For those of you who have not been to The Stables, Milton Keynes, it is a great venue with 2 rooms for gigs, the larger room we were in last night to see Samantha Fish and a smaller room. There is a great bar, helpful staff and great acoustics. This is the kind of venue where they remind you to take your seats and the gig starts promptly.
Photo credit – firstname.lastname@example.org
The support act were a band called “Curse of Lono” who I had not heard of before but I am definitely going to be keeping an eye out for them now. They are doing a tour in October and I will be there to see them. They had a real creative flair with a mixture of jazz and trance sounds combined with rock, country and blues plus the odd pop element. If that sounds like something worrying then fear not as this was a band of 5 talented musicians who knew how to craft a perfect song. Playing with beautiful guitar tones and not afraid to be a bit tongue in cheek at times this was a perfectly executed and accomplished set. There was plenty of space in the tracks and very clever arrangements. The band were all very cool, the drummer plays in dark glasses, military jacket and a hat which combined well with the lovely female bass player who had a beautiful voice.
After a short interval it was time for the main event, Samantha Fish, who I think is a stunning guitarist and had been on my list to see for a long time. Samantha is a blonde haired dynamo that packs a power punch with her majestic guitar work. Wearing a leopard print crop top with green flares and stilettos she looked amazing with her curly blonde hair and red lips.
Photo Credit – Kevin@UKMusicreviews.co.uk
She began the set with Bulletproof, played on a box guitar which she really made sing, with fierce changes in tempo, this was full of swagger and attitude. We were invited to “rock out” as we were “all there for rock n roll.” The set had a great mix of older tracks and new showed Samantha’s talent for use of a slide which I thought she used to great effect almost making it sound like a conversation with the guitar answering her plaintive vocals.
“Little Baby” had a very funky vibe and got my toes tapping. It had a slight country twang and featured intense keys and vibrant, warbling guitar. This is another cool band with a bass player who looked brooding in his hat, a great keyboard player and drummer.
Samantha really knows what to do to a guitar to make it talk and sing and the vocals moved from soulful to rock with consummate skill and ease. There was a track with blue grass overtones that was haunting, featuring a replete bass before the tempo was ramped up into a deep textured track. I loved the slightly off tempo vocals and effortless guitar. “Don’t say you love me” had Samantha using her guitar almost like a weapon showing that she can do balls out rock as well as anyone.
There were many changes of guitar and during what should have been a transition into a new track there was an issue with the drum kit and so she decided to go it alone, this seemed a really brave step as it showed a completely different side of her as she seemed vulnerable without the support of the band. However, this did not hold her back from a 30’s influenced vocal that worked well.
Samantha confirmed her new record is out in August and said how excited she was about it. This is vocalist who can move seamlessly between emotional breathy vocals which were soft and rich to more raucous rock and blues. “I’m in Love” had a beautiful build up of swirling keys and drums.
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Finally, it was back to the box guitar and we were all invited to stand for the “protest” song which was vibrant and buzzy, discordant and full of swagger and attitude.
I was impressed with the mastery of the guitars that were played and Samantha really understands the tone that she gets from each of them that she plays, they all bring a different flavour to the set. I thought that some of the tracks seemed to have a few too many false endings, whereas “Curse of Lono” perhaps finished some of their tracks too soon.
If you get the opportunity to catch this tour then make sure you go out and see them as both band combine to offer a night of excellent music and mastery of their instruments.
You can find all of the tour dates and information on the forthcoming album at the link below:
I would like to say a personal thanks for Kevin and Ant for helping me the photos of the gig, it is really appreciated.