Tuesday Blues at the 100 Club is getting to be a habit but not one that I’m planning to shake anytime soon.

Last night we were treated to ‘The Ladies of The Blues’ and I must admit that I went expecting poor copies of the top Blues queens around at the moment but nothing like. Each of the artists was original and very talented and also very different from each other so that the crowd got three full sets of very different approaches to the form.
Bloody good fun.

Elles Bailey was the name that I was slightly familiar with and she opened the show! Just Elles and two acoustic (sometimes electric) guitars and her set included some stunning self-penned numbers. She sits slightly more in the Americana camp than pure Blues and songs such as ‘Waiting Game’ really showed the smoky and passionate side of her vocals. She clearly knows her Blues history and ‘Girl Who Owned The Blues’ – her homage to Janis Joplin – really got the hairs on the back of my neck up to attention. The passion and the heart that Janis herself had really came over in a super country/Blues. She also sang a tribute to Howlin’ Wolf – oddly enough called ‘Howlin’ Wolf’ – and got the crowd singing along with her as she howled the chorus (I did wonder if she knew that Wolf sang on that very same spot back in the sixties). She is an excellent singer and a very fine songwriter as the dark and moody ‘Barrel Of Your Gun’ proved. I’ll happily go and see her with a full band and look forward to her debut album ‘Wildfire’. Pledgemusic.com/projects/ells-bailey-wildfire

Gabriella Jones was next up and she couldn’t be much less like Bailey. Very young, leggy and immaculately dressed, playing a sparkly Gibson and drawing all the attention from the crowd. Musically she is edging more to the swing side of Blues and I couldn’t but help thinking that she has talent but she needs to play with a little less of the little girl aesthetic and more soul. Most of her self-written songs seemed to be about her failed relationships. But – on a more positive note – she has undeniable talent and once she finds her comfort zone I think she will turn into a strong musician.

Finally, Amy Khonsari took the stage with a full band and delivered a fine set of Blues standards. She has a great voice and a real presence on stage whether she was perching on a wooden seat or prowling the stage. I have to say that I really enjoyed what she did but there wasn’t anything really new about her set and I sensed that she is more of a club singer than one that is going out to make her mark in the mub and blood of the Blues circuit. For all that though, she is very talented and in the right setting I’d definitely like to see her again.

We are blessed with some fine Blues ladies at this moment and these three definitely show that they will develop the momentum to join them.

A really good night at the old dive and a real star of the future in the shape of Elles Bailey.