On arrival at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, at first glance, you may have thought you were in the wrong place for tonight’s Samantha Fish concert.
Outside the venue, throngs of punk music fans congregated around the front doors – but this was nothing more than a ‘Poisson Rouge’ or ‘Red Herring’ if you will excuse pun due to the ‘Fistful of Ska’ festival taking place adjacent to the venue’s main room.
Tonight was all about the arrival of US-based blues star Samantha Fish to West Yorkshire. Such was the demand for this show that it had long since been sold out – much like many of the shows on this run.
Speaking to members of the audience, many had travelled from far and wide, with even a few super fans in particular who had arrived in Leeds from the USA – now that’s dedication for sure.
Following a musical introduction by Sam’s very own Wild Heart recording artist Nicholas David, Fish gets down to business with a slide fuelled airing of recent single ‘Bulletproof’. This being the first of a trio of back to back songs from Sam’s latest offering, alongside the title track and current single ‘Watch It Die’.
Tonight Fish both looks and sounds the part. Now if only Marilyn Monroe had tried her hand at the blues, she may well have resembled tonight’s star of the show. Despite her immaculate appearance, Sam can rock out with the best of them – her blonde hair flowing as he thrashes about onstage in high heels with a guitar in hand.
Tonight’s setlist features the lion’s share of new album Kill or Be Kind, with nine of eleven tracks included in the show. The capacity Leed’s crowd are captivated from the off. ‘You Got It Bad’ is not only a song featured in the set but it could also be described as the response received from the Yorkshire blues-rock fans this evening.
Of course, Sam is no one-trick pony. There are many sides to this incredibly talented artist and her last few albums illustrate this sentiment. Fish is not afraid to push her boundaries or play outside of her comfort zone and in recent times this has truly paid off. So when she picks up an acoustic guitar and joins keyboard player extraordinaire Nicholas David on the song ‘Say Goodbye’, the track showcases a more country/Americana side of Sam’s repertoire.
When Fish asks the crowd ‘Do you guys want to hear a little bit of blues?’ – The audience doesn’t have to be asked twice. The rather sultry ‘No Angels’ certainly hits the spot, whilst ‘Dream On’ has psychedelic undertones, and stands out as being a bit different from the rest, but not in a bad way.
‘Little Baby’ is a barnstorming old school rock and roll number and suits Sam’s image to a tee before the Kansas City native goes out with a bang via her main set closer ‘Bitch On The Run’.
It’s got to be said that Samantha Fish not only celebrates old school blues but also presents a sound that represents this beloved genre in 2020. And her slide play in particular during a cover of RL Burnside’s ‘Shake Em On Down’ is a testament to this.
Based up tonight’s show it’s fair to say that things are most certainly going swimmingly for Samantha Fish. The sky is the limit.
Felix Rabin opened the show early in the evening in front of an expectant crowd. With the imminent release of his forthcoming EP Pogboy, the French guitar slinger showcased what he is all about, whilst also giving the Leeds crowd a teaser of some of his freshest cuts.
Rabin may well be only 24 years old but his skill and flair show talent beyond his age. And this is particularly the case during his rendition of ‘Voodoo Chile’ by Hendrix, which was certainly one of the best covers of this classic we’ve witnessed in a long time.
Rabin’s set showcases the many different styles of his playing that encompasses blues, rock and soul. Alas after 30 mins the set is over before we know it. But Rabin intends to leave a lasting impression and he does exactly that with his groove-heavy rendition of ‘Walk’.
Watch out blues fans there’s a new kid on the block, and you are going to be hearing a lot more about him in the coming months. The Swiss-based artist may be a relative newcomer on the circuit, but tonight he certainly made his mark in Leeds.
Samantha Fish UK Tour Dates with Special Guest Felix Rabin:
|Gorilla, Manchester||Tuesday 3 March – SOLD OUT|
|The Globe, Cardiff||Wednesday 4 March – SOLD OUT|
|Islington Assembly Hall, London||Thursday 5 March|
|The Waterfront, Norwich||Friday 6 March|
|Trinity, Bristol||Saturday 7 March|
|Concorde, Brighton||Sunday 8 March|
TICKETS VIA www.samanthafish.com/tour