Myke Gray feat Kim Jennett Live review Nightrain Bradford, 29 February 2020
Keeping rock and roll truly alive on a cold, damp, snowy Saturday evening at Bradfords, Nightrain. Myke Gray featuring Kim Jennett arrive to play the penultimate date of their self-financed tour. There’s a decent crowd in the house. Although it’s not sold out, there’s a good-buzz-vibe in the air as fans old and new await to enjoy their hero Myke Gray and new star attraction Kim Jennett.
Here, I’d be telling you about the support band but there isn’t one tonight – it’s just Myke, Kim and their touring band, which compromises of Neil Ogden (drums), Colin Parkinson (bass), and Glenn Quinn (guitar). A top-notch choice of musicians to have on the road with you. Gray, no stranger to the business has been playing rock and roll for near on 40 years and knows how to pick a good crew!
What a great way to band together
Still going strong, Myke Gray, the founder and songwriter of Jagged Edge/Skin/Red, White & Blues has a bit of a self-reputation for not covering other people’s work, as he prefers to perform his own material. And by teaming up with Kim Jennett, the guitarist extraordinaire is able to showcase his own work and former achievements from his past bands’ Skin and Red, White and Blues. From writing and working on new material with Kym. Gray has also managed to write and sing on his own side project Shades of Gray.
The debut single I get up from the album Shades of Gray has gained a phenomenal response from his fans, to becoming a firm play favourite on Planet Rock radio. So there’s not much pressure on Myke, as we wait to hear the man play it live tonight. And we know it’s a cert, as pre-tour Myke posted the setlist online. Was this a spoiler or a canny move? I think the latter. Armed with a killer 16 song setlist, the majority being Skin favourites. Kym Jennett ups the ante and brings a new dimension these classics.
Myke Gray feat Kim Jennett
As the band take to the stage, Myke already has a grin from ear to ear, as he shimmies stage left with his trusty guitar, purring out the bars to Stand Up for Rock and Roll. Kim is like a wildcat making a beeline off the stage, straight to the barrier crowd, as she eyes up to her audience. This lady stands for everything rock and roll is all about, freedom, enjoying yourself and not giving a damn. I think everyone in the room can relate to that. As the band power through the first numbers, the crowd get in on the action with wowed looks and shouts of ‘yeah!’.
The reworked Love Like Suicide, slows the pace but not the brilliance of Kim’s vocals, for someone so young Kim has a great stage presence and is the ‘yin’ to Myke’s ‘yang’ on this virtuoso coupling, as she conquers the crowd and Myke’s guitar talents take the show to another level.
Are we ready to get a bit Pyscho Kim asks the audience? This stomping rocker has the audience go loco as Kim makes another visit down the barrier, roaring the lyrics straight into some un-expectant faces. As Myke shreds away like a kid in a candy store, the ferocious drums and backing vocals of Glenn and Neil beef up the live performance.
It’s great to see such exuberance from the entire band, who put in 110%, not forgetting the killer drums from Neil who works like a badass throughout the show. Kim’s no-nonsense attitude goes hand in hand with the songs old and new, as she delivers them in her own unique style. The bluesy classic Look but Don’t Touch is 27 years young and the chorus of ‘baby, baby, baby, look but don’t touch’ has this small venue crowd sounding like stadium rock crowd as they sing back the words.
You can feel the love and emotion been poured out by Jennett on Tower of Strength, and what a performance. As Kim screams out the vocals on bended knees, there’s an intensity of musical passion between the two as Gray riffs on away on his guitar, it’s a job they were both born and live to do. Play live. And just when you thought you heard her full vocal range Kim takes her powerhouse all the way to 11 on Shine Your Light On Me – wow just amazing!!
After taking a well-deserved break, Myke Gray and co return to the stage to play four more songs including Myke’s very own I Get Up. As Kim takes a step to the side, Myke introduces the latest fan favourite, he’s very humble with his ‘thanks’ but boy is he in his element, singing and noodling away on the 80s sounding feel-good number.
Having never seen Myke or Kim before tonight, I’m impressed. Closing with Take Me Home it’s been one hell of a show. If you weren’t lucky enough to be here tonight or to catch the tour, may I suggest you try to catch them later in the year at SOS Festival 2020 in July or at Stonedead Festival in August 2020. You won’t be disappointed!
Stand up for Rock n Roll
Let Me Be the One
Love Like Suicide
House of Love
Counts for Nothing
Take me Down to the River
Tower of Strength
Shine Your Light
You Don’t Love me
I Get Up
Take me Home
Words and photographs by Alex English