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Victoria Hotel, Menai Bridge, Anglesey
28 September 2012
Having formed Blame Sally relatively late in their careers - all bar
bassist Rob Strom are in their 50's - it may be that the same pressure to
'make it' doesn't exist, but whatever the reason it was a privilege to
witness Blame Sally - a collaboration of four supremely talented female
singer-songwriters from San Francisco - having such a 'good time' at a
backwater hotel nestling across the Menai Straits on the Isle of
Formed in 2000, and falling somewhere in Fleetwood Mac, Sheryl Crow, and
Dixie Chicks territory, their playing and vocal harmony work was
exemplary, but perhaps what impressed most was the enthusiasm, good
humour and togetherness of the group.
It really did bring back memories
of 'better days' when the music business was more 'organic'. Their
ability to manage a set on a stage the size of a large postcard without
causing one another any serious damage was equally impressive.
While they majored on their excellent recent releases
And A Valentine', and 'Live At KVIE Studios', the set was essentially a
'best of' spanning their career and throwing in a new track for good
Particularly worthy of note were Pam Delgado's (percussion) scorching
vocal performance on 'Chain Of Fools' and 'Trouble' (to say nothing of her
John Bonham like performance on the beat box) but it would be unfair to
single any contributor out.
Monica Pasqual gave an equally accomplished
vocal performance as well as playing some excellent keys and accordion
(as well as being the 'live wire' in the pack), Jeri Jones' economical
guitar playing had a wonderful 'groove' and Renee Harcourt was the
archetypal folk rocker - her harmonica playing on 'Fillmore Street'
lifting the number to another level.
amount of credit must also go to the unsung hero of the band - bass
player Rob Strom, whose 6 string bass playing was sublime throughout.
versatility was the key word of the night from the Henry Mancini treatment
given to one of their hardest rocking numbers 'Countdown', the marvellous acapella moments in
'Big, Big Bed', the sweetness of Mac's 'Never Going
Back Again', and the power and pace of 'Her Name Is A Knife'. Every number
was a blast.
unheard of to the packed audience before the gig, the band went down a
storm and the consensus seemed to be 'why the hell aren't they selling
out much larger venues?' I have to confess, it's a mystery - but Blame
Sally are enough to restore your faith in rock 'n' roll.
Set list: Big, Big Bed / Jump Start / Bird In Hand / Love Is Our
Religion / Countdown / Throw Me A Bone / Never Going Back Again / Living
Without You / Parajos Sin Alas / Chain Of Fools / Constance, No More /
Trouble / All Rise / La Llorna / Fillmore Street / Her Name Is A Knife /
from 'Live At KVIE Studios' DVD
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