Tag Archives: jimi hendrix

Weyward Chile – at the ‘Wey Will Rock You’ event – The Star Guildford

Weyward Chile possesses that kind of cock-rock insolence and sweaty strutting charm that actually swoops the gals off of their feet and sets the men a-jigging. And that’s exactly what occurred at The Star Inn, Guildford on 9th Sept at the boys’ regularly hosted rock night ‘Wey Will Rock You’ (planned for the last weekend of every month.) The guys and girls were dancing and grinding  – and hollering along to the best, biggest and most bruisingingly boisterous bad ass blues rock this side of the Smokies.

Frontman lead vocalist Karl looks very much like ‘Donovan’ but he possesses the seriousness and the rustle of Robert Plant. He is as bold as he is beautiful. On the sweet lead guitar we have chancer and chief mojo-maker Korush, on the smouldering rhythm guitar we have Jack and on the power-house percussion we have Alex showing off a tantalizing new kit, with James on finger-lickinginly good bass.

Starting with an onslaught of power and strength that shakes the roof tiles off the mossy ole ‘Star, the band smash into a blistering set that can only be described as ruthless classic rock. Delivered in dollops so big, you will need an excavator and a pile-driver to make sense of the chords and chops. With songs like “Whole Lotta Love” and Jimi’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” you know what you’re going to get.  Yes, exuberant classic rock and blues.

But their own songs are also full of promise and contagious, good time, rock-ability. From their gas-bottle necking grassband country twanging, feverish ‘Go Go’  to ‘Clouds Start To Rain’ which has an elegant chord structure and a tuneful verse together with nagging guitar ripples from Korush- lightly feathering the pattering rhythms. I can’t wait for their studio album.

There was a lot of low-down, yard-dog, dice rolling type numbers, like ‘Mike’s Song’ created with roostering roistering buoyancy. And ‘I Went Down’ which is their truest ‘Bad Company’ number. It’s like running down the strip with a desolation angel on your arm, trying to get to the liquor store & grab yourself a bottle of Gentleman Jack before the big game. It’s like sluice-juiced rock-daddy headymen Aerosmith before their big-hair dandy days. When they played true honest-to-goodness rock, blues and metal.

Huge sound and energy is created by Karl as he prances the boards and teases the audience with his wild shirtless holier-than- f * ck arrogant swagger. Yes, Weyward Chile are now truly ready for stadium stardom. I can imagine these boys making a success of a West-coast tour anytime now.

Hard place dominant rock and blues for the wise and the ready…

© Neil_Mach
September 2011

Links:
http://www.weywardchile.com
http://www.myspace.com/weywardchile
http://www.youtube.com/user/WeywardChile

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Hair – The Musical – Gielgud Theatre, London

Hair – Gielgud Theatre

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair …

It was a perfect spring afternoon in London when I went to see this new Diane Paulus production of the iconic swinging sixties musical “Hair” starring American 2009 Tony Award ® winning actor Will Swenson (Berger) along with Tony ®  nominated actor Gavin Creel  (Claude). I spent the afternoon in a pleasant amble around in Soho – browsing in Carnaby Street – before going to the Gielgud Theatre and revisiting my misspent youth. It brought back some kind memories for me.  I was one of the hated  ‘tribe’ of hippies.  I remember my Dad telling me not to go out in the street wearing my love beads around my neck because they made me  “look like a proper poof”  (his words).  Ah the sixties! This musical takes me back.  I also remember when I finally cut my hair (like the character Claude has to do) and the look of sadness upon my father’s face when he realized that the free and innocent creature he had once loved was gone forever. It is an irony of the age that men and women like my Dad fought in the Second World War for freedom and for love yet looked on in despair when the fruits of that hard won freedom was a generation that was actually acting ‘freely’ – protesting against the ‘rules’ of a regimented society (in a gentle non-confrontational way) and seeking approval for their mantras of love, peace and harmony and the ‘abandonment’ of the materialistic world

There have been several attempts to reincarnate this rock musical – most fail – but this is, I believe, the right time to re-watch those hippies and what they represented and to sit back and enjoy the show.  Although I was familiar with the musical,  I was still surprised at how everything seemed to be so relevant.  Subjects stand out like anti-war, pro-drugs, the results of ‘guilt free love’ and racial harmony and all have currency today.  It is worth remembering how important and innovative this show was originally, with black and white actors on stage at the same time – sharing equal billing -long before anyone could imagine a man like Barack Obama would be living in the WHITEhouse.  Eventually, skin-heads, punks and a New Wave of working class culture killed off the ‘middle class’ hippies (contrary to popular myth they were not all exterminated at the Altamont Free Concert of 1969.) And this musical was lost along-the-way,  lost in the same way as our ideals for peace and love and our cheese-cloth shirts, cow-bells and Afghan coats.  But the legacy of the Hippie culture still lives on and is found in environmental consciousness,  whole food shops, music festivals, new age travellers, sexual liberation and tolerance,  LGBT communities, ‘world’ music, and even the journey into cyberspace.

