joesatriani (Photo by Martin Thomas)

 

For his own admission, "There is no better place than London to end an European Tour". The UK capital is in for a real treat tonight, with Joe Satriani arriving to town touring his new album, Shockwave Supernova.

Sparkles of great fireworks coming are set alight by an old friend of Bluebird Reviews, the fabulous Dan Patlansky. The South African guitar Virtuoso has been the Support Act for Satriani's last 25 dates of this European Tour and it is virtually impossible to find anybody better than Patlansky nowadays, in the music business, to open a night of rock of such great magnitude.

Patlansky's 3-pieces band offers a very solid 40 minutes set, in which he cannot express enough his gratitude and appreciation to his English fans for supporting his music and to Satriani, for allowing him to be on this Tour. There is the opportunity tonight to hear two brand new songs, Run and Stop The Messing, both included in Patlansky's forthcoming album, expected in 2016. Run, in particular, shows early signs of another potential mega-hit coming for the talented South African guitarist, given the crowd's strong response.

Dan Patlansky Apollo (Photo by Charlotte Wellings)

At 8.30pm sharp, lights go down and the thunderous guitar of Satriani attacks the show with the killer tempo of Shockwave Supernova, the title track of the guitar Maestro's new album. Satriani looks in great shape and unleash his phenomenal artistry and ability throughout the two-hour plus show. The stage offers, in true Satriani's style, some great light effects and a beautiful montage of background images to accompain each tune, just to add some extra spice to this formidable night of music.

Often wrongly depicted as self-indulgent, many people tent to forget that, to maintain high standard of music, in a purely instrumental show like this, it requests an incredible amount of versatility and skills. But that is what separate a genius like Satriani from music Average Joes. The American artist showcases his deep musical understanding by incorporating, in his highly fuelled rock tunes, elements of funk and fusion, to make this incredible live set even more palatable. Every note coming from each tune of the Guitar Maestro's many guitars manages successfully to tell a story, without the need of having a singer on stage.

Crystal Planet is powerful, boombastic and armed of an irresistible guitar riff. Butterfly And Zebra is tender and soulful, with its melody encapsulating perfectly the tale Satriani wanted to tell through his guitar. Crazy Joey is, perhaps, one of the most intense track of the new album and of tonight's show. Satriani reveals it all about himself, in this 5-minutes long, magic tune; there is creativity, fun, skills and playfulness. A touch of genius.

Satriani's band plays also a great role in tonight's show. The class and versatility of Mike Keneally on guitar and keys, the sharp, powerful bass of Bryan Beller and the imperial tempo that Marco Minnemann on drums dictates on each tune, make this band a true rock music machine like very few around.

The fans tonight at The Apollo are in total music Nirvana and, in a tremendous crescendo of music tempo, old and new gems of Satriani's repertoire like Luminous Flesh Giants and Goodbye Supernova, join forces in leading superbly the crowd to the end of a fabulous show.

Satriani and his band look visibly happy about tonight's performance and decide to pull off the most precious ace off their sleeves on their Encore, by executing an incredible version of Surfing With The Alien, which gets the biggest cheer of the night at The Apollo.

There are no many Music Raconteurs around the globe able to deliver the fire and the flare that Satriani's guitar does. A Music Meteorite landed in London tonight, a Music Surfing Alien emerged from it and brought a magnificent night of rock that the Londoners wil remember for a very long time. 

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 reevesboileroom2 (Photo by Giovanni "Gio" Pilato)

The power of music is also to make a relatively small club, like The Boileroom of Guildford in the UK, to become a little rock arena, just for one hour. This can become possible just through great artists, those with the capital "A".

Reeves Gabrels is more than a pioneer of music and guitar sound. He was the driving force that helped David Bowie's music throughout the 90's to achieve an exploding combustion of a futuristic and dazzling beauty of sound, allowing Bowie's music to get a new lease of life, through Gabrels' leadership.

As a soloist, Gabrels has published not a lot of albums but whenever it did, the results have always been of great depth and artistic stature. Gabrels is currently promoting his latest album, Reeves Gabrels & His Imaginary Friends around the UK and the show tonight is a little, great gift for this historic club in the south of England.

Opening the show as support artist, in this installment of his European Tour, Gabrels has brought the young and talented Lisa Ronson, daughter of the late great Mick Ronson, another of David Bowie's longtime collaborators. During her set, the young artist offers to the audience an interesting pastiche of sound, suspended half a way between theatricality and synth-pop, the whole accompanied by solid guitar riffs that echo the period of the 90s grunge rock era.

When Gabrels takes centre stage at 9.30pm, with his band, the whole club is transformed into a timeless place of rock worship. For the entire duration of the concert, the American guitarist and composer opens the wings of his immense talent to an audience visibly delighted by the inspiration and genius of this guitar master.

