Rock with a capital ‘Rrrr’
“You’ve got a great voice, but girls don’t play guitar like that,” is just one piece of advice that Chantel McGregor has studiously ignored as she has gone about stamping her mark on the UK scene. She’s from the deep south (the deep south of Bradford that is) and after enrolling at the Leeds College of Music became the first student in the college’s history to achieve a 100% pass mark at BTEC with 18 distinctions.
Her first album Like No Other arrived in 2011 and was incredibly well received, leading on to a number of awards including Young Artist of the Year (2011) and Best Female Vocalist (2012) at the British Blues Awards. Further awards were soon to follow, including Guitarist of the Year in 2014, and her second album, Lose Control, landed in 2015.
Now straddling rather mightily the worlds of both rock and blues, it was an incendiary collection of songs that demonstrated her ability to ride those monster riffs that had a deep south bent. “I’ve always been interested in the dark side of Southern Gothic literature, artwork and media,” she says, “and I wanted to create an album that reflected the imagery and themes of that genre.” She’s been wowing audiences at a string of festivals this year, but don’t miss this chance to catch her up close and personal when she plays Newcastle in early September.Chantel McGregor, Saturday 2 September, The Cluny, Ouseburn, Newcastle, 8pm, £12. thecluny.com