Claude, and his mate Berger, like all their friends of the tribe, struggle to balance the ideals of love, peace and harmony against a backdrop of the Vietnam war and those conservative middle-class parents (like my Dad) who think that the kids should have a wash, grab a haircut, land a job and just bloody  well conform.   The story is based around the decision that Claude faces –  should he cut off his hair  and go to Nam or should he dodge the draft and burn his papers?   The consequences of both choices may well result in the ruining of his life (he may face a prison sentence for burning his papers – but at least he would be alive and unwounded. )  The tribe doesn’t have much but they do have  each other and they have got their shared love. So they make love not war.  And they ask us to give peace a chance.

“I got my feet
I got my toes
I got my liver
Got my blood”

The music by Canadian composer, Galt MacDermot – the Bantu beats and the funky rock n roll tunes, don’t necessarily conjure up memories of Sixties hippy music. For me, then, my music of choice was Jefferson Airplane, but I also liked the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Bob Dylan.  In the musical there is no psychedelic rock or hard blues – though the cast talk about it plenty. (Though there was a nod to Jimi’s Star Spangled Banner.)  Even critics at the time thought that the show music did not accurately reflect the counter-culture of rock. But the music of Hair is firmly in the tradition of big belting
show-tunes and musical barn-storming stompers.   And the songs are good. “Aquarius” still makes my hair stand on end – and “Let the Sunshine In” [ a hit single for 5th Dimension] is still as gob-smackingly beautiful as ever. Other stand out songs are the Blur-ish ditty “Manchester, England, England” sung by Claude and the blaxploitation songs of Dionne (Sasha Allen) black boys / white boys  (“ white boys are so pretty… ”)

In “The Trip” scene Buddhist monks, Catholic Nuns, Red Indians, Viet soldiers and even astronauts get involved in the slaughter of the innocent. It was no surprise to find that director Diane Paulus has also worked on dramatic operas like ‘Turandot’ because this scene and the ‘Eyes Look Your Last’ were visually stunning as well as emotionally moving musical masterpieces. Thanks must also be given to Karole Armitage for the breathtaking choreography.

Certainly, looking back, hippies were full of sh ** – gathering bits of religion along the way, with astrology and mysticism often as an excuse for sexual abandon, drug use and general laziness. Amongst the freedoms enjoyed during the Summer of Love was the freedom of nudity – and Hair still contains elements of this, but it now seems more artistic and almost twee against our modern ‘porn flick’ sensitivity.  Previous Hair nudists have included (in no particular order) Paul Nicholas, Richard O’Brien, Elaine Paige and Tim Curry. Meat Loaf, Curved Air’s Sonja Kristina and even Donna Summer and Liz Mitchell (of Boney M) in a German production. The full-frontal nudity in the 2010 version is neatly and appropriately performed, swathed in gentle warm light – just before the interval – just seconds long. If you are thinking of going to see the show just ‘for an
eyeful’  then think again- the nudity is – shall we say – tame, by modern standards.

I recommend this production for a loving, warm and passionate evening of pure entertainment.  Like the posters say, “Feel The Love” …

Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees ….   Hair!

© Neil_Mach
April 2010

Tickets for the limited run in London
CLICK HERE >>

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Weyward Chile – Hob, Staines 21st Feb

Weyward Chile – Get it Done

On the cusp of brilliance, this band just need to increase their reserves of chutzpah, audacity and shameless life sparkle to achieve the kind of stellar success that they dream of.

Looking like Sacha Baron Cohen with Anthony Kiedis’s hair and Marc Bolan’s makeup, singer and feisty frontman Jason Guy leads his team into battle – but he needs to grasp that nettle (and shriek with the pain of it) if he really wants our hearts to sing and our crotches to smoulder.  I bet you he really screams out one helluva dynamic performance, if he puts his mind to it – but tonight the arrogance and the attitude is somehow missing.  A flattish ‘Get it On’  (T.Rex)  was, however, fun and welcoming and the punters at The Hob Staines lapped it all up.

