Tag Archives: Tower of Power

Gemma Lawrence Trio – Staines Conservative Club

Gemma_Lawrencex500

The Gemma Lawrence Trio – She’s The Bossa

Under the watchful eye of Winston Churchill the sultry sounds of the Gemma Lawrence Trio trilled through the Staines Conservative Club bar. Gemma Lawrence was giving up her smoky best for a handful of true-blue blue-rinse blue-blood Tory ladies and their senior partners, who gave polite but mild applause. The atmosphere was, in every respect, ‘genteel’.

Gemma is a jazzy blues singer with leanings towards Country. A little bit country and a little bit rock n roll, if you like. In fact, she has recorded a Country album in Nashville with some of Tennessee’s musical royalty – including Gordon Mote. The trio is a guitar based combo, perhaps lacking the heartbeat of percussion at times, but never lacking direction or gusto.

The band includes singer/songwriter and all-round renaissance man Jonny Palmer on one guitar (together with his handy synth) along with Mark Dorsett and his fresh-faced blues-style pickin’ on the other.

But the main focus is on the classy lady Gemma and her slinky voice. Gemma reminded me of Diana Krall, not only in appearance but also in style. Like Diana, Gemma is able to ooze out those husky contralto lows and also the nerve tingling highs. Another piano based singer that came to my mind was Vonda Shepard, perhaps because of the mid-tempo jazzy familiarity of the sounds.

Gemma is very much the ‘band leader’ of the trio, constantly pointing direction and motivating the other musicians, getting things moving if needed or slowing things down when the mood requires. Her voice is strong, dense and smooth as an all-over cocoa butter body rub. Sticky and sweet. It gets right into all those aching places. The Southern U.S. swamplands are dark, mysterious places with hidden depths. And those Southern bars are smoky, sultry and  somewhat risky. These are the colours, smells and textures expressed in Gemma’s songs. Deep, deep lows are contrasted against ringing highs and cheerfully sweet melodies.

Gemma’s set started with the somewhat ironic ‘Stealers Wheel’ piece “Stuck in the Middle With You” (possibly more famous these days as a theme from the ‘Reservoir Dogs’.) This song kinda summed up what it was like playing the Staines Con Club on a cool quiet evening in Staines. “It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face…”

The set also included some old favourites like the Hoagy Carmichael ‘Georgia on My Mind’ or ‘Ventura Highway’, ‘Under The Broadwalk’ and even ‘Suspicious Minds’. I particularly liked the upbeat “I Saw Her Standing There” (one of my favourite Beatles numbers) and the Kenny Young / Drifters classic “Under the Boardwalk”.

At times I could have done without the ‘nuts and bolts’ being on show so much. You know the kind of thing, “Another key change now” or “We need more time here” or the fiddling with amps / mike stands etc. In my opinion music, like all craft, should magically conceal the hard work, grease, sweat and effort that goes into making it. The rough edges need to be smoothed out for public consumption. But, maybe I am being too harsh.

Stand out songs for me were the self penned “Always The Same”, a soothing and reliably efficient song (the delivery reminded me of Crystal Gayle,) and the Duffy/Hogarth track “Warwick Avenue”. It is a shame that Gemma didn’t include any Amy Whinehouse in her song-book too but maybe that would have been a step too far for the respectable members of the Con Club!

For funky, jazzy, smooth sounds, the Gemma Lawrence Trio can be thoroughly recommended. Catch them soon at a venue near you or you could see the trio at this years  Walton Soundfest.

© Neil_Mach
May 2009

www.myspace.com/gemmalawrencetrio

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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

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts

5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

Small Outfit, Big Sound Ideas at Staines

2 Sick Monkeys at Staines

29th JAN 2009  8:00P at HOB STAINES £3 2 SICK MONKEYS

2 Sick Monkeys formed in December 2000, as a live two piece bass and drums, primarily to support Darrin Mooney (Primal Scream) at a drum event in Swindon.
They have now played over 400 gigs (270 in the last 3 years) including 4 European tours.

They describe themselves as tight, melodic and percussively in your face.
Basically……small outfit, BIG SOUND!!

2 Sick Monkeys are with:

Page Not Found

Page Not Found are a punk rock group form Slough Berkshire UK.

Formally known as Ollie Impossible, Page Not Found play their own style of Fast paced skate punk. After the change the band along with new bassman have wasted no time and headed straight into the studio to record some material.

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/2sickmonkeys

www.myspace.com/pagenotfoundrock

2.

High Quality Funk & Groove – Ascot

Mimosa at Jagz Ascot

Jan 30th 2009 8:45P at Jagz Ascot MIMOSA £5

Whisk together smooth soul, funky grooves and a hint of rock, fold in a combination of catchy brass riffs, fat bass, creative guitar as well as watertight drums and percussion. Heat for 2 hours with probably the best vocal talent in the south and you have the unique sound of Mimosa.

Some people have said – “it’s a bit like being attacked by a shark wearing a woolly jumper” “best served hot with Mango Chutney a cold beer!” “You’ll drive through an
amber light to see them!” “Just like the Brand New Heavies, only not as famous!” The band have spent the last year putting together a high quality varied mix of songs to give a great show, keeping people grooving well into the night. Gigging since April 06, this band will definitely impress and leave you wanting more. Time to find out what you have been missing……

Links:

ww.myspace.com/mimosaband


3.

Stripped Down Classic Rock – Shepperton

Firewater at Shepperton


Jan 30 2009      9:00P Kings Head-Shepperton FIREWATER


The ED HUDSON project “Firewater” was formed in 2000 and has been regularly gigging around London and the South East since then. The early blues
material gave way to more classic rock songs as time went on and the duo format lends itself to a stripped down approach to the songs, showcasing the considerable talents of singer Ed Hudson and lead guitarist Tim Scopes.

If you like blues and classic rock (and don’t like being deafened in the process of hearing it!) go and see ’em -you will not be dissappointed….

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/firewaterduo

4.

80’s & 90’s  Hits – Live Band – Live in Windsor

!Daft!

Fri 30 Jan Old Ticket Hall, Windsor £3 !Daft!

!daft! are a party rock cover band comprising 5 professional standard musicians who perform high energy and dynamic gigs across the Home Counties and West London to consistently excellent responses. Our sets and gigs are designed
to be fun, enthusiastic and crammed with recognisable anthemic tracks from artists including Queen, Guns N’ Roses, The Killers, The Fratellis, Green Day, Elvis, Bon Jovi, Madness, Kaiser Chiefs, Oasis, Michael Jackson… even ABBA and Take That, plus many more legendary groups.

Random quote: “It’s like going to see all your favourite rock bands in one night!!”

Links:

http://www.daftonline.co.uk




5.

Aerosmith to ZZ Top Covers – in Hampton

Prezence

Jan 31 2009      9:00P  The Cardinal Wolsey Hampton Court PREZENCE

Prezence are fast becoming a STAINES and area fafourite covers band… playing a huge mixture of classic rock from way-way back to much more modern material from the likes of Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, Foo Fighters etc. A thoroughly enjoyable evening is guaranteed…. also coming to venues in Staines, Hampton, Walton-on-Thames soon (keep checking our ADPONTES music pages for updated GIG GUIDE)

Link:

myspace.com/prezencerock

——————–

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts