For her fans that braved the cold on the last night in January, there was a buzz of excitement around the ballroom as Chantel stepped on the stage with her band. She promised the expectant audience some tracks from her long-awaited and much anticipated second album. The first set was Chantel all-electric with some powerful drumming from Keith Mcpartling who was determined to make his drums heard and her new bass player Colin Sutton played imaginative bass line with lots of chords. The funky bass lines that were Ritchie’s signature were missing and missed tonight. This was the first gig of Chantel’s new line-up and early on in the gig it did show the timing was slightly off and the tempo sometimes a little bit fast; but as the gig continued and more of the new numbers were played the threesome began to gel.
Many favourites interspersed the set, including Like No Other, Fabulous and Daydream – this was an extended version with long lead breaks and some stellar work from Keith on the cymbals. The band was enjoying themselves with lots of Chantel style giggling and when Keith took over to demonstrate his new spangly drum machine we had a variation on a drum solo with lots of laughs as the mood of the beat was changed.
Tonight we heard the tracks for new album overall they are rockier and definitely she has stepped away from the blues; that said; her lead breaks show as ever her scintillating and controlled playing whether on Southern Belle, Love Control or Take The Power and my personal favourite Your Fever.
As what has become standard at a Chantel gig, the second set showcased her new acoustic guitar starting with Rhiannon and two tracks that were new including Home a poignant number suiting Chantel’s vocals and acoustic delivery.
Chantel’s many fans in the room were delighted with the preview of the album, but for me the set was ragged at times and they lacked the feeling of a band that were in total harmony, perhaps not unexpected as this was Colin’s first gig and they need to settle down into a new groove. The saving grace was the inclusion of so much new material definitely rock but all are strong songs with great guitar work.
Click for Tour Dates