Weyward guitar comes from the nimble fingers of Korush Mahdavieh, and his savagely cruel,  slinky,  splashing she-cat guitar sounds. Licks are  so cool yet so fiery that they put flames into the bone and freeze-dry the balls all at the same time.  The mouths of the excited audience froth with enjoyment as the band plays superb little numbers like the new Stonesy stoner “I Went Down’ with its architectural blues, or ‘Mikes Song’ with its refreshing slices of teasingly acidic guitar over a bluesy thumping rump of a bass/drum back-beat.  Maybe the sick coyote-howls of guitar could have been smarter  – wilier –  but generally the quality of blues guitar from both Korush and Mike Magnussen (on rhythm) was fine and dandy.   Bass (James Collyer) was also formidably good – with its muddy roots and sooty dark soul  firmly planted in those damp Mississippi banks.  One could almost smell the catfish gut.  And drums (Alex Gray) were crisp, bright and sinful.

My only criticism is that this kinda music – perched midway between the rock blues of The Black Crowes and the sleaze of Rattlesnake Remedy – must be performed with more sneer … more arrogant rut. In fact, it ought to be performed with a hell-bent attitude leading towards growling hysteria.  But, that said,  driving tunes like “Go Go”  with those thrumming drilling rhythms and gummy guitars licked with a hot pepper paste of slimy,  sinewy vocals or that crowd pleasing conclusion to the gig – a right royal slug of brilliant “T.N.T.” –  made for an enjoyable and lucid experience and the crowd just loved it.

A bit later Jason later told me he was fighting a bad attack of influenza – so that is may be why the performance lacked a bit of lustre.

Weyward Chile is an exciting band from those muddy groves of sleazy Southern Rock. Best after a double dose of Southern Comfort and a hot chick in a string-vest at your side. Tasty!

© Neil_Mach
February 2010

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/weywardchile

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What’s On This Jan – Staines and Area

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The River Card – Jan 29 2010      The Firestation     Windsor

Formed in Stoke-on-Trent at the end of 2005, The River Card are a melodic hardcore band who after a few member changes have existed with the current line up since the beginning of 2007.

The River Card have shared a stage with the likes of Hatebreed, Killing The Dream, Set Your Goals, Grave Maker, Have Heart, Vultures United, Bane, Down To Nothing, Parkway Drive, Your Demise, Verse, Dead Swans, Reign Supreme, Cruel Hand, Ruiner, Unrestrained and Dirty Money to name a few. Since the release of ‘No Prize Just Pride EP’ in 2007 The River Card have worked hard touring the UK and Europe a number of times.

The River Card have just released a new album ‘Serious Titles’ in March 2009 and extensively toured the UK, followed by a 6 week Euro tour in late 2009 and a split 7″ release on Power Negi Records. 2010 will continue to see The River Card as one of the hardest working bands in hardcore.

http://www.myspace.com/therivercard

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BAD PENNY ~  Live


Formed by some of the most accomplished and gifted musicians on the circuit. BAD PENNY will rock you to your foundations, playing the best classic rock anthems, executed with all the passion and fury you would expect from this impressive collection of musical maestros.

Bad Penny  JAN gigs

Jan 16 2010      9:00P
Ye Old Swan Inn     Burnham

Jan 29 2010     9:00P
The Royal Oak     Hampton

Jan 30 2010     9:00P
Rose and Crown     Sandhurst

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/badpennylive

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Prezence

Local hard working 5 Piece Classic Rock Covers Heroes,  Prezence have a load more gigs lined up at local venues this January…

JAN/FEB gigs

Jan 16 2010      9:00P
The Coach & Horses     Isleworth

Jan 23 2010     9:00P
Pyrford Social Club     Pyrford

Feb 6 2010     9:00P
The Fox & Duck     Ham

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/prezencerock

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Alix Live–  Percy Lambert – Jan 30 2010
2 High Street, Weybridge, Surrey

Like a lot of great artists, Alix is influenced by different genres and keeps his music fresh and exciting by blending rock, soul and funk in a wide ranging repertoire.

This includes James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, The Doors, Funkadelic, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, The Troggs, Lenny Kravitz, Otis Redding, Little Richard, Prince, Marvin Gay, Wilson Pickett, Bill Withers, Doobie Brothers, Stereophonics, Sam and Dave and other major rock/soul artists.

