The Tunnels plays Sari Schorr Sparkling Blues
The place was packed and hot with excited anticipation as The Tunnels welcomed The Engine Room on stage. The opening instrumental set the seen as The Engine room set down grooves threaded with deep blues. Flecks of funk and the energy that would build throughout the stunning set we were to experience over the next two hours. Innes Sibun from the very first note to the last confirmed what a stellar guitarist he is with tasty blues construction overlaid with the Sibun magic.
Then with a shining energy infused whirl Sari stepped onto centre stage, The Tunnels lit up with the effervescent sexy presence of a women who sings the blues with passion at its heart and controlled emotion. The venue was fizzing with pure enjoyment of music that was hitting the high notes and sending shivers down our collective backbones.
Sari’s vocals added that temptress layer of lyrics unfolding on top of the depth of The Engine Room. This is a tight musical unit that bounce of each other’s energies. The rhythms are deep and full from drummer Kevin O’Rourke and Kevin Jefferies on bass then into the mix the keys from Anders Olinder with tantalising delights of chords that add that something special to the melodies that compliment and build the excitement as Sari’s vocals take over.
The whole set was magnificent, strong, powerful and no subject is taboo from Aunt Hazel, with powerful words around the draw of addiction sung with Sari’s passion, empathy and heartfelt belief that you can address these issues openly and in a non-judgmental way. Then we are enthralled as the domestic abuse is explored through the medium of Sari’s skills as a singer and songwriter with Damn The Reason, both from her debut album that takes your breath away with its majesty; A Force of Nature.
Into the mix Sari throws in classics that she makes her own from Willie Dixon’s I Just Want To Make Love, it is the tonal range and the shaping of the lyrics that makes this stand out once again it is Sari’s vocals that own the song and draw the audience in. Stormy Monday, was delivered in a sweaty Tunnels and we wanted more. Leadbelly’s, Black Betty saw the twin-neck guitar given and airing as Innes played the licks that curled around the melody as we waited for Sari’s vocals to twist this classic and we were all feeling the torment of Black Betty. The energy was electric, the delivery the darkest swampy blues.
The performance was more than Sari, more than the Engine Room it was the combination of the authority of the whole including the entertaining conversation Sari had with the audience; building rapport and letting us get to know the person behind the vocals. Whether discussing the minty fresh
towels as they moved into Kiss Me, the travails of cancelled gigs and flights to pick up with a tour that led to the writing of Oklahoma. Hard times, her love of her three pit bulls and the song written about them included in the set at the request of Kevin. Why? Its glorious bass line.
We also enjoyed Sari playing ‘guitar’ unplugged behind Innes, as he played another glorious solo, this was the fun Sari instilled into show as she played tambourine, keys Sari and the band were having fun ad they definitely wanted everyone to have fun as well.
All too soon two hours had passed in a haze of sweaty passionate music, for the encore Sari bought the tempo down with the last track of her album Ordinary Lives. Sari is no Ordinary singer she is special, The Tunnels were purring in delight as Sari smiled her radiant smile that would melt the hardest of hearts, she left the stage. This may have been her first time in Bristol but it will not be her last.