Kyla's voice remains a stunning example of the soul singer's art: turning up the heat by degrees, lulling and charming before unleashing emotional catharsis, and blurring the distinction between pleasure and pain like the soul greats of old. Whether fronting the mighty Kyla Brox Band, or harnessing undiluted soul power in a duo with musical and life partner Danny Blomeley, Kyla Brox is without doubt the most authentic UK blues and soul singer of her generation.
Born in Lancashire in 1980, she was exposed to the passion of Afro-American music at first-hand from her blues singing father, Victor. She traces her interest in singing from age three, partly from a desire to be closer to her charismatic but distant dad. She was the late product of the marriage between Victor (Caiaphas in the original cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar) and Annette (the 'maid by the fire' in the same), and, unlike her elder sisters, gifted but non-professional singers, she didn't spend her formative years in the back of a touring van under a cloud of cannabis smoke.
Kyla joined the family business in 1992, singing with Victor onstage at Band On The Wall at the age of 12, and performing with his regular touring group shortly afterwards. The core of the Kyla Brox Band go back to this remarkable unit, nominally the Victor Brox Blues Train, but known as 'the child slavery band' for the extreme youth of the players. As well as Kyla (13, but could pass for 21), it contained bassist Danny Blomeley (13, but could pass for eight), and drummer Phil Considine (19), both Kyla Brox Band mainstays.
A two month stay at Victor's house in France at the age of 16 was a period of growth and development. Then, in 2000, she accompanied her father on an extensive tour of Australia. Blomeley had left the Blues Train to travel the world, and, to ease the blow, he promised to find Victor some dates in Australia. Kyla, just turned 20, found herself singing risque blues songs to hard men in mining camps in remote parts of the outback. This was the trip that transformed the novice singer into a seasoned soul belle.
Back in Manchester in 2001, Kyla and Danny formed a duo, occasionally augmented by old members of the child slavery band: the Kyla Brox Band was born! They plied their trade in Victor's old stomping grounds in North West pubs and clubs, before a career-making performance at Colne Blues Festival in 2002 sealed Kyla's reputation as the first lady of the British blues.
The line of development can be traced through Kyla's six albums. From the 2003 debut Window, where the tone is summery and romantic, to the acoustic Grey Sky Blue (2009), where hopes and longings are freighted with deeper emotions, via the blues/soul calling card Beware (2003), the band triumph Coming Home (2004) and the more introspective Gone (2007). The songs have developed too: the team of Brox/Blomeley have grown into a potent songwriting force, writing in the blues/soul idiom with an individual, nicely personal touch.
In an age of conveyer belt pop stars and emote-by-rote singers, Kyla Brox is the real deal.
"Her breathing control is superb but, more than this… Kyla's vocal is natural and very clean… [with] a depth of feeling…" - Blues Matters
"An authentic soul diva… sensitive, sexy, and with infinite reserves of sassiness" - City Life
"A classic sound pulled off with finesse… classy, impressive…" - Oldham Chronicle
"Great voice, great presence, great songs, great band…" - Leicester Mercury
Released 14th February 2014 Pigskin Records
|1.||Always Looking At Me|
|2.||Don’t Mess With My Man|
|3.||Working On Your Love|
|4.||Too Young To Care|
|5.||Love Too Much|
|7.||All Breaking Down|
|8.||Do I Move You?|
|1.||Ball & Chain|
|2.||Cramp Your Style|
|3.||Shaken & Stirred|
|4.||Grey Sky Blue|
|5.||What’s Left On The Table|
|7.||Wang Dang Doodle|
per order worldwide
Kyla Brox - Live...At Last (2014)
A faithful account of the live experience, Live At Last supersedes Live at Matt and Phred’s from 2006, effectively delivering twice as much (it’s a 2-CD set) with markedly improved fidelity. There’s a new maturity in the content of the songs (notably ‘Gone’ and ‘Grey Sky Blue’), although ‘Love Too Much’ shows that Kyla is still vulnerable to young hopes and ‘What’s Left On the Table’ reprises her role as a party animal.