Overseas tours have included clubs and stadiums in Canada, Hong Kong, Belgium, Holland, France and Dubai where his band Unkle Jam, played at major function venues including the Hard Rock Cafe. Alix has backed Dennis Edwards and The Temptations on the same billing as the James Brown Band and has played with George Clintons P Funk Allstars to name a few major bands.

His vocal range continues to wow audiences with the authentic sounds of the original artist in his own unique style.

Alix can now be seen touring the Home Counties with his Alix Live Band performing a mix of his own material and covers as one of the most versatile acts available to live music venues.

Sat 30th Jan ( + Jam Pact With Tony Chick & Mark Z):
The Percy Lambert, Weybridge

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Land of Cain

Land of Cain is a superb four piece rock/metal outfit from West London. Featuring astonishing guitar work, a pounding rhythm section, progressive strains and thought provoking lyrics the band are becoming a force to be reckoned with on the local  hard rock scene.

The band started life as “One Bitter Pill” in 2004, with Grant Chambers and Aaron Waddingham in the original line-up. In 2007, Grant and Aaron decided to take the band in a darker and heavier direction, and with the addition of Spencer Dargue on Drums and Chris Jordan on Bass, the band began writing the new material which would later evolve into the songs for their first album “Collapse the Control”.

Land of Cain  JAN/FEB gigs:

Jan 30 2010      8:00P
THE COACH AND HORSES     Isleworth

Feb 5 2010     9:00P
THE GLOBE     Brentford

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/landofcain

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5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

Live and Fresh Rock & Metal – in Staines

Kamizake Test Pilots Staines

Kamikaze
Test Pilots
Mar 12 2009
Hobgoblin
Staines


With ABSTRACT GENIUS

KamikazeTest Pilots mostly come from a country called Zimbabwe which is why they have the funny accents, although they have been living in the UK for near on a decade, so the accents are funnier still.

Ryan (aka Beans) plucked up the courage to ask his grandfather, a 6 foot plus ex-cop, if he could have a set of ancient jazz drums to fulfill a dream thought up during the long and hot african summers. His request granted, he set off forming a band with his younger brother Wes. It was soon obvious that Wes had a natural gift for the drums, so Ryan picked up the guitar, learned a few chords and slowly progressed to writing songs. They took their “band” to the boarding school they went to and it was then they met Martin.

Martin started on 6 strings, learning the very few licks and chords that Beans knew and with a revolving door of bassists, a band was born. However, turmoil created within Zimbabwe forced all matters of music to be put aside and for us to take stock of what options were available to us. We decided that it was time to spread our wings.

Kamikaze Test Pilots was eventually formed in 2005 by Beans and Wes. There were a number of member changes, with Martin joining the band as bassist in January 2006. The last of the changes happened in January 2008 when the band were joined by Jim Davies (ex-Loki) on guitar. To date we have enjoyed local radio and internet radio airplay, have self released a six track EP (“Into The Sun”-BUY IT NOW!) and are constantly gigging some bar somewhere. . .

Link:

www.myspace.com/thekamikazetestpilots

Buckle Up Staines


http://www.buckleuppromotions.com

2.

See these Local Punks Reborn…  Live at Egham

No Lip Compasses Egham

No Lip
Mar 13 2009
Compasses
Egham


“OLD SCHOOL PUNK FOR OLD SCHOOL PUNKS.”

After a long time of thinking of a new name (better) No Lip was born out of Sux Pastilles. With more shows upcoming No Lip are looking for fans to come to shows and go back 30 years to when punk was great. Doing covers from Ramones to The Damned and more obscure ones like the Wasps and Wire with a healthy smattering of Clash,Pistols and Ruts

Playing with our very own local STAINES faves : New Assassins

www.myspace.com/nolipband

If you don’t catch ’em at The Compasses this week (shame on you) try to see these punksters at:

Apr 17 2009      8:00P   The Phoenix             Staines
May 2 2009       8:00P   Dog and Partridge     Staines


3.

Melodramatic Art-Pop Band – Live in Staines

A Genuine Freakshow at Staines


A Genuine
Freakshow
Mar 15 2009
Hobgoblin
Staines

With oompah sounds, creaking violins,  rumbling cellos,  screachy guitars, burbling bass and scatty drums this lot are a genuine freakshow…lots of fun and experimentation. Cool as ice and twice as nice… see ’em now for a truly freaky experience…

With ACACIA SNOW

If you miss the HOB Freak Show (and please DON’T)  then I suppose you can catch ’em here:

Apr 11 2009      8:00P  The Peel supp/ Cats and Cats and Cats    Kingston
Apr 12 2009      8:00P  The Oakford Social Club supp/ Vessels     Reading
Apr 24 2009      8:00P  Reading University     Reading


Links:

http://www.myspace.com/agenuinefreakshow

Buckle Up Staines


http://www.buckleuppromotions.com

4.

