CHANTEL MCGREGOR / ASH WILSON -  Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath 05.10.17

By Jayson Burns (Photos: David Sansoni)


Ash Wilson provides a captivating set of blues rock with the soulful 'Words of a Woman', 'Broken Machine' and the prophetic 'World's Gone Crazy' showcasing his powerful vocals and some great blues soloing. The pity is the sparseness of the crowd as he hits the stage but this doesn't deter this seasoned bluesman from performing at the top of his game.


Bradford bombshell Chantel McGregor surprisingly opens her set with acoustic number 'Anaesthetise'. Thankfully this has the opposite effect on the crowd who warm to her Alanis Morissette meets Suzanne Vega guitar and vocal work.


Once joined by bassist Colin Sutton and drummer Ollie Goss the pint-sized guitarist lays into a catalogue of raucous blues. 'Inconsolable' is an angst ridden journey into the heavier, rockier side of her repertoire and the evening really shifts up a gear with the frenzied 'Lose Control'.


'Caught Out' sees McGregor hit the wah wah in a Hendrix inspired piece of blues while 'Burn Your Anger' is, unsurprisingly a visceral piece of bitter rock.


The self flagellation continues with 'I'm No Good For You' but this mellower track highlights McGregor's versatility as she finger picks her way through a traditional blues number.


'April' from her forthcoming new album owes more to Brothers in Arms than Blues Brothers with its patient, brooding introduction but encore 'Take the Power' takes us back with a jolt into blues rock territory.


Former British Blues Awards Young Artist of the Year and Best Female Vocalist Chantel McGregor has the pedigree and class to go to the very top of the British Blues scene. Her UK tour continues into November before a stint in Europe is followed by more UK dates leading up to Christmas.

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