The first disc is devoted to the Duo (Kyla and Danny) and Trio (add Tony Marshall), whilst the second disc captures Kyla in full pomp, tearing down the house at the 2012 Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne. ‘Ball and Chain’ is unbelievable, and the family patriarch, Victor, joins in for a romping ‘Wang Dang Doodle’.
The Duo performances form the heart of the set, however, as the impact of soul power is felt most at close quarters. Here there is space for restraint and beauty as well as exhilaration and passion. And there is also the thumb. Danny Blomeley’s digit is a phenomenon in itself, as it walks freely over the frets independent of the (strenuous) activity of his other fingers. A word too for Kyla’s flute. A rare instrument in blues music, Kyla’s flute is used here as an extension of arguably the best voice in the UK.
Released 9th June 2009 Pigskin Records
|1.||All Breaking Down|
|2.||Say You Do|
|4.||Cramp Your Style|
|5.||Since I Fell For You|
|6.||Like The Sky|
|7.||Grey Sky Blue|
|9.||Shaken & Stirred|
|10.||Why So Cold?|
|12.||Feel My Pain|
per order worldwide
Kyla Brox - Grey Sky Blue (2009)
Kyla and Danny in a stripped-down duo setting. Goose-pimples are aroused on the first track, All Breaking Down, and then recur with uncommon frequency. Kyla's torchy vocals and Clive Mellor's harmonica on Since I Fell For You, the token blues standard, accentuate the four-in-the-morning feeling. Elsewhere, the spartan, exquisite atmosphere is the pretext for a high level of creativity. Danny's acoustic guitar is by turns gentle and unrestrained, always inventive, whilst Kyla has never sounded more alluring. The blues quota is satisfied with Get Ready and Shaken & Stirred, executed with ripe self-confidence, but songs like Kasbah and Like The Sky link directly back to that gorgeous first acoustic album, Window, but have the patina of experience (and, it must be admitted, superior technical resources). Rest Assured is deeply felt, with a gravity that goes beyond the youthful ardour of Window. Feel My Pain is reprised with fingerpicking urgency. And here's an answer song: "Remember when you said you'd be my sunshine / And I cried / Because I thought it would never be my time / Well I was wrong / You came through / And turned my grey sky blue." Grey Sky Blue (the album) was recorded when Kyla was pregnant with Sadie. It has a valedictory quality, and is simultaneously a summation and a fresh start.
Released 30th May 2007 Pigskin Records
|3.||Always Looking At Me|
|5.||One Step Too Far|
|6.||This Is The Life|
|8.||More Than Me|
|9.||What's Left On The Table|
|11.||You Said You'd Be My Sunshine|
per order worldwide
Kyla Brox - Gone (2007)
First album entire of Brox/Blomeley originals, with the exception of a single Brox credit (more of that later). When guitarist Marshall Gill was recruited by New Model Army, the old band ceased to be. This is Kyla and Danny's record, with band accompaniment on assorted tracks. Kyla was never averse to putting her feelings on show - that is her stock-in-trade as a soul singer - but in euphoric songs like This Is The Life, we're now getting more of the inner life. The depth of experience of the title song, a moving testament to loss, is new, while More Than Me proves how attractively Brox and Blomeley can write in the orthodox soul idiom. The stand-out cut, however, is the a cappella closer, You Said You'd Be My Sunshine, which is Brox sans Blomeley, and written in bitterness about a lover responsible for "five long years, no ring and no change." The singer stirs up a maelstrom of passion that is beyond assuagement. It had the desired result. Shortly after the recording, Danny bought Kyla the ring.
