MUSICIANS & GIGS: Imelda May at O2 arena, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (11/02/11)

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Article written by Beryl Guru – for inclusion in a great little music magazine called ‘Blues Matters’:

Almost ten years ago my friends and I walked into a Mike Sanchez gig and encountered for the first time the wonderful Imelda, who at that time was singing backing vocals for his excellent band. She was stunning even then dressed in a Chinese dress, wearing a flower in her piled up hair and singing in a smoky retro style that mesmerized us all. My friend Colin observed “that girl is brilliant, one day she will be a huge star in her own right!”

We are ecstatic to report that this prophecy has come true, and I don’t think anyone who has seen Imelda fronting her own band will disagree with us on that. She (and they), just go from strength to strength. These are real musicians playing real music, and they work their socks off. They have a strong sense of camaraderie and their own distinctive identity that shines through. Imelda handpicked these musicians and every one of them plays a vital part in this success story. Darrel Higham (Imelda May’s other title is Mrs Higham by the way), has a great authentic guitar sound. Steve ‘animal’ Rushton is awesome on drums and backing vocals. Dave Priseman makes such an impact on horns that it just wouldn’t be the same without his distinctive style of playing. The amazing Al Gare is mad, bad and cool as **** on bass, and chronicles the band’s antics in his hilarious and informative blog ‘Here, Gare and Everywhere’ which is definitely worth following if you are Imelda May fans. Imelda herself just sizzles with real talent and sex appeal from the top of her trademark kiss-curl quiff to the killer heels on her stylish shoes. This girl from Dublin never fails to rock the joint with her fabulous voice, mostly self-penned songs and exciting stage presence. Speaking of those songs it is eye opening to count up just how many hits and potential hits they have to their name. Love Tattoo, Big Bad Handsome Man, Sneaky Freak, Johnny Got a Boom Boom, Mayhem, Psycho, Kentish Town Waltz, Inside Out, and so on. She even makes the few covers she does such as ‘Tainted Love’ her own, and as for ‘Proud and Humble’ when she delivered that in Newcastle she just had us, and I suspect the rest of the crowd, in the palm of her exquisite little hand…

Every member of this band is vital. That is why Imelda chose them all, and that is why it works…

Imelda May’s band are: Imelda (vocals/bodhran, Darrel Higham (guitar), Steve (animal) Rushton (drums), Dave Priseman (trumpet, etc), Al Gare (double bass etc) – ALL fabulous musicians, and all top people to be around!

Here’s a pic (taken by Imelda at the end  of the night), of the fantabulous Al Gare (with the ecstatic audience in the background), which I think says it all!!!

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