Throughout the lockdown, Ms Bailey has been busy. Writing songs, doing a radio show, having a baby and recently releasing singles at a steady pace. I was looking forward to seeing her and my anticipation was all the higher by reports of assault sets at shows all over Blighty. Luckily, she was everything those reports had promised.
With her ever-reliable sidekick Joe Wilkins on guitars, the formidable Jonny Henderson on Hammond, Matthew Jones on drums and Matthew Waer on bass, Bailey was surrounded by a superb band and that allowed her to take the front of the stage – no hiding behind her electric piano – and she is a real eye-catcher, a very natural performer.
The set was a surprise. Lots of new material from the new album due out in February and the current EP – often a kiss of death, but the capacity crowd engulfed them.
‘Cheats & Liars’, the previous single, was like a storm and ‘Walk Away’, a real tearjerker from the current EP ‘Sunshine City’, was just fabulous with its smoky vocals that really drove home the emotional side.
‘Medicine Man’, the former favorite, received plenty of applause and ‘Sunshine City’ – a one night celebration on the razz in Bristol – was a treat played live.
The band was cooking with Joe Wilkins’ slide guitar really setting the music on fire and Jonny Henderson’s keys providing the perfect accompaniment.
The backing was from a stripped down Eddy Smith and 507 – just a three piece acoustic set – and Eddy’s soulful, dark vocals really warmed the crown. Their mix of soul and country is delicious. A band I really want to see again, especially in their full format.
A great afternoon in Hampshire, Elles Bailey showing exactly why she’s up for so many awards and a really exciting new act.