Released 2006 Pigskin Records
|3.||Do I Move You|
|5.||Working On Your Love|
|6.||Too Young to Care|
|8.||Won't Fit There|
|10.||Just for Then|
|11.||Things I'd Change|
|12.||Keep on Criticising|
|14.||Don't Change Horses|
per order worldwide
Kyla Brox Band - Coming Home (2004)
This realises the promise of Window by adding an extra ingredient: the groove. it's a groove that comes from constant work with an active working band. Saxophonist Tony Marshall and Marshall Gill, a guitarist from the BB King school of searing sweetness, fulfil most of the solo honours. Bassist Danny Blomeley and drummer Phil Considine are veterans of Victor's 'child slavery band'. And what a tight unit they are, personally and musically (groove triumphs over song on Won't Fit There). Twelve out of the 14 selections are Kyla co-writes or originate from within the Brox circle (Victor is responsible for Working On Your Love; incidentally, brother Sam is producer). Coming Home displays an empathetic Kyla, working out the work/life balance (She Knows) or her issues of self-doubt (Things I'd Change, Guilty), but also a tougher Kyla. This means that all the raunch is concentrated in one song, Do I Move You (a smouldering Nina Simone number), which actually intensifies the impact. The other cover, Don't Change Horses, is a real find. Rescued from the back-catalogue of seventies West Coast funksters Tower of Power, the song is a certified show-stopper, mixing real emotion (a plea for a second chance) with outrageous showmanship ("Giddy up, hi ho Silver…"). And, with the Blomeley/Considine rhythm team piling on the coal, it builds up a fine head of steam. If Don't Change Horses represents the zenith of the Kyla Brox Band, then Working On Your Love demonstrates the latent strength of the Kyla Brox Duo, with Kyla and Danny giving an object lesson in how less is more.
Kyla Brox Hits Vinyl!
PRE-ORDER HERE! Free P&P!
180 gram LP Throw Away Your Blues Limited Edition Premium pressing.
We are so happy that we have been able to put this album on vinyl. Very excitingly (for us anyway) we received the test pressings from Germany last week and a very pleased to report... it sounds great!!
We are expecting delivery towards the end of May, so as always, we would like to offer you the chance to pre-order with free postage.
We have carefully selected tracks from the album as we didn't want to compromise on the quality by squeezing too much on. There is however a bonus track '3rd time lucky' which is ONLY available on the LP. It now contains 11 tracks and runs at 41/42 minutes on 180 gram vinyl.
The album has been kept as analogue as possible within reason. Mixed through a Neve desk on to tape in Holland then mastered and cut on to lacquers at Fluid Mastering in London. Pressed at Europes premium plant Optimal in Germany and delivered by hand to your door!
We appreciate your support by pre-ordering. Producing vinyl is a very expensive business! We hope you like it!
Thank You for all pre-orders!
You can still order Throw Away Your Blues Here!!
Thanks to everybody who supported us by pre-ordering our new cd Throw Away Your Blues. They should be landing on your door mats this morning! We hope you like it.
There is still chance to order, due to the super modern deisign and light weight gold foil, we are doing a special delivery price for Throw Away Your Blues of £1.50 for all further orders. (If you order this and any other CD the £1.50 will be refunded as we have a max £2.50 shipping for any quantity worldwide!)
OFFICIAL ALBUM LAUNCH AT NELL'S LONDON 15/04/16 Book Now!!
We are pleased to announce that we will be having our Official album launch at Nell's Jazz & Blues Club, West Kensington, London on FRIDAY 15th APRIL 2016
Tickets now on sale:
Hope to see you there!!
See our gig listing for more info
Throw Away Your Blues last chance to PRE-ORDER here
Our new CD is on the press now and is expected mid week next week. Last chance to pre-order at promotional price!
Now taking pre-orders for the new album!
Please click link below to pre-order! Thanks...
The official release date is April 15th. We would like to offer you the opportunity to get your hands on a hot off the press pre-release copy! We are expecting the delivery mid Feb and will send them out to you the same day 1st class. Special price for pre-orders of £9.99! p&p is £2.50 worldwide. Please click below to pay with PayPal. Thank you for your support!
Get Album launch tickets here!! Be Quick!
