ERJA LYYTINEN / MATT WOOSEY - The Greystones, Sheffield 21.03.19
PHOTO CREDITS: CECIL PAUL STUDIOS
It is a warm March evening in Sheffield and well before the doors open at the Greystones there is already a queue of eager music lovers forming an orderly line through the bar. ERJA LYYTINEN is in town on her current UK tour. With the early queue seemingly justified from the excited chatter emanating from its occupants, the doors open and once the queue has patiently filed through into the main room, it is quickly filled. Indeed there is standing room only for the last twenty or so arrivals.
First on stage is support act MATT WOOSEY. Matt steps up on stage, just an acoustic guitar in hand and sits down in front of an eager audience. Openly confessing to a bout of the nerves, Matt shows nothing of the sort as he delivers a superb set of acoustic blues numbers. Matt is clearly passionate about his music; its delivery and the crowd openly appreciate the quality of what they are listening to. Some light hearted comments between songs, including the admittance of not following his original setlist, whatsoever, simply make him more endearing. Touring soon with his band, THE MATT WOOSEY BAND, this has been a worthy support act.
Up next is the main reason we are all here in Sheffield tonight, ERJA LYYTINEN. Firstly, the band enter stage left to warm applause, then the diminutive Finnish Blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Erja enters to a rapturous and almost raucous round of cheers and applause.
After a polite greeting to everyone in the room, Erja and the band quite literally tear into the first song of the evening, ‘Lovers Novels’, with the crowd quite rightly hooked on every note thereon throughout the evening. The band are tight and Erja is simply at the top of her game tonight. The sound is clear, balanced, instrument definable and perfect for this intimate space.
We are treated to a quality selection of songs from her current catalogue including sublime compositions such as ‘Rocking Chair’, ‘Slowly Burning’ and ‘Black Ocean’ from the current ‘Stolen Hearts’ album.
Treats are also instore as Erja declares the eclectic ‘Cherry Overdrive’ as being the first time the band have played it live and the crowd are also treated to new music with ‘Hard As Stone’, again played live for the first time.
The music is delivered with almost pinpoint accuracy and a palpable passion. Erja seamlessly swaps guitars between songs, with each and every one almost becoming part of her, such is her ease in producing such a quality sound song after song. Add to this her quality vocals and it is clear why the room is indeed at capacity tonight.
The entire set consists solely of, other than two, songs written by this extremely talented musician. One co-writing credit on ‘Everything’s Fine’ to the Hendrix classic ‘Crosstown Traffic’ for the encore.
Erja, her music and passion are simply intoxicating for any lover of blues and the electric guitar. Her smile and continuous interaction with the crowd is unavoidable, as is her ability to squeeze out, song after song, spine shattering blues riffs and solos from the selection of guitars she has, at her disposal, stage left.
ERJA LYYTINEN knows her craft to a fine art, the people in the room tonight are also, if not before, also aware of her talents and the gig is a roaring success on all levels.Once finished Erja is the true professional, standing chatting with punters and signing merchandise all accompanied by that infectious smile.
If you haven’t seen Erja and her band there are still a few dates left on the current Uk tour to catch this blues maestro in action. On the studio front the eagerly awaited new album ‘Another World’ is released in Europe on the 26th April 2019.
Sheffield setlist –
Hard As Stone
Snake In The Grass
Erja’s Delta Mix
Encore – Crosstown Traffic (J. Hendrix)
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