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Gravesend Bluesrockfest

Starts: 4th Jul 2015

The Gravesend Bluesrockfest is fast becoming the must see festival. In its 3rd year the previous headliners have been Larry Miller and Aynsley Lister - This year we welcome Chantel McGregor as our headliner with a star studded line up to support. Albany Down and Troy Redfern are already confirmed wi

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Start Date

4th Jul 2015

End Date

4th Jul 2015

Location

The Red Lion

Lineup

Chantel McGregor, Albany Down, Little Devils, The Troy Redfern Band, The Chris Walker Band and The Rainbreakers

Details

CHANTEL MCGREGOR

2014 marks Chantel’s return to studio recording after 3 years of constant touring and festival appearances that followed the launch of her independent record label with the release of her debut album “Like No Other”.

Emerging from the UK’s vibrant Blues-Rock scene, Chantel is currently working with her band on pre-production rehearsals of her new material, and the results so far indicate that new the recordings are more likely to draw comparisons with contemporary chart Rock artists than the guitar greats from yesteryear with whom Chantel is usually associated.

In 2013 Chantel became the first female artist to be voted "Guitarist of the Year" in the history of the British Blues Awards. Last week the legendary Paul Jones announced on his BBC Radio 2 Show that Chantel had again won Guitarist of The Year 2014, and played a track from her 1 album.

On hearing the track, Chris Evans played it the very next day on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

Paul’s introduction to Chantel’s track last week said it all: "Chantel McGregor and a piece called Cat Song from her album Like No Other, which reminds us that not only is she a very fine singer indeed, but a quite stunning guitarist. Congratulations to her on beating fierce opposition”

Paul Jones has always championed Chantel, resulting in Chantel holding the record for the longest song ever played on Radio 2 (from a live session at Maida Vale) and for the longest live session in a 1 hour show (again on Radio 2).

Chantel's debut album, Like No Other, was released on her own label and produced by Livingstone Brown, who has worked with a wide and diverse range of artists over the years, including Kylie Minogue, Shakira and Ed Sheeran.

If you measure an artist’s prospects by the company they keep, then Chantel is clearly heading in the right direction: Chantel performed straight after Eric Clapton on the same stage, has been invited by Joe Bonamassa to jam with him on two of his UK tour dates so far, and has also featured alongside Jeff Beck, Keith Richards and Albert Lee on a worldwide DVD celebrating 60 years of the Fender Telecaster.

As early as 2011 Chantel was invited to contribute a track from her debut album to a compilation of recordings featuring legendary artists like The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart and Robert Plant.

That same year saw Chantel win the first of five Awards in four consecutive years in the fiercely competitive British Blues Awards: Young Artist of the Year 2011; Female Vocalist of the Year 2012; both Female Vocalist of the Year and Guitarist of the Year 2013; and most recently Guitarist of the Year 2014 for the second time in a row!

Chantel was also involved in the delivery of a BBC Introducing Masterclass, broadcast from the legendary Abbey Road Studios, and BBC Maida Vale Studios in London.

Rocking out with her band or performing solo acoustic sets, Chantel never fails to impress. Imagine the tone and inspiration of Jimi Hendrix, the energy of Royal Blood plus the intensity of Black Keys, in contrast with the ethereal acoustic sounds of Eva Cassidy and the haunting vocal of Stevie Nicks all rolled into one..........introducing Chantel McGregor, hailed one of the UK’s most exciting artists!

ALBANY DOWN

Contemporary UK blues-rock band, Albany Down, came together with some classic rock and Brit blues-rock influences, but with their 2011 debut album, ‘South of the City’, they found their own sound.

Albany Down are Paul Muir on vocals, guitarist Paul Turley, drummer Donna Peters and bassist Billy Dedman and they have recorded a brace of albums with producer Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, INME, Super Furry Animals).

"These guys are really going somewhere; make sure they take you with them!" - Paul Jones, BBC Radio 2

Blues Rock Review offered a fair assessment of both the band and their debut album: “South of the City” is a solid debut album from Albany Down and they will be an interesting band to watch develop in the coming years”.

They now step up to the plate with12 original well-crafted songs on their formidable new album “Not Over Yet”. Traditionally a band’s second album is regarded as being problematical but Albany Down have turned that notion on its head, taking all that was good on “South of the City”, honing their song writing craft and revelling in Greg Haver’s powerful production.

The band’s big Zeppelin-influenced sound draws from the same British blues-rock well, that gave Zeppelin a head start all those years ago and later was rediscovered by Joe Bonamassa. But it’s the resonant substance of the band’s own songs and their exuberant style that gives the new album its edge.

“We all came to the band with different but related musical influences” says vocalist Paul Muir. “We wanted to build on those and write and play music that was all our own and really ‘now’. We enjoyed working with Greg on the first album and he has undoubtedly enabled us to expand both our musical horizons and our self confidence in trying new things.”

The debut album, “South Of The City”, clearly showcased what the band were capable of - ranging from the superbly arranged ‘Mercy’ to the low-down dirty, slide-led blues epic of the title track.

“Not Over Yet” finds Albany Down playing to their strengths as they explore the full scope of their musical dynamics to match their fast rising song craft. And where vocalist Paul Muir could previously have been compared to the likes of Paul Rodgers, he stamps his own personality on this album, while guitarist Paul Turley adds his own passionate performance as part of a sparkling mix.

It’s one thing to focus on your style and develop your sound, but quite another to deliver songs that can set you apart from your contemporaries. “Not Over Yet” does the trick, from the soaring Eastern vibe of the intro and the Black Country Communion feel of ‘Back Again’, to the funky bluster and potent hook of “Take This Town”. Their jewel in the crown is the mandolin-led “Man Like Me”. That’s not to overlook the climactic blues-rock ballad "You Ain't Coming Home" and the reprise of the album’s opening Eastern theme on the big production “She’s The Light”.

“Not Over Yet” also reflects the band’s old school, daily existence as a hard working road tested outfit, who have enjoyed well received appearances at the Burnley and Maryport International Rock/Blues Festivals as well as the legendary 100 Club.

Albany Down are a band that runs on pure adrenalin, unrelenting energy and raw emotion. “Not Over Yet” is a landmark album full of their strongest songs, lingering melodies and great playing. They save their best for last on the epic “The Working Man”, a song for our times. The band’s stellar performance showcases vocalist Muir’s full range, and features a defining guitar solo from Paul Turley. You can pay this track no better compliment than to say it sits effortlessly with any major song from the classic rock era, and would surely light up contemporary rock radio.

Rock blogger Neil Mach probably got it right, when he recently described the band; "As hot as volcanic ash and yet as cool as snow slippers."

“Not Over Yet” is an aptly titled album and an accurate barometer of a band on the up-escalator and will soon be tearing up a venue near you

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