriott with her critically acclaimed album Truth Is A Wolf was the next band. Quick change round and the band was on stage. A complete contrast to Flowerpot. The raw intensity was replaced by a softer more malleable sculptured rock. Mollie’s voiced captivated with its purity from the first note of her opening number Run With The Hounds with the organ looped in so the full sound achieved on the album can be heard live.   Tonight surrounded by her band Mollie warmed the crowded venue with her winning smile and a vocal range that captured the depth of the lyrics and topics covered.

The rhythm section was solid and the lead guitar giving Mollie the chords, melody and hooks for her vocals to soar.  Early in the set, she slipped in a new number Nobody To Love and if this is what is going to be on the follow-up album I am counting down the days. One of the highlights of the too short set was Broken, the power, emotion and passion shined from Mollie’s face through to the vocal delivery.  We all connected with the feeling of being broken after a failed relationship and hurting people close to us. In this case Mollie’s daughter and her relationship with her.   In the set was title track Truth is a  Wolf and the rockier number King Of Hearts later in the set sleazier, dirty and filled the venue with another side of multifaceted Mollie.  Vocals coloured the stage along with a band that flexed its muscles as she blended rock with jazz, blues and soul a sonic landscape full of texture and tone. Dressed in Black with White guitars and bass the monochromatic visuals contrasted with the music.  Mollie has a famous surname as the daughter of Steve. Tonight she conquered the venue, with her own name Mollie Marriott, and an act to see live. Her voice is better live than in the studio. The voice is warmer and more personal as the lyrics on the numbers take on emotional meaning. She was in total control of the stage as her final number Control finished an accomplished set and we were now in the mood for Bad Touch.

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyThe excitement fizzed like a can of shaken pop as Bad Touch exploded on the stage on their first headlining appearance in Bristol. The crowd were hot for their spectacular feel-good sound captured on the album Truth Be Told. We were definitely not disappointed as they opened with Take Me Away. Yes, we were taken away on the rollercoaster of a band on fire playing the music they love to an audience that was up to be given the Bad Touch treatment from this effervescent five-piece.  The first all-male band of the evening and they knew the audience as already hot for live music so no warm-up numbers for the band they were straight in with high voltage music with a ringing sting that excited The Tunnels tonight. The set definitely elevated them to the deserved headline status one this tour with the hefty heavy/southern rock influences and bags of attitude this is a band that knows how to party. All the musicians understand their role and play to each other’s strengths. With the power of a rhythm section that lays now a depth of sound that grounds the sound as George Drewry’s drumming is timely, powerful and into this he mixes when required a subtleness, a gentle touch. Joining his rhythmic tones is Michael Bailey on bass with his hair flowing, and moving in time with the deep southern hot chords. The guitarist adds the next layer that smarts and stings cajole and weeps as Rob Glendinning takes the lead with stylish slide or plectrum lead guitar work that is simply stupendous. Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seekings adds with top-drawer rhythm guitar work filling in and drawing out the guitar. This quartet is loud and full of imposing attitude and sound. How do you top that? Easy add Stevie Westwood into the vocals as vocals frontman and the glossiest, curly mane of hair and that cheeky waxed moustache, He steps into the frontman role with a swagger, style and talent. Phenomenal!

We have the musicians on stage, full of vim and swagger now for the music. They delivered with a mix of old and new we all were touched with their majestic interpretation of Rock N’ Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majesticallyroll Norfolk style tonight. The set list was the perfect blending of fast, faster furious and the breather we all need. Not once did the band lose control of the sound they are so good at delivering. Stevie’s vocals perfect for the genre and the quality of the backing vocals take the sound to another level. We shared a Sweet Little Secret with the band and delighted as the guitarist played off each other both with their confident cool, arrogant swagger that fills the stage with a six-string punch.  Highlights – every number played. Those that stood out Wise Water and great to hear Down one of their earliest numbers that morphed seamlessly into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic Can’t You See. Down it doesn’t appear on any album must be a contender for the much anticipated follow up to Truth Be Told. A definite keeper for the forthcoming album is the new song aired tonight  I Belong that makes full use of Rob’s ace slide work.  Something Someone took the tempo down with an acoustic ballad as the Stevie and Rob duet and then the band return picking up the beat and building the energy for the last few numbers of the set. We were rocking and singing along to a perennial favourite My Mother Told Me. With one of their signature tracks Take  Your Time they ruled it as the favourites flowed with Outlaw and closing with the might The Mountain.  What a great atmosphere generated as we wanted the band to play on this was a night to remember. We had two more numbers as the encore-closing with the single from the album 99% that got them noticed by Planet Rock and others closing the night leaving us on a high. But before that, a special moment as Mollie Marriott returned to duet with Stevie and the band on Baby Get it On Tina Turner’s classic given the Westwood/Marriott treatment. What a night! Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

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 Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

 

 

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Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

 

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightFirst opening the night of live music The Blue Horizon, the Weston-super-Mare band the rocks out on the blues that always attracts attention. Tonight, the trio of Iain Ecclestone the charismatic frontman whose guitar sparkles lightning up the vocals. The Rhythm section is the power base provided by bassist Ed Gerlach and Josh Armitage behind the drums.  The set was a mix of originals and covers re-affirming the heavy seventies infused blues that make the horizon blue. They are gaining a reputation that is justified as laid down on one of the Rory Gallagher covers. They set the scene laying down the energy that was going to define the evening. Blue Horizon with local support provided the music and brightened the evening to get a Wednesday night in Bristol off to a flying start.