KYLA BROX ALBUM LAUNCH
Kyla Brox - Album Launch at The Vale! 27th Feb 2016
Kyla Brox is back with the brand new, self-penned album, Throw Away Your Blues. Finalist in the British Blues Awards and the European Blues Awards, Kyla tours internationally, but lives in Mossley, so where better to launch the new album than The Vale. Kyla and the band will perform all the new tracks, plus a few favourites. Get your glad rags on, because we're going to have a party…and some of it will be filmed for their new video. History in the making, not to be missed.
New Album Coming Soon!
We are excited to announce that we will be shortly returning to record a new studio album, which I sure most will agree is well over due! Children, touring and general life seems to have stopped us in our song writing tracks but watch this space, all new original songs on the way!
We are hiding away in Holland for a week in October to firmly put all distractions out of the way. Expect an early 2016 release! Thanks you for you support and we look forward to bringing you more news soon!
Kyla Nominated in 2014 European Blues Awards.
Please vote for Kyla in this year's European Blues Awards. She is nominated for 'best vocalist' again. Voting is really easy, you don't need to register just click on the link and vote in as many or as few categories as you wish.
We really appreciate your support! Voting closes on Tuesday ay Midnight, so be quick!
Live...At Last ready! Pre-Order Now for Free p&p
'Live At...Last' is now ready to order! We have finished it just in time for the launch on 14th Feb. Click here to take advantage of our free p&p offer. (It will arrive by 14/02/14)
"Is Kyla Brox the greatest soul singer the UK has produced? It’s self-evident that the voice is a marvel: husky in the mid-register, increasing in intensity as it gains altitude, and turning on a pin from brooding dissatisfaction to searching desire and need. In short, it’s sheer soul perfection.
This is obvious in live performance. But a document of a live event can be useful, if only to test those first euphoric impressions against the hard evidence. Kyla Brox Live At Last is a 2 CD set that faithfully captures the live Brox experience. This is the real deal." - Mike Butler
2015 Tour with Fiona Boyes
Kyla is very pleased to welcome fab Australian Blues artist Fiona Boyes to the UK in June. Kyla and Fiona will be joining forces for some great shows - Vonnies, Bronte Blues Club, Cognac Festival, Reus Blues Festivals to name a few. Please check out http://www.fionaboyes.com and get tickets early!
European Blues Award
Kyla narrowly missed out on this years European Blues Award for Best Vocalist. Thanks to everyone who voted for her and congratulations to a worthy winner, Ian Siegal of course!
On Tour In Germany
Kyla has just set off on her first tour of Germany taking her from the Alps to Berlin. If you are in the area cone to check out one of the gigs! More gigs coming up in Italy November this year.
Friezland Hall 19th Oct with Ian Siegal
19th Oct is looking to be a fantastic night at Friezland Hall, Saddleworth. Kyla will be opening the night with Danny on guitar, then Ian will be performing solo and you never know Kyla may be persuaded to retake to the stage!
Get tickets soon as this is sure to be sold out!!
Contact Neil on 07707 090108 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Edinburgh Festival Jazz & Blues This Weekend
Kyla is back in business now, heading up for the Jazz and Blues on Saturday 28th 3pm with the exciting new 4 piece line up with Danny on Acoustic guitar, Tony on saxophones and Rick on drums and percussion. Check it out!
Booking Germany Tour now for Oct 2013
To book us please contact KBN details on our contact page.
We are planning our first tour of Germany in October this year. This is a duo and hopefully next time we can take the whole band.
After the birth of our baby boy Sonny Bo we are getting ready to hit the road again (yes, with the baby for some gigs!) Check our dates page for new gigs.
Catch the duo at the fantastic Guisbourgh Blues Festival or the band at the award winning Hebdon Bridge Blues Festival. Hope to see you soon!
Check out our new video for Grey Sky Blue here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRw2p4cC1Tc
British Blues Awards 2012
Kyla has been nominated for best female singer this year. You can vote for her at http://www.britishbluesawards.com
BBC Radio 2
Kyla will be performing on the Paul Jones 25th anniversary show on BBC Radio 2 on Easter Monday Evening 25th April. Check it out! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wrpd
New Website Launched!
