(Photo by Laurence Harvey)


Often we hear of tragic tales related to music business, where fine and talented artists reach an unexpected tragic destiny in a premature stage of their lives and careers. Rather fortunately though, for the 70-years old British rocker Wilko Johnson, those tragic tales have taken a positive reverse. After surviving a strenuous battle against cancer, the musician from Canvey Island is gradually refueling his energy tank and watching him performing a special concert at that breathtakingly beautiful venue that is the Royal Albert Hall in London, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his activity with the Wilko Johnson Band, was a very emotional experience.

Preceded by a rather entertaining, although sweary performance by the always outrageous, post-modern poet John Cooper Clarke, the guitarist and his two music compadres, Norman Watt-Roy on bass and Dylan Howe on drums enter stage at 21.40 sharp, impeccably dressed, with Johnson showing great determination and concentration since the first notes of the opening song of the night.

In a time of the world where words like "connection" and "spiritual" assume an increasingly lesser significance for the current generations of music fans, there is still someone that, fortunately, give to those words the importance they deserve. The New York powerhouse and singer/songwriter Sari Schorr likes to put such words together in her music vocabulary, especially when it comes to describe properly her relationship with British audiences.


A special bond that emerges once again tonight, in the South-East of Great Britain at The West End Center in Aldershot, a military town where Schorr ends the UK leg of her European Tour in support of her debut album, A Force Of Nature. The intimate venue in the county of Hampshire seems to be the ideal location to conclude Schorr's UK Tour. The American artist, always keen to create a connection with her fans, seems very relaxed tonight and the warm welcome of the crowd, when Schorr and her band, The Engine Room, come on stage, helps even further the singer/songwriter to break the ice in no time.

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                                                                                                      (Photo by John Bull)



It has been a very successful year, professionally, for the L.A. singer and songwriter Beth Hart. Still fresh from the successful 2015 album Better Than Home, this powerhouse artist has just released a brand new album in Europe called Fire On The Floor, an album that has been welcomed by unanimous appreciation both from her fans and the music press. The album, which will be released in early 2017 in the States, is Hart's personal masterpiece to date, thanks to a fabulous alchemy of deep, intense songwriting, perfectly balanced musical arrangements and Hart's irresistible singing style.

Beth Hart has been and still is on a sort of Neverending Tour, in-between the Better Than Home and the Fire On The Floor albums. Among the many places in the world where the Californian artist is highly respected and loved, the United Kingdom has had, in the last three or four years, a fast-growing love, respect and appreciation for Hart's intensity, passion, disarming honesty and insanely great talent.

We catch Beth Hart live in London, on the last night of the UK leg of the Tour, who has recorded an impressive series of sold-out concerts, night after night throughout the whole country. When the lights go down, at 8.30pm sharp, Hart surprises the whole crowd by entering gently the Hall from the stalls, rather than the stage, on the notes of Billie Holiday's classic Don't Explain.

Judging from the initial ovation tributed to Hart's entrance, it is very clear that the crowd is expecting a pyrotechnical performance from the American artist tonight. The warmth coming from the very excited London crowd might have been, perhaps, a bit too overwhelming for this incredible singer/songwriter, creating inadvertantly a little backfiring effect. Beth Hart shows some initial tension in the first half hour of the show, maintaining her powerful voice at a much lower level, compared to what her fans are used to listen to, on songs like If I Tell You I Love You and Can't Let Go.

Once the L.A. artist starts to loosen up, the quality of her performance goes up three notches, showing why Beth Hart is so much loved and respected by so many people of different age ranges around the world. She can become on stage either the hottest rock chick in town, when she delivers the foot-stomping new song Fat Man (dedicated ironically to the new U.S. President) or be the tenderest, most passionate human being on Earth, when she opens up the deepest chords of her tormented soul in the irresistible 4-songs sequence of St. Theresa, Good Day To Cry, Sister Heroine and Leave The Light On.

 lhm6062 rlaurence harvey 2


                                                                                             (Photo by Laurence Harvey)


There is nothing that can stop Beth Hart from this point on tonight's show. The crowd is visibly on her feet and the American singer/songwriter keeps the momentum of the night high by bringing the show to the end with a musical knock-out with Delicious Surprise and the splendid Tell Her You Belong To Me.