Three Piece Power Trio- Live Windsor

The Indie Killers at Windsor

The Indie
Killers
Mar 14 2009
Old Ticket Hall
Windsor

The Indie Killers are a 3 piece power trio, covering songs from the best Indie and Rock bands in the world today. With 5 record deals between the 3 members as well as extensive world tours and several charting records, these guys know how to make any party take off from the very 1st minute! The Indie Killers recently performed at The Killers latest album launch party where they were joined by members of Snow Patrol live on stage for a rendition of ’Mr Brightside’! + DJ PLAYING 80’s & 90’s HITS – BAR OPEN TILL 2AM

If you LIKE the KILLERS you are gonna LURVE these boys !

03-14-2009 21:00 at The Indie Killers
THE OLD TICKET HALL, WINDSOR, SL4
Cost: £3

Link:

www.myspace.com/indiekillers




5.

Soul Funk Disco Party –  Live at Ascot

Citizen Soul at Ascot

Citizen Soul
Mar 14 2009
Jagz
Ascot

Citizen Soul is the ultimate soul, funk, disco and motown covers band for your party, wedding or corporate event. The fantastic vocalists and rhythm section are complemented by a 6,piece horn section, guaranteeing a sound like you have never heard before!

The band comprises some of the very best young musicians on the London music scene. All of the members of the band have studied at London’s most prestigious music colleges, such as the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.

The band’s repertoire has something for everyone, from classics by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind & Fire and Michael Jackson to contemporary hits by Joss Stone, Jill Scott and Jamiroquai. Whether you want the newest tunes or the cheesiest anthems, Citizen Soul can meet your needs.

Saturday, 14th March JAGZ ASCOT
Show will start at 8.45
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7.30pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub

Links:


http://www.jagz.co.uk

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Arcane Roots

arcane-roots-post

Hobgoblin – Staines – 1st March

Arcane Roots are like a rock and roller-coaster… gnashing, clawing and crashing their way through unconventional time signatures and frequent changes of tempo like an out of control Thorpe Park thrill ride might cut through a throng of ne’er-do-well pink-faced chavs playing chicken on the rails. Their combined energy, the electricity that this band produces,  could easily replace a dozen off-shore wind farms.

The sheer exhilaration and power of their stage presence reminded me of Muse.  However, although the AR songs may sometimes be sweet, and the themes melodramatic, the overall nu prog effect is actually more similar to Coheed and Cambria than Muse. The agony and the ecstasy is often ’emo’ (in a good way) and the foundations of each track are defined as solid slabs of rock.

The song ‘Rouen’ starts with gently gathered stringwork beneath a thin lace of sweetly latticed vocals posing the question ‘what are you waiting for?’ This is followed by a change of pace and some raspy distortion fueled arrangements and it is here that we witness the truly exceptional talent of Andrew Groves. Andrew is the AR frontman, singer and lead guitar supremo. Andy looks and sounds like a 1964–66 Ray Davies. He plays furious rhythm and lead guitar, often simultaneously, upon his trusty Gibson. He plays this with a surprising and terrible intensity that reminded me of a ferret in a flask fighting for freedom. ‘Rouen’ sounds ‘Kooks-ish’ with its lovely tapestry of gently chiming soulful images and high-toned voices. This tale of nostalgia and despair is a bittersweet experience for any listener. The sense of loss is magnified by the wailing, repeating chorus. The grief is spread out like a blanket might be across a corpse, the final stage of a magnificent hymn to sadness.

The song ‘Nylon’ is another tune that reminds me of The Kooks (although Andrew’s voice is not as exceptional as Luke Pritchard’s.) But there is more substance and depth of feeling in the Arcane material than within the Kooks prep-pop style- there are rusty razor-blades on their kitchen tables and the streets are littered with broken glass in the Arcane world.  Daryl Atkins on the drums adds backing vocals to the emotive harmonies of each number and plays astounding firecracker percussion on a stripped-down kit. Whilst Adam Burton, on bass, does a sterling job- but you can’t help thinking that he is always struggling just to ‘keep up’ with Andrew Groves- who zips ahead of his bandmates without so much as looking back.

