Just witnessed your
best live gig?.. send us a review!
100 Club, London, 27 March 2011
For the last
few years Bradford lass Chantel McGregor has been stunning audiences
with her own sonic tapestries from heaven from the clubs and bars 'oop
North to the Blues festival circuit across the land. I first saw
McGregor last year at the Skegness Rock & Blues Festival and was
gobsmacked by her ability to bend out every note known to mankind whilst
keeping an effortless gentle character about herself.
reached the capital and McGregor is here to tread on the famous boards of
the 100 Club. It seems that the demons were out for McGregor in an
attempt to prevent her from playing here. A date originally
scheduled just before Christmas was postponed not because Chantel and
her band couldn't get down the M1 because of the snow, but because the
100 Club staff couldn't get in due to the London transport system
crawling in the white stuff.
there's another factor that could've prevented the gig from going ahead.
Outside in the surrounding area of Oxford Street, Regent Street and
Piccadilly Circus, the roads are blocked off to traffic as the police
do their best to control the students and rioters protesting against the
Government spending cuts.
Chantel McGregor posted on her Facebook page that she was in the 100
Club for a soundcheck and if the girl can make it, then there's no
excuse for my photographer Buckers and myself to get off our sorry
backsides and do our best not to look like rioters and make our way into
the West End, meeting at the Crobar for a little stiffner.
McGregor enters the stage looking elegant in a long blue evening dress
accompanied by her John Petrucci guitar and gently rips into a set of
covers and her own original composistions. First number is a take on Joe
Bonamassa's 'Bridge To Better Days', a heavy grinding number which also
featured a 'Kashmir/Perfect Strangers' riff thrown in for good measure.
A perfect way to start.
a unique ability to make covers her own with her signature guitar sound.
This is totally evident on Jethro Tull's 'A New Day Yesterday' which
starts with a heavy funky bass line from new boy Richard Ritchie which
leads into a blistering solo from McGregor. Even a hardcore Tull
fan wouldn't immediately recognise this song when performed by the band.
debut about to be released, we got the title track 'Like No Other', the
first tonight pencilled by our princess of the blues, although this
track is more in the AOR territory. The future bodes well for the
songwriter by which she will be eventually be judged in the future.
into the blues with Sonny Boy Williamson's 'Help Me' was a swinging joy
delivered with so much conviction on the vocals. Her own guitar hero is
former Poison/Mr Big guitarist Richie Kotzen, who like Bonamassa has
warmed to McGregor and has been an instrumental help to the girl. A
version of Kotzen's solo track 'High' was a cigarette lighter in the air
'Fabulous' was one of my personal favourites tonight, a big swirling
riff to it that goes round and round and is almost danceable, the track is
simply fabulous. Followed by the Texas flood of Stevie Ray
Vaughan's 'Lenny' which showcased McGregor's more tranquil moments was
through another great number of her own 'Free Falling', disaster struck
as her amp packed in and had our heroine crying out ''Dad!...Can you
come up here please and sort this out.'' which raised lighthearted
smiles all round, but when you're as talented as McGregor this isn't a
problem as the girl simply picked up an acoustic and carried on with the
flustered and not knowing exactly what to do whilst the amp gremlins got
fixed it was time to rip up the set list and ask for requests.
Fleetwood Mac's 'Rhiannon was a delight to hear in it's acoustic form.
A gentlemen in front of me shouts for 'All Along The Watchtower' Hendrix
style - no problem. The self written instrumental 'Cat Song' would
make Jimmy Page proud.
electricity was restored the band were firing on all cylinders yet again
with 'Caught Out' which has a mean driving riff followed by Joe
Satriani's 'Up In The Sky', the closest to whom McGregor can be compared.
ended with Bonamassa's version of Blind Faith's 'Had To Cry Today' which
rocketed into 'Starship Trooper' the Yes track.
Chantel McGregor delivered a mind blowing performance which was jaw
dropping. The jury will be out when her debut is released, but I'm sure
she will soon be the darling of Radio 2 as well as right here on
http://www.getreadytorockradio.com, but in the live situation the girl can
do no wrong. Seeing is believing.
Set list: Bridge To Better Days / A New Day Yesterday / Like No Other /
Help Me / High / Fabulous / Lenny / Free Falling / I'm No Good For You /
Rhiannon / All Along The Watchtower / Cat Song / Caught Out / Up In The
Sky / Mountain Time / Had To Cry Today