Tag Archives: pink

Cherry Brakewells – The Hobgoblin – Staines

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



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Blue Fuses

Blue Fuses

I saw Blue Fuses on Thursday 18 OCT 2007 at the rather strange Riverside Club, Staines ( I will go into that in a moment) and had a fine time.

The band has a secret penchant for anything by British Rockers ‘with a colour in their name’. Think pink, black and purple. But I didn’t hear any “blue” from the Fuses (as in Moody Blues) so I take it that the ‘Moodies’ are not ‘bluesey’ enough… if you get my point.

A typical Blue Fuses set will take in some Led Zeppelin (we had a Whole Lotta something) Black Sabbath and lots of Floyd. Also be prepared for a few surprises- I particularly liked Superstition (Stevie Wonder).

The band also likes to play the basic blues but with a nice prog edge to it. (Think Camel circa 1975.) There is also some jazz-influenced rock in there ( I suppose that most Pink Floyd is jazz-based so it makes sense, but I am thinking more of Bruce Cockburn/ T-Bone Burnett.) There is even some folk-influenced prog-rock like Jethro Tull, but all of it has its foundations in good old British progressive blues.

Will (Just Will) Carrol delivers power in abundance on the drums and Pete Brock tends to wander around a lot with his radio guitar…. a la Nigel Tufnel. Pete adds vocals and some lead breaks to the sound but mostly provides the rhythm guitar sounds.

Doug (Lip) plays some impressive guitar -improvising rather than relying on worked out solos- and the lads put on a skilled and compelling live performance. The ‘front man’ is multi-talented Noel Jones ( the Baldly Drawn Boy) and it is he who provides most of the vocals (good voice) and plays some very impressive bass lines (with a six string bass). Noel was once a member of White Lightning, an influential melodic rock band of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal genre and has recorded and gigged with all the big names of the NWBHM. I noticed that Noel was wearing what I think was a ‘Cradle of Filth’ T-shirt …. isn’t that is pretty damn impressive for a 50 year old bald blues musician, No?

Now we get to the venue. The Blue Fuses played at the Staines Riverside Club, Laleham Road, Staines. Now, please don’t get me wrong, we need more music venues in Staines and I applaud the efforts of the Riverside Club in opening up their club to bands of this stature. (They also boast The Rhythm Pigs on Friday 30th November and Big Jim Sullivan and Duncan Mckenzie on Thur 22 November). But the ‘welcome’ to non-members was non-existent and the ambience of the place was- as my music teacher used to say- “Good effort but much more work required if (he) is to be successful”.

To give you an artists impression of what The Riverside Club was like while the Blue Fuses was playing you will need to imagine an old folks home on a wet Sunday afternoon with the blinds drawn but all the fluorescent tubes turned onto full blast. The band were obviously asked to ‘turn it down’ so they were playing at ‘bedroom volume’ instead of ‘club’ volume. There was a high-power darts match going on in the adjoining bar and this had been given ‘priority’ by the management, so the darts players got served first at the bar and their cheers were louder than any screaming lead-solo. Add in a raffle, a couple of speeches and some polite clapping (between songs) and I think you have it.

Still, not to mind, Blue Fuses went down well with everyone. They seemed to enjoy playing the show and I will definitely go out of my way to see them again.


Dec 8 2007 9:00A
The Cardinal Wolsey Hampton

Jan 26 2008 9:00P
The Cardinal Wolsey Hampton

Mar 14 2008 9:00P
The Cardinal Wolsey Hampton

May 9 2008 9:00P
The Cardinal Wolsey Hampton

Jul 11 2008 9:00P
The Cardinal Wolsey Hampton


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