Myke Gray ft. Kim Jennett in Blackpool: Live Review
Myke Gray and Kim Jennett tower over Blackpool….
Words and photos: Anthony Firmin
Tonight we take a trip to the seaside to sample some Blackpool rock in the legendary venue, the Waterloo Music Bar, and impressive it is too, with a large, wet lit stage, high enough for everyone to be able to see, not just those at the front. It is great to see they cater well for disabled access, although I nearly get run over by a mobility scooter in the darkness.
First up are Sister Rose who I’ve caught live once before but can’t for the life remember where. The first couple of songs - Seven and King Of Cabaret - are fairly standard but things improve massively with You Got My Love, which is well structured and comes across far better, certainly not a donkey like those on the beach. Long Dark Days manages to keep the fire burning but Shame On You fails to grab me, nice guitar solo but that’s all, maybe I’ve got High Expectations.
As with all bands that need to survive they are selling merch at the back, drummer suggests that after 30 minutes they’ll be giving them away, hmmm. The final donkey leg and we get the pleasure and pain of The World Stops Turning, a slow rocker with a thumping bass line before finishing with the uptempo Bullet. Overall a mixed set, wish I could remember where I saw them last, it’s bugging me.
There has been a not unreasonable amount of hype regarding the teaming up of Myke Gray and Kim Jennett, the videos that have been released so far tease of greater things to come, the expectations are very high and several well known Manchester gig goers have travelled up the M61 to see this show.
The set is split into three parts, firstly with Myke Gray’s band we get a couple of intrumentals in the shape of Infinite Power and Maverick, both taken from Myke’s recently released solo album Shades Of Gray, coming across like a mix of Joe Satriani and Michael Schenker. Gray’s skill has only improved over the years and he seems both comfortable in his own skin (groan).
Kim Jennett bounces onto the stage for the second part, launching into Stand Up For Rock N Roll for the start of a fine tour through some of Myke Gray’s great history with The Red White And Blues, from whom we also get Counts For Nothing. Skin was also a big part of his life and songs such as Take Me Down To The River and Look But Don’t Touch get a new lease of life with Kim singing them and with the band firing on all cylinders, Tower Of Strength and Shine Your Light leave this excited crowd wanting more.
For the encore we are then treated to “Kim’s Set” where things are slowed down a little for Tripping before they up the game for single Let Me Be The One which is as good live as it is on record. We get treated to a new song that has never aired before, Devil In Me, which is a classic blues rocker, whereas Unbroken is a slower, more powerful beast. Released on 1st January, the first single, Love Like Suicide, is given a solid airing before the set finale Take Me Home.
Kim Jennett looks comfortable, confident and happier than ever, the Voodoo Woman has risen from the Blood and her voice is as fine as I have ever heard it before; Myke Gray couldn’t stop grinning all the way through the show, he knows he has a dynamic singer who can deliver the goods – the future looks very bright for them both.
It’s a job very well done, a high octane performance and a winning combination of Kim, Myke along with an equally tight band, with drummer Rich Smith doing a sterling job even with a broken snare.
The only way out of Blackpool is up.