Ladies Of The Blues

Friday 23rd March 2018 

Under The Bridge, Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom

Supplied By Venue

This was the place to be in London tonight, for fans of blues and roots music. Mostly the audience heard men playing BUT each of the three acts was of course fronted by a female artist with something to say and the voice and chops to deliver it. Variety was guaranteed by the choice of acts, but the good vibes rolling off the stage made it clear that this was a happy package tour, no face-offs or one-up-woman-ship nonsense, just ace songs put over with skill and punch.

First to take the stage our friend Erja Lyytinen and her group. The excellent sound quality at Under The Bridge was fully exploited by Erja whose strong suit is her use of guitar dynamics, especially on the slide guitar features. City Of Angels is a fabulous song and is a sonic but soulful journey as she puts her sparkly blue Tele through its range. Splayed arpeggio’d chorused chords abound. The Yamaha Motif piano has a full Deodato sound..indeed we had seen him playing one a few days earlier at Ronnie Scott’s !Crisp drumming, fluid bass and jazz-flecked keyboards are a superb setting for what Erja produces. Incidentally she sings better than I have ever heard her, channeling anger, passion and fire at will. An ancient blues tune finds Erja slipping easily from one artist’s style to another and is a joy to listen to. The highlight perhaps is a truly Zappaesque Black Ocean is a whirlwind of tones and twists.

Lyytinen then gives us a brand new single called Without You. A proud vocal and stealthy rhythm makes this a winner. She is unstoppable here this evening.

Kyla Brox has a strong presence, glowing good looks, a cool stage presence and a rich, supple voice. She puts this to good use on every song. The cartoon-strip dress complements a Bonnie Raitt swagger on some numbers. Bloodshot Sky uses a snakey tempo to weave its spell. The insistent, melodic guitar motifs – often recalling John Platania – give each number a touch of magic dust, never overpowering the singing. The icing on the cake was a couple of mentholated flute breaks played by Kyla herself. I do recall seeing Victor Brox many times with Aynsley Dunbar’s Retaliation and the pipes have been inherited. Impressive all round, especially on 365 Days, If You See Him with its Nina Simone vibe, Lovin’ Your Love with its cyclic guitar figures and Revolution.

At times during her show, Connie Lush exhibits the devilish dark humour developed over many years on stage..at times her accent and manner evoke the would-be yellowcoat in Hi De Hi. Once she is off singing, however her sheer authority is upfront – mixing the tigerish, joyous, bitter and tender far better than many of her contemporaries. Her band tonight could hardly frame her songs better, a fat pumping sound and solo’s that drove things further. Lush mixes some classic numbers with originals and there is never a dull moment. Love Me Like A Man has a Texas sway,

Shine A Light On Me is a good song. Every word is clear and fizzing with meaning. If only Bobby Bland was still around to stroll on and duet..man, he surely would!

Encore time brings the three women together for an acapella gospel tune, then band members return for a rousing Rolling Stones classic..and it’s emphatically NOT Stupid Girl or Under My Thumb! Great entertainment from three splendid ensembles.

Pete Sargeant



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(Thanks to Baxter PR and Solid Entertainments for help with this article)

You can watch the music video for Erja Lyttinen’s new single ‘Without You’ and read about her November 2018 UK Tour here: http://bit.ly/2E6IDpq

For more information on Erja Lyttinen visit her official website here: http://bit.ly/2J8W4ca

For more information on Connie Lush visit her official website here: http://bit.ly/2vpx7q6

For more information on Kyla Brox visit her official website here: http://bit.ly/2qH29nA

 

Ladies Of The Blues