But the night is not quite over yet. The crowd screams incessantly for more and Beth Hart is not certainly somebody that pulls back, when it comes to return all the passion that she has received tonight by the Royal Festival Hall's full house. The new album title-track Fire On The Floor sees perhaps the best vocal performance of the artist on the night, to the point that she receives another standing ovation by the whole house. Mama, This One's For You, dedicated to Hart's mother DorothyLee, creates the perfect platform to close the show with a spectacular cover version of  Etta Jame's I'd Rather Go Blind, Hart's closing signature piece of her shows of the last 3-4 years.

An irresistible performance from one of the most talented and skilled artist of this generation, even despite the shaky start of tonight's show. It must be the magic of Xmas approaching, because the Londoners have witnessed, tonight, the only flying-indoor comet they are ever likely to see in their lives. That comet is called Beth Hart.  




Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

It's no wonder why, despite the deep crisis of the music business and the constant struggling for many music genres to survive in such a troubled artistic world, the Blues keeps on going against all odds. This is not just something related to the United States, where historically there has always been a strong, countrywide legacy between musicians and this genre that has allowed (and still going) the Blues baton to be carried for several generations but also to many more parts of the world.

Europe, for instance, in the last 50-odd years, has gifted this ultra-centenary genre with some incredible artists like Rory Gallagher, John Mayall, Peter Green, Alexis Korner, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, just to mention few of them. There are numerous Blues associations around the world doing a magnificent job by keep on spreading the word of Blues to old and new fans but very few do so as well as the European Blues Union. In the last 7 years (including this), the EBU has felt increasingly the need to create a chain around the whole of Europe between musicians, a new breed of artists that would be carrying the Blues message to the next generations.

It has been a long time coming for the Canadian rock band No Sinner to come back and play live again for their European fans. The 2013 acclaimed debut album Boo Hoo Hoo saw the band building a solid ground of popularity, thanks to a winning music combo of blues and rock, not just in Canada but in many part of the world, including United Kingdom, where the band was welcomed with a very warm reception the first time they toured in this part of the world.

Finally, No Sinner managed in 2016 to release their second album, Old Habits Die Hard, a splendid collection of songs with a more incisive spin into rock, containing inspired songwriting written by the band leader and powerhouse singer Colleen Rennison. Bluebird Reviews is lucky enough to capture the intensity of a No Sinner performance at The Borderline, one of the most historic music venues in London, Uk, during their European Tour.

At 9.30pm sharp, Rennison and the band, formed by Harry Watson on keyboards, Kyler Pierce on guitar, Max Grant on drums and Brandon Clark on bass, come on stage and the jubilant roar of the crowd, even in a relatively small venue like The Borderline, sounds almost as powerful as it may sound in a temple of the music like the Royal Albert Hall.

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  (Photo by Duncan Jones)



The way No Sinner attack the gig is impressive, in many ways; the ballsy rock and roll of Leadfoot, followed in immediate succession by the beautiful, rootsy tempo of All Woman show unmistakably how much the sound of the band has matured and become more compact, through the craftmanship of all the musicians on stage and, most of all, through the incredible voice of Colleen Rennison.

Rennison's vocal range is very impressive. The Canadian performer can flex her voice to such unimaginable extents and tonight's concert displays in full throttle what Rennison is able to achieve, through her phenomenal voice.

No Sinner are truly unstoppable tonight. In a setlist that comprises almost in its entirety the tracks present on their new album Old Habits Die Hard, the band give their absolute all, on stage, in front of a very cheerful and appreciative crowd.

Hollow is one of the most intense moments of the whole show. The depth of Rennison's vocal delivery on this track is passionate, soulful, almost mystical and the band creates the perfect sonic ground to allow the Canadian singer and songwriter to express her artistry at its very best.













(Photo by Duncan Jones)


No Sinner are a band in every sense of the word. Each musicians bring on stage every ounce of their talent, showcasing it individually in several moments of the show, including Grant's memorable drumming on One More Time, for example, or the classy and flawless closing Mandy Lyn, in which the whole band doesn't miss a single note throughout the song and the amalgam among the five musicians reaches sheer perfection.

