Chantel McGregor

Thursday 17th September 2015

100 Club, London United Kingdom

A quick howl of feedback and McGregor is churning into her opening number, spinning into an oriental-tinged wah wah run before long before striking back to the evil, thunderous riff. Anyone new to her act and wondering whether the very feminine blonde performer will cut it is duly punished for their doubts.

From this point we are treated to the very electric driving Chantel sound mixed with a solo acoustic interlude and some slow-burn electric pastoral moments, showing what I would call her Trowerish side and is always utterly captivating. Unafraid to let a note hang in the air or to drop the volume, McGregor is at her best letting the music float by, no need to hit us with torrents of notes all the time. This is marred only by the droning conversations of the horrible Loud Fat Bearded Blokes who come to blues and rock shows to talk to their mates about their lawnmowers and holidays rather than show any respect for the performers.

Why don’t these oafs at least keep away from the stage if they have to be rude? The guy who runs the 606 club down in Chelsea insists before each show that those wishing to chat should go through to the back bar, quite right too. Every venue should.

McGregor has a fine line in the Billy Gibbons pinched-note solos when needed but her moody arpeggio chording shows musical knowledge and tastes far beyond the shuffle and stomp modes some acts rely upon. The band’s cymbal washes and ominous bass lines give a cool dynamic, though some jazzier inflections would sometimes be welcome…I’m thinking ‘Up from The Skies’ maybe. Because this voice is strong but tender and steers away from imitating female black singers, too, most of the time. ‘Southern Belle’ is a meaty effort with a twist in the descend. ‘Lose Control’ has a Groundhogs timbre, all bounce and power.

Robin’s ’Daydream’ is given a long and subtle workout, with dirt-edged sustain and a lovely vocal, exploring every part of the song’s atmosphere. The acoustic ‘Anaesthetise’ and ‘Home’ takes us the audience somewhere else, elegaic delivery and fine playing and almost in Vega/Nyro territory. Keith and Colin are back for the rest of the set, ‘Take Power’ and its snaky riffing icing the aural cake.

Pete Sargeant

Chantel McGregor’s new album ‘Lose Control’ is out now on her independent boutique label Tis Rock Music. In addition, Chantel will be touring the UK extensively in 2015/2016 with her ‘Lose Control’ tour at the following venues: 

Ripley, Town Hall
Saturday 12th December 2015

Tickets: £15.00
Ripley Town Hall, Ripley, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 3AX

Newcastle, The Cluny
Sunday 13th December 2015

Box Office: 0191 230 4474
Tickets: £13.00
36 Lime Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2PQ

Morecambe, The Platform
Monday 14th December 2015

Box Office:  01472 349222
Tickets: £13.00
Old Station Buildings, Marine Rd W, Morecambe LA4 4DB

Leeds, The Brudenell
Tuesday 15th December 2015

Box Office: 0113 245 5570
Tickets: £13.00
33 Queens Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1NY

Bristol, The Tunnels
Wednesday 16th December 2015

Box Office: 0845 6050255
Tickets: £12.00
Arches 31 & 32, Bristol & Exeter Mews, Lower Station Approach Road,
Temple Meads, Bristol, BS1 6QF

Derby, The Flowerpot
Thursday 17th December 2015

Box Office:  01332 834438
Tickets: £13.00
25, King Street, Derby, DE1 3DZ

Sedgefield. Parish Hall

Friday 15th January 2016

Tickets: £14.00

Front St, Sedgefield, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland TS21 3AT

Dorking, Dorking Halls

Friday 5th February 2016

Box Office: 01306 881717

Tickets: £15.50 (adv)/£17.50

Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SG

Harpenden. Harpenden Public Halls

Friday 12th February 2016

Box Office: 01582 762880

Tickets: £14.00 (adv)/£16.00

Southdown Rd, Harpenden AL5 1PD

Bingley, Bingley Arts Centre

Saturday 13th February 2016

Box Office: 01274 431576

Tickets: £15.00

Main St, Bingley BD16 2LZ

London, Jazz Cafe

Wednesday 16th March 2016

Box Office: 0844 847 2514

Tickets: £14.00

5 Parkway, London NW1 7PG

Southampton, Talking Heads

Thursday 17th March 2016

Box Office: 023 8067 8446

Tickets: £14.00

320 Portswood Rd, Southampton SO17 2TD

Clitheroe, The Grand

Saturday 19th March 2016

Box Office: 01200 421599

Tickets: £14.00

18 York St, Clitheroe BB7 2DL

Hessle, Town Hall

Saturday 26th March 2016

Box Office: 07969 457382

Tickets: £15.00

South Lane, Hessle, East Yorksire, HU13 0RR

St Helens, The Citadel

Friday 13th May 2016

Box Office: 01744735436

Tickets: £14.00

Waterloo St, Saint Helens WA10 1PX

St Ives, Guildhall

Saturday 28th May 2016

Tickets: £14.00

Street-an-Pol, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2DS

Lyme Regis, Marine Theatre

Sunday 29th May 2016

Box Office: 01297 442394

Tickets: TBC

Church St, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3QB

Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre

Saturday 4th June 2016

Tickets: £15.00

122A Highgate, Kendal LA9 4HE

Goole Junction

Saturday 18th June 2016

Tickets: TBC

Bilston, Robin 2

Wednesday 29th June 2016

Box Office: 01902 497860

Tickets: TBC

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(Photo Gallery by Kieran White. Thanks to Peter Noble at Noble PR for help with this review)