26 March 2019 (released)
28 March 2019
Terrific night at the 100 Club for the Tuesday Night Blues Club. This one was an all ladies fronted bands night headlined by the wonderful Erja Lyytinen from Finland.
I’ve seen Erja live before and she never fails to set the stage alight with burning slide guitar and passionate vocals.
This time out, she brought a set full of numbers from her previous albums but also brought some new material from her excellent new album ‘Another World’ and the packed crowd responded as well to the new material as they did to her classic numbers such as ‘Slowly Burning’ or ‘Rocking Chair’.
Her band – Tatu Back on bass, Ipe Laitinen on drums, HariTaittonen on key – were tight and laid down a monstrous beat but the star was indupitably Erja and both vocally and playing guitar, she seemed to be on great form.
Erja is a terrific songwriter and her songs seem to take on an extra slice of life when she plays them live. Her vocals are a major weapon but the real strength is her guitar and she is so much more now that just a terrific slide guitar player. Her solos all night were potent and stretched out without any seeming flatulence or excess.
She told us between numbers that she had been playing with Carlos Santana at a festival in Finland and it was easy to see where her sharp and edgy playing would slot in alongside his floating, jazz tinged playing.
Standout numbers were the aforementioned ‘Slowly Burning’ which was intense and massively powerful with stunning Hammond underplaying her red hot guitar lines, ‘Cherry’ is a new one and really kicked ass and her encore of Hendrix ‘Crosstown Traffic’ left the crowd still calling for more.
Main support was by a London band, Blues Engine and, frankly, they were worth going along to see on their own. Not a pure Blues band by any stretch of the imagination but there is an underlying Blues feel to their music along with jazz elements and even swing. Guitarist Alex Cooray cuts an almost Satriani-esque figure (although not as stick thin) with his severe suit and shaved head but more importantly he plays with a great sense of melody as well as riffing and he is a perfect foil for the vocals of Katya Chernyakova . Alex Liutai’s bass was fluid and funky and the beat laid down by Mick Murphy was solid and tight. They played a good set taken from both albums they have released, marred only by the mix that had the vocals a little way down (a curse of support bands at the 100 Club) and had the crowd calling for an encore which time precluded.
A really good night at one of London’s most iconic venues and, as usual, a stunning set from Erja Lyytinen.
Picture by Zoran Veselinovic