‘An easy smile’ is far more ‘SOAD’ than the other AR sounds (I kept getting reminders of Serj throughout the gig) with driving chords and changes of tempo and pace. The pauses are important to the Arcane Roots…just as in good choreography, the audience is called to witness and appreciate these frequent stops and starts. Each pause is like a blinding flash of sunlight from a broken mirror. The sounds seem to be swirled around the room like silken scarves, and the sudden bolts of energy seem to whizz harmlessly away- far above your head. This evokes a feeling of disharmony and disjointedness that, perhaps, prevails in our daily lives.

Even if the room smelt faintly of old leather boots and denim, the crowd at The Hob were in fact quite young and well-groomed (on the whole). They were also unnaturally restrained. To be fair most of the punters were there for ‘the other band’ who were hosting a single release party straight afterwards- so the plaintive soul-searching of the Arcane Roots songbook was, perhaps, a little too ‘full-on’ for most of this fun-loving hip crowd. But the standout performer of the night, for me anyway, was the ferociously attacking guitarist Andrew Groves who possesses the rare emotional power of a cathedral on fire. He employs guitar techniques that are normally reserved for ‘right on’ jazz musicians – or at least prog-rock stars- techniques like glissandos & stomps on the effects pedals are all part of his glistening repertoire. I particularly enjoyed the new song, ‘To The Hold You Had’. (Andy gave me this title – so don’t blame me if it is wrong!) This song had a simple structure and an enjoyable riff but also revealed a satisfying complexity.

So the band ripped down the flag of indifference and crushed it with their teeth. Rock is a jungle and this group are the predators. Watch the blood spill and the fur fly. But don’t look away!

© Neil_Mach

March 2009

Cherry Brakewells – The Hobgoblin – Staines

Cherry Brakewells

cherry-brakewells

Cherry Pies with a Toxic Twist

If poncey new-age Fat Duck chef Heston Blumenthal was cooking up a tray of Cherry Brakewells his list of ingredients would probably include snails (because all his recipes do) and a slug of Tennessee sour-mash to intoxicate the mind, a generous fistful of gunpowder to spice things up a bit – and a large scoop of dry ice (to coooool it down some). Oh, and some fire. Yes, he would garnish the tray with a thick slice of fire.

This band is stickier and sweeter than the largest pot of Windsor Farms Shop Royal Jelly. These girls put the glory bee back into the honey-pot and then shake it up a little. After their gig on Thursday they are the buzz of the city.

What I adored about the girls when I saw ‘em is that their brand of melting hot guitar funk and red hot blues is so abundantly rich in vulgar tones and texture that you feel almost overwhelmed, drowned even, by the experience. The contrast between the sweet soulful high notes of singer/songwriter Shay and the dark growling thunderclouds provided by leggy bassist Monique and the ‘runway model’ drummer Chi was a blissful storm. It was an experience much like running towards the edge of a stark cliff knowing that, far far below, where the jagged rocks meet the sea, you will plunge into the ice cool waters of salvation. It was like being stung, and then devoured, by a fire serpent. Desperation and repentance all rolled into one. A beautiful agony. How to die.

The Cherry Brakewells cite their influences as based firmly in the Sixties and Seventies. Hendrix. Cream. Zep. That kind of thing. But there is more to this band than all that Seventies vibe. This is no SuperFly Baadasssss band. They may have big hair, big smiles and big confidence, and the roots of their music may lay in the past, but these girls look towards the future with confidence and pride. The songs may have serious blues foundations but are laced with touches of modernity. I could recognise influences ranging from Wyclef, Kelis and late M.I.A. right through to some more expected sounds like ZZ Top, Kravitz and Skunk Anansie.

Lead guitar is provided by the multi-talented Anna Calvi (she told me she has been playing with the Cherries for around six months now – she has her own very successful band and a host of other projects.) Anna tended to place herself behind (and to the side of) the sensuous and sumptuous trappings of the ‘power trio’ but that didn’t alter the fact that her input was as invigorating and ingenious as it was essential. Her style of blues playing has a cool sharpness to it and the sounds that she weaves from her effervescent frets fizz with electricity and energy.

The Cherry Brakewells put on a slinky super-sexy show with plenty of guts and gristle. Soulful highs and fuzzy lows create drama and add smoky depth to their theatre of sound.

Watch these beautiful girls growing up … they are gonna go all the way!

© Neil_Mach
Feb 2009

Link:

www.myspace.com/cherrybrakewells

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