A couple of days back I reviewed the new Chantel McGregor live album ‘Bury’d Alive’.
Since the opportunity to see the real deal appeared on the calendar so quickly after I thought I’d give it a go and so I joined the packed house at the Tropic At Ruislip for an extended set.

Now, while the album is superb, it misses the essential characteristic of Ms McGregor live in front of you and that is simply the effervescent character and sheer charisma she displays through a long – nearly 2 hour – set.

Right from the opening number ‘Take The Power’ she was playing with real passion and throughout the set the whole audience was enthused and amazed by her guitar playing.
By and large, this was the same set as the live album but with extra numbers, especially a marvellous ‘Anesthetized’ played acoustic (and promised for a live acoustic album later in the year) and a gorgeous version of ‘Rhiannon’. ‘April’ was extended and really showed the mesmerising quality she can bring to a long instrumental.

The real Chantel came over in her between numbers chats and especially before ‘Rhiannon’ where her battery powered radio connector was failing ensuing a selection of a new battery by ‘tasting’ the terminals and seeing which one was “more fizzy’ – all of which brought the audience even closer to her and broke down the distance between performer and audience. Her geographical confusion resulted in friendly banter with the crowd trying to decide if she was in Middlesex or Slough - luckily her father was driving the van last night so nochance of getting lost!
She does her best to move merchandise but every comment was accompanied by a little giggle to lighten the mood.
She has a remarkable ability to make a roomful of friends and coupled with her fine playing made for a great evening.

I can only say that Chantel McGregor live is one of the most enjoyable musical experiences available today.