The London fans gathered at The Borderline don't want the show to finish quite yet, though and keep calling repeatedly the band to return for an Encore. As a personal "Thank You" to a country that has so warmly embraced their music since the beginning of their career, No Sinner decide to perform a couple of covers to salute and homage the fans and the United Kingdom, Them's Gloria and Amy Winehouse's Valerie.

When the show is over, Yours Truly spots several smiles coming from the crowd, on the way out from the venue, clear symptom of how much the fans enjoyed the return of a band that it's clearly on the path to global stardom. No Sinner have done it again.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato



One of the greatest thing about music is that it can feels any space, thanks to its power, no matter the size of the venue. When some concerts take place in more intimate and cozy venues, like at The Railway Inn and in that splendid city of the south of

 England that is Winchester, they even become more memorable and joyous, both for the audience and the artist himself.

The artist in question tonight is one of Bluebird Reviews old friends and one of the finest English artists and performers, Big Boy Bloater. His current album, Luxury Hobo, is one of the best selling albums not just in the United Kingdom but also in several parts of Europe and tonight, the British singer/songwriter is here with his band The Limits to perform in a venue very close to his heart.

ryan mcgarvey jack hutchinson photo





 (Photo by Jack Hutchinson)






 There is a special connection between Europe and that very talented guitarist and singer/songwriter that is Ryan McGarvey. The NeverEnding Tour that McGarvey is carrying since the release of The Road Chosen album in 2014 has taken the artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico through various European countries in the latest leg of a tour that is costantly proving how much the American artist is not just hugely loved in his own country but in several parts of the world too.

The United Kingdom belongs undoubtedly to those places of the world above mentioned, where McGarvey's artistry is growing exponentially as the years go by. As a consequence, there could have been no better places to close the European part of the tour than the UK capital London.

The 100 Club is one of those places that belong to rock and roll history. Located in the heart of London, the club has seen performing in the last half a century the cream of the music industry worldwide, from The Stones to the New York Dolls and many more and the list would go on forever. McGarvey is tonight sharing the bill with other worldwide artists, some of those long time friends like Erja Lyttinen, the finnish guitar prodigy whose career has also been followed closely by our website. 

ryan and erja





   (Ryan McGarvey & Erja Lyttinen - Photo By Gio Pilato) 






McGarvey is accompanied on stage tonight, as it has been happening for the last 12 months, by the talented drummer Christopher HIll and by one of the giants of bass guitar of all time like Carmine Rojas. The set is a shorter one, in comparison to the two-hours shows that Ryan McGarvey is use to play every night but the hour of music that Yours Truly and the rest of a jam-packed venue is going to witness tonight is truly intense and of supreme beauty.

The American Guitar Maestro shows, once again, why he is one of the most talented and respected blues/rock guitarists worldwide in no time, by launching himself and his band in a solid performance of Blues Knockin' At My Door.

McGarvey's style is incredibly versatile. His guitar sound flies flawlessly in the air sometimes gracefully, through suave melodies and tales of broken hearts or wildly, as in one of McGarvey's all time masterpieces that is Memphis.

There are lots of smiles between McGarvey and his band, throughout the whole show. A clear sign that the musicians are not just enjoying themselves on stage and entertain wonderfully the full house of The 100 Club but they are also feeling that tonight, there is something extra special in their performances. When McGarvey introduces, as next song, one of the fan's most favourite tunes, Blue Eyed Angel Blues, The 100 Club literally erupts. Ryan McGarvey is not just one of the finest guitarists worldwide but also a truly excellent singer and this song proves it all through a remarkably sublime execution of this tune from his first album Forward In Reverse.

When the musicians exit the stage after the splendid Joyride, the crowd clearly doesn't want this show to end just and chant so loudly McGarvey's name for the next 5 minutes that the American artist cannot certainly refuse an Encore for the loving crowd of The 100 Club. What follows is a spectacular version of another of McGarvey's most loved hits, Mystic Dream, in which this incredible Guitar Virtuoso launches himself plus Rojas and HIll in 12 minutes of absolute rock hysteria, in a sonic attack of the finest quality.

McGarvey couldn't end the European tranche of his tour in a better way or with a better performance than the one witnessed tonight in London. His fans on the other side of the pond and the artist himself both know that they certainly won't be waiting very long to see the return and hear the magic that comes from the guitar and the voice of one of the most loved and most talented artists of the last decade. 



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

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