Gabrels, as expected, is performing tonight many of the songs from his latest album. Drown You Out and Zero Effect offer sharp rhymes, at the same time accompanied by powerful guitar arpeggios and very catchy choruses. The bass work of Kevin Hornback cements admirably the Wall Of Sound of a very inspired Gabrels, tonight, in this warm English evening. Wish You Were Her has got a romantic and melancholic tone, supported by a sinuous movement of the always dreamy and always unpredictable Gabrels' guitar sound.

The House Of Usher and Try, the new single just released by the talented New York artistare executed with the technical and proverbial musical perfection that has become, through the years, the trademark of Gabrels' distinctive alchemy of sound.

Bright Lights, Big City is one of the most intense moments of the show. On this song, Gabrels gifts the audience with an impeccable blues-rock guitar solo, which even champions of the genre, such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, would have loudly approved.

Yesterday's Gone is the natural conclusion of a wonderful show. Often been considered one of Gabrels' highest peaks of his career, the song gives that perfect musical texture to close a rock concert of great quality. A concert that his fans and whoever loves quality music will hardly forget.

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

 

Reeves Gabrels & His Imaginary Friend new single Try now available for download at Bandcamp

                                                                                By Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

sean taylor

 

There are places, scattered around the globe, where local people believe so much in music or any other forms of art that they are prepared to go all the way to make it possible. Those are the places that keep the spirit of music, any music, alive and kicking. One of these places is The Old Ford Inn, a pub in the army town of Aldershot, UK, that has hosted wonderful evenings of blues and folk music and tonight, they have managed to bring in one of the best British artists of this generation, Sean Taylor.

Sean is currently touring his latest album, The Only Good Addiction Is Love (reviewed previously here on Bluebird Review) and this evening he is going to perform an intimate, acoustic gig for the local fans before embarking his European Tour.

The venue might be small but the intensity of the performance that the young artist from London carries in his voice and his guitar, almost hypnotize the crowd throughout the whole 70-minutes set. Taylor travels across his whole discography during the acoustic set but personally, I felt the performance reached its pinnacle through two of the tracks on Taylor's new album, The Only Good Addiction Is Love and Bad Light. The purity of Taylor's voice is a rare jewel to find in nowadays' music scene and when he sings, one can feel that he means every word he sings about.

Sean Taylor does not forget the lessons of his music heroes and throughout his set, he pulls out of his magic hat three splendid covers, Hard Time Killing Floor Blues by Skip James, Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis and the powerful Freedom, by Richie Havens, with which the singer/songwriter concludes his concert.

A concert made of class, elegance, simplicity and great artistry at the same time. For one night only, the people of Aldershot felt like a star fell from the sky and shone in their gardens for a little while. That star is called Sean Taylor.

 

Sean Taylor Tour

 

 

 

 

chantelmcgregor1 (Photo by Laurence Harvey)

The 100 Club in London is one of the most iconic venues in the UK Capital. From BB King to The Stones, from The Who to the Oasis, just to quote a few, have been performing in this hidden music treasure, deep in the heart of London.

Chantel McGregor, one of the most interesting and promising young British guitarist and singer/songwriter, is here tonight to premiere her new album, Lose Control, the follow-up to her 2011 debut album, Like No Other. The new album, recently reviewed on our website, sees McGregor channeling her music style to a more pronounciated rock direction.

When she arrives on stage at 9pm sharp, McGregor, rigorously dressed in black and in bare feet, wastes no time in attacking the show in style, with a superb version of Caught Out, from her first album. The new album get featured, throughout the night, in full, with few addition from McGregor's 2011's debut. The whole show is highly entertaining and the crowd get a real taste of what the new album is going to sound like. McGregor manages successfully to transfer the energy that transpires in the new album on stage tonight and the response she gets from the fans is highly rewarding.

chantelmcgregor2 (Photo by Peter Kemzura)

 

Burn Your Anger and the new album's title-track Lose Control are incendiary, sonically aggressive and masterfully performed by McGregor and her band, a real treat for rock lovers. Walk On Land is a beautiful promenade into prog-rock territories and one can truly admire not just the true talent and craftmanship of McGregor but also her deep knowledge and understanding of music at 360 degrees. McGregor is not just a talented guitarist but a wonderful singer too. Her amazing singing voice shines throughout the whole show but it stands out even more beautifully in two tracks from the new album called Home and Anaesthetize, with just McGregor on stage with her acoustic guitar.

Lose Control, McGregor's new album, promises to be a real firecracker. Still, the most refreshing performance of the night is the almost-17-minutes version of Daydream from her 2011 debut, in which the whole band enchants the crowd with a dazzling sequence of music improvisations within the song. The level of intensity of the execution on Daydream, tonight on stage, symbolizes perfectly the musical philosophy of this young, inspired artist.

Chantel McGregor is back and is back with a bang.

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

walterdanaandlaurence (Photo courtesy of Dana Fuchs)

 

I was only 25 when I first heard Live (No More Fish Jokes) by Walter Trout. That album was, and still is, in my modest opinion, the epitaph of what Blues/Rock should sound like. Very few artists have been able to replicate that energy, vibes and intensity that Trout put on that record or in many of his studio albums he has recorded in his long and successful career but they rarely succeeded to do so.

