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Planet Rock Presents Blues Power Live: Elles Bailey, Ian Siegal, Toby Lee - Dingwalls, Camden

Planet Rock Presents Blues Power Live 29th February 2024

On a cold a rainy February night, what better way to spend an evening in The Smoke than to have an show filled with some of the best modern blues music. Planet Rock Presents Blues Power is back and is the hottest ticket in town.

Packed into the iconic Dingwalls venue in Camden, you certainly got value for money as you'd get three terrific acts on the ticket tonight.

Young blues icon in the making Toby Lee put on another strong set. He’s still only 18 and even Joe Bonamassa rates him as the future of blues music. With tracks like 'Fever' in his armoury he’s in good stead to do just that. Toby is on tour with Jools Holland and his own band throughout the year and it's certainly worth catching him and on the road. 

Foul mouthed and ladened with dark humour, Ian Siegal follows up. "Every time I’m at Dingwalls I get into a fight at the bar!" jokes Ian - although we're not entirely sure if he actually is. Thankfully there were no fisty cuffs today, - just plenty of percussive guitar playing after busting a string and waiting for another guitarist to lend him a one to finish his set. There's plenty of witty banter, along with clever songs from his "favourite song-writer" himself! A rousing set from the man who seems unphased by anything. He’s apparently available for children’s parties too - how rocking would that be! 

Headlining is the award winning Elles Bailey. The musician and Planet Rock radio presenter already has three albums under her belt and is making an impact on the blues scene with her infectious brand of blues/country rock. 'The Game' launches Elles set with a gutsy riff from her band and an uptempo chorus gets this blues party rocking to another level.

A mix of blues and country is on offer tonight. Elles is dressed in a cowboy hat and glittery cowboy boots; it’s this fusion and expansion into all things Americana that have made a rising star of the scene. She won Artist and Live Act Of The Year at the prestigious UK Americana Awards 2023 and at The UK Blues Awards came home with Artist Of The Year, Vocalist Of The Year, and Album Of The Year for  'Shining in the Half Light' .

A Love song to blues music and Muscle Shoals, the slow groove of ‘Perfect Storm’, her favourite track on the 'Wildfire' album, soon follows. Fan favourites 'Cheats and Liars' and ''Who's That' from 'Shining' don't appear, but fear not, we get 'Help Somebody', 'What's The Matter With You' and the groovy blues tones of 'Medicine Man' from her back catalogue.

New track - 'If This Is Love' makes an appearence on the setlist. Elles is nervous about performing the track as the band haven't rehearsed it and just decided to write the set list with Ian Siegal in the pub earlier (how rock and roll!). The audience were right behind her, and you'd never have known that she wasn't use to performing the song. As expected it's another terrific track to add to Elles repertoir and it's a delight to have her perform some new music for us too.

She jokes, if you've not been to an Elles Bailey show before ," you come and see the show and the mistakes are free." If there were any mistakes, there were none that us mere mortals were aware of. The show was flawless. Elles is an energetic, powerful and genuinley likeable performer and really relishes being close to an audience and interacting with them. You can tell how the crowd really warm to her as an artist and presenter - there are no pretensions or ego here, it's all about having a great time and all about the music.

Her band deserves a mention and help crank up the energy. Backing singer and musician Demi Marriner also has her own album out (Things We Didn't Say).

Elles is a self-confessed fan of Rival Sons and another spontaneous track of the evening - a cover of 'Jordan'. Another cover, this time from CCR 'As Long As I Can See The Light' and 'Sunshine City' round off an extraordinary evening.

An absolutely top notch night of some of the best blues around, there was really something for everyone.

Review Cathy Clark

Photos Gerry Driver



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