 

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Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightShort break, anticipation was high as everyone in the audience wanted to hear Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight. Straight off Crow Black Chicken gave a full-on great show, the slide work was amazing; the sound was rough, raw, and distinctive. This approach continued for the next two hours Crow Black Chicken was on stage. The second trio of the evening showing the depth and breadth of music styles influenced by the blues. Throughout the set, there was the innovative use of pedals by bassist Steven McGrath, who provided some wicked sounds coming from his four-string bass combined with the drumming that shaped the texture from Gev Barrett. The yin and yang of Christy O’Halon’s stunning guitar and Steven’s bass balance the sound.  Christy’s vocals are clear in the blues storytelling tradition and every song from their albums and carefully selected covers gave the night the depth of southern-infused vibe. Crow Black Chicken is from deepest Southern Ireland and the charm and wit interweaves the songs. The music was the focus and they insured we were awash with the distinctive sound, the trademark of the band.

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightThe songs chosen were stunning, the band played tight never added more than was necessary. The sound flowed there was no competition this is a band that is in harmony with the delivery pulled together with Christy’s great voice.  From their latest album Pariah Brothers, a selection of the numbers was showcased. Anyone who didn’t have a copy was in the queue to purchase one at the end. These included Jonestown, inspired by Jim Jones a cult figure and Deer Meat Unloaded a real hefty, loud rocky number of experiences on a Spanish Tour. The lyrics told the story we were all on tour with the band in Spain.  The vivid delivery of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Snake Farm was simple; another shining example of the band’s brilliance. They have fun playing music they love, the audience just wanted the party to go on this is finger licking spicy guitar music. Blues inspired music as they played a tribute to Jessie Mae, a blues woman from Texas that made her mark, as the song was introduced with a quip we should arm the Granny’s reflecting on the six shooters Jessie Mae always wore.

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightThis is a band that makes friends and keeps them. Loyal to the people who inspire them and the aptly named Pat McManus a musical tribute to the fellow Irishman.  The night of music that uplifted and flowed delighting everyone who was in the room. A great set of two hours was not enough we wanted more with energetic bounce the boys were back on stage with their version of John The Revelator. This was a really heavy dirty take on this blues classic. Wow, the music was majestic. Blues delivered with panache, charm and a great night that on a dark Wednesday night Crow Black Chicken came to Bristol and stamped their mark. We want you back sooner rather than later.

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Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Monday night in November heats up in Bristol as Simon McBride triumphantly ends this tour at The Tunnels. With the week full of quality live music, combined with a Monday night the turnout was respectable. That does not disguise the fact when a guitarist of this quality comes to town with his band it should be a sell-out every time, whatever the night whatever the weather. If you love guitar driven blues fused rock then and you haven’t seen Simon McBride you have missed a musician at the top of his game. He demonstrated this tonight with every chord, note, lick and riff as the music filled the venue. With Marty McCloskey behind the drums and bassist Dave Marks to kick up the fireworks, this is a trio that has power, attitude and control shaping the tempo and textures to create a wall of sound full of depth and interest.

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels Tonight, The Tunnels reverberated with stunning blues- rock that captured the classics, Simon’s back catalogue and a glimpse of the new on the long and patiently awaited next album. Tentatively promised tonight as next year-end of 2018 it will be a Christmas Album Simon quipped. As would often happen the rhythm section picked up the words as they played jingle bells with the band laughing. Last night of a six-month tour there was a mix of end-of-term party and the delight of playing live music to an appreciative audience.

The covers were special including Free’s, The Stealer with a great key change halfway through and wonderfully controlled powerful lead breaks. This was a foot-tapping joy. His version of Hendrix’s Little Wing was sublime the re-working made you listen to this oft-heard and covered classic. The timing was immense and when combined with the super tone of his signature PRS Guitar was sublime.

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels The new music was punchy with the formidable tone and guitar textures with strings bent and the vocals pulling the song along.  Change gave the rhythm section the opportunity to come to the fore with a bass display from Dave Marks that was full of rhythmic punch. As the bass was slapped, the bass guitar now dominated as we heard jazz, rock and blues melded in a reprise of delight. Then we had the duel between guitar and bass the energy flowed from the stage across the venue. Live music quality and fun.  A definite keeper and as the audience was quick to tell Simon a single from the next album, Show Me How To Love. What a cracking number live full of emotional integrity and up-lifting playing from all three musicians.

Every number played was special, go hear Simon McBride play live when he is next in town. The other numbers that stood out were So Much Love, with glimpses of Prog and more in this brilliant instrumental interlude. The real highlight of the night for many including myself was So Much Love and One More Try. These display the virtuosity of McBride’s guitar mastery. Don’t Be  A fool was a rousing finale with audience participation. This was party-time and fun with the band losing control of the audience as we repeated the lines to the beat of Marty’s drum.

Tonight Simon McBride conquered The Tunnels with the power of live music.

 

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels