It’s taken a few years of crossed paths but I finally get to see and hear that blues siren Samantha Fish here at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh.
First up tonight though we have London band Curse Of Lono who I had not heard of before but will definitely be looking out for them again. The “Wild Thing” vibe of “Blackout Fever” from last year’s As I Fell album kicks in with more vigour than the album version, a real catchy start to their set with some lovely slide guitar and vocal harmonies. A jazzy intro heralds “London Rain” from their Severed 2017 album with some great keyboards and a nod to The Doors from Dani who was celebrating his birthday tonight, another fabulous track. We have another couple from As I Fell with “Way To Mars” with its nod to waking up in shitty hotels and “No Trouble” before Felix puts on the side drum for “Send in the Whisky” with its more folky rock music vibe.
We get another couple from As I Fell with “I’d Start a War for You” with its hypnotic bass laden rhythm from Charis and Neil and “And It Shows” with its glorious harmonies which were a bit of a trademark from the band tonight. A “Welcome Home” before “Going Out West” to “Pick Up The Pieces” with Neil pounding away on the drums as Dani rocks out on the Harmonium before the band ends a fabulous set with the thumping “Valentine”. I loved the band, I have to say, their style is hard to put into a bracket, a bit of Chris Rea meets The Doors with The Troggs thrown into the mix amongst others. Fabulous musicians, perfect harmonies, I was smiling a lot with this band, go catch them live and see their stunning albums come to live on stage.
The main event now and Samantha Fish, a woman I have been trying to catch for a few years now but I always seemed to be covering another gig when she has been here before but not tonight. A very tight band surrounds Samantha tonight with the ever moving Chris Alexander on bass, Phil Breen on keyboards and the fabulous Scotty Graves on drums. Samantha starts us off with the title track from Wild Heart with its pounding drums as she lays into that guitar as those sultry vocals let loose. She shouts “Let’s go!” and she plays some lovely slide guitar; a fabulous start. We get told “You Can’t Go” with its Robert Cray vibe, no horns live but it’s none the less effective as my head and feet feel like they have a life of their own. We say “Hello Stranger” next again from Chills & Fever with its more soulful laid back vibe which really shows off her voice packed full of emotion along with the guitar, I would love to see her tour with a horn section for these.
We head into a bit more rock territory now with the fabulous rocking “Highway’s Holding Me Now” from Wild Heart with its stunning rock guitar and Chris bouncing about on bass, we “Blame It on the Moon” before meeting “Little Baby” with its piano-laden bouncy country feel showing Phil’s skill on piano along with Chris on bass just pounding away like a madman. We have three in row now from Belle of the West with “Blood in the Water”, “Gone For Good” with its fabulous finger picking foot thumping pace and the slower but no less stunning acoustic “Need You More” which really pulled at the old heart strings. We get both tracks from the new single now with “Love Letter” and its odd slide guitar notes and the punchy ”Watch it Die” which she says is a bit more heavy metal with its punchy guitar notes, not sure about the metal but it sure rocks big time as Samantha lets loose those big wailing vocals.
A bit of boogie now with “No Angels” with some fabulous subtle drumming from Scotty along with keyboards from Phil, the odd beat heralds “Daughters” with its skipping beat all the way through along with the voice of Samantha dripping with emotion. The end of the set now as the cigar box guitar comes out for “Crow Jane” much to the delight of the sold out audience tonight, just fabulous to see and hear the noise that she can pull from this really odd instrument. The band leave the stage for the briefest of times before coming back on for one encore in the form of the rocking “Bitch on the Run”; a smoking hot end to the proceedings tonight. The crowd roar their approval at the end of the set as they have all the way through tonight in the hot sweaty Voodoo Rooms and rightly so, this was a performance up there with the best that you will ever see. The band and Samantha were on fire tonight feeding off each other and having a great time along with the audience. The wait was worth it, this was a blues performance of the highest level and I hope I don’t have to wait as long next time to catch her live.