The Chantel McGregor Band is, as I have said before, an act that I would go out of my way to see. So, it’s a surprise to find that tonight’s gig at the Roman Bath is only the second time this year that I’ve managed to catch one of their gigs. (I know I missed their last visit to York as it clashed with my visit to the York Beer Festival and I think the previous one clashed with another gig.)
There’s little I can add to what I have already posted about Chantel’s prodigious talent with a guitar but I have to say that tonight’s set was, in my opinion, the least impressive that I have seen by her. That’s not to take anything away from Chantel – she played as brilliantly as ever – it’s just that there was a lot of the set that I wasn’t familiar with and some of my favourites were missing. Yes, we got songs from the likes of Hendrix (Red House and Voodoo Chile), Jethro Tull (Living In Past), Ten Years After, Joe Satriani (Up In The Sky) and Joe Bonamassa (Mountain Time), but where was Clapton/Cream, Steve Vai and Fleetwood Mac??
Hey ho, I guess if she played the same set every time, I’d be complaining of too little variation.
I’m beginning to get the impression that Chantel is getting a loyal following at the Bath (as she seems to have at other venues) as the applause tonight was mixed with cheers and howls of appreciation. But there are still people who, until tonight, were yet to experience one of her gigs. Members of York’s own Morpheus Rising were in tonight’s audience and I have it on good authority that the wife of one was “blown away”. It was interesting (and slightly amusing) to see the looks on the faces of some of the casual punters who wandered in, heard the music and then noticed who was playing it.
After another excellent set, we headed outside for our usual round of banter and despite Andy telling us at least three times that he had to head off, he was just getting round to unlocking his Brompton as Chantel, her band and parents left the pub. For some reason, she thought it would be a good idea to have a go on the bike. So, much the our amusement (and that of band members Martin and Alex) and the apparent consternation of her parents, Andy dutifully lowered the seat (twice!) and off she wobbled around St Sampson’s Square. “Can you play guitar while doing that?” shouted Martin from his car. We have a suspicion that she may well be able to, with just a little more practice.