Livestream concert review for Chantel McGregor by Colin Campbell.

Since the Covid-19 lockdown, there have been many interesting ways appearing for musicians to earn and ply their trade. Most have taken to social media and there have even been some very successful online virtual festivals taking place. It appears that anyone with an acoustic guitar and an iPhone can put on a show and they are bringing great joy to their fans and keeping the music going.

This, I believe, is going to be the ‘new’ way forward when there are no live events as such. Some venues will sadly close if the situation continues, and really, social distancing in small venues may prove somewhat of a challenge when putting on a show. So, I thought as there are so many online shows about that it may be prudent to review some.

Without an audience in the room, performers have to go on live using these performances as rehearsals but more importantly to keep the connection with their music fans. Artists have also cottoned on to the prospect of using these sessions for revenue. There are virtual tip jars via PayPal and such for money transfers. Some even charge for these performances now as a matter of course. There is a lot of money being donated to various charities as well, so everyone wins overall. Politics of the situation aside I have decided to review some of these online concerts. This is the first one; hopefully, we will get back to having live concerts soon but in the meantime, I hope this is of help.

CHANTEL McGREGOR – Shed Sessions – 23/05/20

Chantel’s recent musical journeys have seen her move more towards the blues-rock genre. Recently she brought out “Bury’d Alive” a great live release that captures the essence of her live shows, showcasing the talents of both herself on lead vocals and guitar along with bassist Colin Sutton and drummer Thom Gardner.

They are a powerhouse trio, but what happens when you lose your safety net of fellow band members due to social distancing? Well, you go to your wooden shed at home, of course, and you ask your dad to come and help. Well, that’s Chantel’s way of keeping on bringing her music to her fans all around the world.

Here, she’s a solo singer and guitar player sitting in her shed playing the music that she loves. The one hour slot on Saturday seemed to go by quickly. Chantel was also in great humour, she can be self-deprecating on stage sometimes and have “blonde moments” as she would call them, but always the true professional. Here she mixes her own tunes that fans have asked for but the set was also peppered with covers of other artists.

She began with her own tune, Southern Belle, from her, Lose Control release, it had a real bluesy sound with clear and succinct vocals and a brilliant finish. Next, she went into a rendition of her own, Like No Other, sung with passion and clear lyrics. Her stripped back version of Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon was also delivered with that same style. Her father put in a few appearances too in differing guises such as a rabbit and a sheepdog to add to the entertainment value.

This did not detract from Chantel’s performance and her conversations with her father just added to the human connection and kind of, substituted for a physical audience. The performance leaned towards Americana in the main with an interpretation of John Prime’s Angel Of Montgomery being a particular highlight. Help Me, from her debut release, was sung beautifully. Fire And Rain a James Taylor number showed her soft passionate side, before getting rootsy on Bonnie Raitt’s Too Long At The Fair.

In between the songs, there was a lot of conversation and chat and general ‘bonkers’ times that were very funny, she also gave shout outs for birthdays! Chantel enjoys this format herself, I think she would have found it boring just singing and playing the guitar for a full hour. Attendees of this event could write their comments whilst Chantel played and in the main, they were extremely positive and encouraging with lots of emoji of applause etc.

The final tune was a reggae styled acoustic version of D’yer Mak’er, a Led Zeppelin cover which exhibited some fiery guitar licks. Her father found a link to applause on his mobile phone and this was the cue to finish the concert.

Overall it was a most enjoyable concert, there was a good mixture of tunes and balanced sound and acoustics in “the shed”. This was a professional performance by a very confident singer-songwriter who can easily play solo without any problems and the bonus is you get an intimate performance every time. This format gives the viewer a front seat view and you can listen without any distractions from other people. This can also be watched as a group on social media, making it a fun night in. Will live streaming music be as popular as being in a venue, it’s hard to tell? For the moment though it is a very good substitute and I recommend you try to catch some shows when you can.

Chantel says – “So we’re all in lockdown, all over the world due to Covid-19. When all the shows got postponed, I was itching to play and just thought it might be fun to play in everyone’s living room (well, my shed anyway) and I’ve done this every Saturday since!! It’s all very live, impromptu, daft comments etc. But hopefully, it’ll brighten someones day in lockdown!”

Watch the show again here…

Review by Colin Campbell.

For More Info: www.chantelmcgregor.com

Chantel McGregor – Facebook: www.facebook.com/chantelmcgregor.co.uk

Chantel is also going to be a guest DJ on Monday 25th May 2020 on Hard Rock Hell Radio from 9 pm until 11 pm: www.radio.net/s/hardrockhell