Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Stage
Tonight Celebrates the long tradition of women vocalists and the blues. Five members of the Blues Sisterhood UK hit the stage at The Convent. This consisted of the five acts and a Q&A session between each act all streamed live via Netgig. Without weeks of planning, hours of rehearsals tonight was the outcome of short collaboration and run through. Achieved by women supporting each other and producing the goods, two hours of music and smiles. Massive thanks to the dual forces of Matt Roberts at The Convent and the powerhouse that is Kaz Hawkins without this collaboration tonight’s unique celebration of the blues would never have happened.
The sound check ensured that the three drum kits, four guitars, three bass guitars, keyboards and five vocal mics were ready and waiting for the show to begin on the stroke of nine when the Convent stage went live on air. The logistics in place for the night was going to be a rollercoaster of energised music celebrating women, blues, and rock.
Tonight was all about celebrating female vocalists and their contribution to the contemporary British blues scene. A wall of sound started the fiesta with all the artists on stage, the three drum kits merged the guitars blended and the groove was deep in this mass 12-bar jam. Kaz started off the vocal jam as the five women vocalists sang I Believe, the baton passed onto to Olivia, Andi, Lorna and then Victoria and back again. Wow! this was music that raised your heart beat capturing the community of music that binds us all. We had the pure joy of stage magic in action. With the acts leaving the stage, Bluesdoodles had the first interview session with Kaz. The first band was Husky Tones with Victoria combining vocals and drums, everyone knows Victoria is in charge as she joyously points drums sticks first at Chris Harper on guitar and bassist Matthew Richards. With a mix of blues slow, and fast this as a set that left you wanting to hear more. Husky Tones certainly gives blues a lift with style and smiles, closing with a new track, potentially the title track of their new album, they certainly gave the show Momentum. Then from the first duet of the evening singer Olivia Stevens of Ruby & The Revelators. Olivia calmly walked on stage joining Frazer Wigg on keys. The contrast worked well with a stripped down take on the blues. Olivia’s vocals were full of emotional tone and texture adding layers of blues power. Her set of four songs was a mix of originals with Shattered Not Broken particularly capturing the sorrow and the hope of the blues.
The music empowering women to continue growing in strength whatever life throws at them. Next up a complete contrast as rock band Eve’s Secret took to the stage. With Bluesdoodles interviewing their up-front vocalist Andi Hall before they started their set. Rock is the next door neighbour of the blues and the links are strong. Andi Hall fronts the band as a rock diva with her bassist Jeanette (Tig) Kirkham and the two women joined by guitarist Bruce Drummond and drummer Dermot Hall. The rock flared out of the stinging guitar and hard-hitting drums and Andi’s vocals powered through the three tracks, including Bad, Sad, Glad. There was definitely an air of the bad vibe, the music they played was definitely not sad and they were definitely glad to be rocking out at The Convent tonight. The tempo changed as the Northsyde duo Lorna and Jules, sat side by side on stools. Jules on acoustic guitar and Lorna with her voice. The power seared through the night air with vocal colour, emotional texture and empathy with the heart and soul of the music. This was a delightfully different dimension to Northsyde. A marvelous acoustic duet with Lorna and Jules playing in complete stripped down harmonies. The acoustic vibes of the Allmans reshaped poured out as the blues from the porch recreated this was definitely a set you wanted to hear more of. Laid back, musical and dipped deep into the essence of the blues.
Up last and definitely not least was Kaz Hawkins Band with her larger than life stage presence. Vocals that wrap around you, drenching you in layers of emotions, from the travails, joys and hope of life. Gospel meets Blues with buckets of soul Kaz supported by her band that combines deft touches of guitar from Nick McConkey his solos contrasting with Kaz’s vocals. The rhythm section brothers, drummer Peter Uhrin and Janny on Bass. There couldn’t be a better act to wind up the fiesta celebrating women in the blues. Even with a short set Kaz’s energy, class and joy she shares when performing shone through. What a phenomenal performance as she sang Soul Superstar. Kaz is a superstar. With all the sisters joining Matt and Bluesdoodles on the sofa for a group hug and short chat the bands congregated on the stage. The jam kicked off with the drums and proceeded to gather momentum as the vocalists re-joined and the closing minutes were full of smiles, camaraderie and the shared joy of live music.
Throughout the evening each of the vocalist took turns to answer questions from Liz, Aiken, Bluesdoodles. Providing an insight into inspiration, the role of the newly formed Blues Sisterhood UK it was a friendly, fun and informative interludes between the main focus of the even the glorious music. Tonight, was an impromptu celebratory festival of the Blues Sisterhood and it went not just very well, it exceeded expectations in brilliance, companionship and the power of coming together through the Blues.
Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Stage
Big Thank you to Eric Hobson for some of the photographs used – check out his website HERE