In the last couple of years, horrible and heavy health issues have been very close to take away forever Trout not only from music and family but from life, in a very cruel way. Through the love and devotion of his family and fans, Trout has been able to overcome such issues and is living now a second life, to the point he struggles himself to believe he made it through.

Many people will remember the Lead Belly Tribute evening at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 15th for the incredible quality of the line-up. Dana Fuchs (what a dynamite!), Laurence Jones, Paul Jones, Jools Holland, Billy Bragg, Eric Burdon, Van Morrison and many others. But Walter Trout stole the whole show. He just couldn't wait to go on stage, he didn't feel like doing anything else than playing tonight.

When that splendid woman that Marie, Walter's wife is, announced him to the London crowd, the whole Albert Hall rose on their feet for three Standing Ovations through the 10 minutes Trout had been on. Walter, visibly emotional, played a couple of tracks, one homage to the late great B.B. King, the other to Lead Belly, joined on stage by the young and very talented Laurence Jones during the whole performance. Apologies to all the readers at Bluebirdreviews about the fact I didn't take any photos. Purposely. I just wanted to feel and breath the whole emotion of that moment. To see Walter Trout on stage again, where he belongs, performing Live, has been an emotional and intense moment for myself and everyone present that night.

The Trout is back again, this time forever

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

See Walter Trout Comeback on YouTube

 

The Meltdown Festival is a music festival where every year, a guest curator chooses acts to come and play at that wonderful venue, which is Southbank Centre. Thanks to the genius of David Byrne (Talking Heads), this year's curator of the Meltdown Festival in London, we are fortunate enough to see a generous number of female artists performing in such Festival. Italy has got a well-deserved presence in this musical kermesse through possibly one of the best singer/songwriter coming from that part of the world, Carmen Consoli.

Consoli has almost re-written the way of approaching music in Italy in the last quarter of a century through a versatile sound formula that stretches from traditional folk style that comes straight from the south of Italy, where she comes from, to latin rhytms or grunge-esque rock, with a very thin layer of pop music. Her songwriting style is pure poetry-on-the-go. Carmen Consoli writes about a woman's universe like no one else does; Consoli's style can be dry, sweet, subtle and naughty at times but always capable to narrate the most intimate feelings of an italian woman through her captivating, poetic approach.

carmenconsoli (Photo by La Repubblica - Italy)

 

The sicilian "Cantantessa", a nickname given to her by Consoli's most devoted fans, has just recently released an album called "L'Abitudine Di Tornare" (The Habit Of Coming Back) and there is a certain trepidation from the crowd about her performance tonight, at the magnificent Southbank Centre in London, given the fact that Consoli had been here in UK last time almost a decade ago.

At 20.45, the lights go down and there is only a little beam of light that point straight to the centre stage, where Consoli decides to surprise everyone by performing a stunning version of the classical "Casta Diva" from Bellini's Norma accapella to open the show. When the other musicians join Consoli on stage, it is rather refreshing to see that the Italian artist has decided to bring an all-female three-pieces band with her on stage.

Consoli is an artist a 360 degrees and her live performance is a true mirror of the deep understanding she has about music. The Italian singer/songwriter is capable, throughout the show, to move gracefully from ballads such as Esercito Silente to torch songs permeated of elements of bossanova like Sintonia Imperfetta (both from her new album) until exploding in pure Sonic Youth-esque rock style on songs such as Per Niente Stanca and Venere.

carmenconsoli2 (Photo by Giovanni "Gio" Pilato)

 

Her performance never lack of intensity and purity in any moment of the show. The crowd doesn't want to let her go and Consoli comes back again for three Encores, in which she offers, once again, clear signs of her immense artistry and eclecticity. Her acoustic renditions of some of her classics, such as L'Ultimo Bacio and Parole Di Burro and the loud, angry electric finale of Besame Giuda are ultimate examples of how much Carmen Consoli lives and feel deeply her music and her lyrics.

The Meltdown Festival has brought to London a fortnight of starry nights. And one of those  stars, one of the brightest,  is, without a shadow of doubt, the "Cantantessa" Carmen Consoli.

 

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

 

The Meltdown Festival Link

Carmen Consoli Official Website

There must be no better place in the world to celebrate 20 years of glorious carrier on the road for a "Shepherd" then the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, UK. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is on the last date of their UK Tour of 2015 and London is paying a massive tribute to this phenomenal artist and his boys with another sold out night.

The night starts very well, with an intense blues mini-set performed by one of the most promising talents coming from England, named Ben Poole. Ben has been building himself a solid reputation in the genre in the last few years and this evening is no exception at all. Just about time to re-arrange the stage and at 20.45, a Blues Explosion detonates for the next two hours. Kenny and the band don't hold back from the minute they set foot on stage; Never Lookin' Back, Everything Is Broken and The House Is Rockin' set fire to the evening in style and Kenny and his band seem certainly to the top of their forms.  

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