It was wonderful to have our regular compere Paul Keddle back with us for a truly fantastic sold-out night at the Brecon Muse. Under Paul’s expert guidance, the night kicked off with a very welcome return visit by Bella Collins.
Bella immediately charmed the audience with a superb set of mostly self-penned songs, effortlessly treading the line between blues and jazz to create a warm, mellow and intimate atmosphere.
Gaining more confidence, authority and poise with each performance, the articulacy and emotional power of Bella’s singing is quite simply spellbinding.
Then it was time for Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse to take to the stage and blow us all away with their amazing talent and musical intensity.
Beaux Gris Gris shows you what can happen when five superb musicians come together with an innovative vision – their music is not only accomplished and jam-packed with energy, but also unique in the way that they manage to fuse styles from a variety of genres, producing a sound all of their own that is impossible to categorise.
Starting out with a punchy blues/soul feel, they get the audience up and dancing in no time – their brilliant lead singer Greta Valenti often leaving the stage to sing and dance with the audience, putting huge passion and commitment into everything she does.
But then… just when you think you understand what’s happening… the band kicks the energy up another notch. Fusing into a powerful crescendo, they are propelled into the realms of psychedelia by the blues-driven lead guitar work of Robin Davey merging with the virtuoso swirl of Emma Jonson’s keyboards – all underpinned by the rock-solid powerhouse of drummer Mark Barrett and bassist Stephen Mildwater. The energy is blistering by this point, and the music evokes elements of Louisiana swamp blues combined with West Coast psychedelia.
Add to the mix some fine soulful slow numbers, and it’s easy to see why Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse inspire such loyalty among their many fans.
As ever, many thanks to all at the Muse for your hospitality, and to everyone involved in putting on this memorable gig.
Photos by Barry Hill
Review by Jim Kerslake