Maker's Album Launch Party + Chris Helme at Night and Day Cafe
Maker, the Kent-based protagonists of psychedelic blues-spiked rock, held the launch party for their newly released debut album DEA (Dead Ends & Avenues) on 8th April at the legendary Manchester music venue, Night & Day Café.
The quartet, comprising Alessandro Marinelli on vocals, Andrew Donaldson on guitar, Gavin Donaldson on drums and John Austin on bass, cite their influences as ranging from the early blues legends through the stomping pop and soul of the sixties, to the raw power of punk. You’d be forgiven however for thinking that they bore a striking resemblance to The Black Crowes… They really do! Not just musically but vocally too.
Supporting with an acoustic performance was ex-Seahorses frontman Chris Helme, who treated us to a generous set consisting of songs from his solo catalogue and ’90’s classics from The Seahorses. The tracks, which were chosen largely by members of the audience, included You Can Talk To Me, The Boy In The Picture and Blinded By The Sun - a song he wrote about not being able to afford curtains whilst living in Brighton.
Helme explained the meanings behind most of the songs, which included one about being a solo artist and a drunk, another about wanting to get revenge on an ex-Headmaster and a song penned for his late Father-In-Law, who taught him many lessons about life and love.
It was a very chilled-out, informal affair and Helme delighted the crowd with his emotional, brooding delivery and beautiful guitar accompaniment. His vocals were faultless and there were moments when he really let rip, resulting in a goosebump or two.
Maker, who have headlined many of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including the 100 Club in London as part of last year’s ‘Best of British Blues Explosion’, stepped out onto the stage in a haze of dry ice to showcase tracks from their new album, which dropped on 6th April.
What the band delivered was glorious, soulful southern rock, infused with gritty, bluesy riffs and topped with a big slab of swagger. Maker are quite literally a great band in the making. They have the sound, they have the look… but I wanted more! I felt like they had so much to give and this was just the tip of the iceberg. I’d have welcomed a little less ruffling of the hair and playing to the back of the stage and more engagement with the crowd, to really connect with the fans.
Maker’s new tracks are truly brilliant and the musicians exuded so much talent that you could feel the buzz that engulfed the room during their performance. The show was brought to a close with a cover of an Ike and Tina Turner track, followed by calls for an encore and an impromptu chorus of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ sung with the crowd, who had by then all become Maker’s best friends.