Finally the new website is up and almost complete. It's been a long time coming and I hope you like it as much as I do.
Don't forget to join my mailing list to keep up to date with what's going on.
Throw Away Your Blues Review 16/3/2016
Oh Gosh! We are barely into 2016 and the Blues Gold Standard Flag has been truly planted at the top of the hill. The new album 'Throw Away Your Blues' from Kyla Brox will have you hunting around for words big enough to describe the impact of this beautiful, beautiful piece of work. This is a serious quality blues album conjured by a fabulous blues singer who, surrounded by some stunning musicians, mainlines every word, every note straight into your Blues Central.
If you have skin prepare for goose bumps, if you have a heart prepare for it to be uplifted and then perhaps broken. If you still have hair, prepare for it to stand on end. If you have a spine it will tingle and then some.... Ok, I'll stop there – but trust me, without any shadow of a doubt, this will go down as one of the best blues and soul vocal albums of the year.
The very first track 'If You See Him' sets the bar at an incredibly high standard. The opening line “If you see him tell him I'm sorry”, sung unaccompanied, lets you know exactly where we are going with this killer blues songstress and I defy you not to open your mind to the grainy images of those mighty female blues singers of the past that we all love and cherish so much. Like that distinguished blues sisterhood, Kyla delivers sad, poignant, painful and heartfelt stuff. She has you from the first note and you can't let go.... when you are looking for a Track of the Year, this opening track will be on your list.
There are a number of tracks on here where our guide on this emotive roller-coaster tour seems to offer a little self assurance..'Lifting The Blues', 'Beautiful Day' and While We're Alone' are three superbly crafted songs where it seems as though there is maybe a future and a hope...but sadly, all three still leave us with the notion that maybe the moment has gone and she is looking with hindsight into the mirror and reflecting on times past. The last of these is given a magic lift with some wistful guitar but with the next more upbeat track 'Choose Me' the desperate plea in the lyric does nothing to dispel the sadness.
The writing throughout this big fourteen track album, provided by Kyla herself with the addition of her two guitarists Danny Blomeley and Paul Farr, is invested with the kind of powerful observations and commentary on blues feelings that only a female singer could deliver with authenticity. With Kyla we run the gamut of all those signposts of relationships...being alone, being desperate to be loved, being cheated on, getting over it, moving on and still being in love more and more. There is a hint of resigned pragmatism in a number of the tracks, particularly 'Ain't Got Time' and 'Honestly Blues' which are two classics that hit dead centre in the heart in a way that you quickly appreciate, only a woman can deliver with effect. However, there is still hope lurking in the background and, striking a familiar chord, there is the potent 'Change Your Mind' lyric where, even though rejected and neglected, the singer lets us know, sadly, that she will still be there if you should come back.
But Hey - don't give up lady – and she doesn't. The fabulous rapid track 'Run Our Home' has got some of the best 'screw-you' lyrics you could ever hope for where Kyla, throwing in a bit of hot flute playing, tells her lover she's outta there and he can pick up the pieces. There is not a woman in the land who will not be up and dancing to lines like 'you can't see past the end of your nose' and the brilliant 'see if you can do what I do all on your own'....oh, yes, left to the solar-plexus, right uppercut, knockout.
Piaf, Lady Day, Etta...we all know that galaxy of voices who have that extraordinary ability to imbue us publicly through their voice with their depth of feeling, the nerve endings of their pain, joy and disappointment and raise us up with a brave-faced look to the future. This is an album that comfortably stands alongside that rich pantheon of talent. It's called 'Throw Away Your Blues', but, as we all now understand, It Ain't That Easy and here we get told why.
Everything about this album is from the top drawer. The musicians and production are full of elegance and light touch – (even the album design is exquisite) and together they provide the perfect platform for a voice that will move you, embrace you and leave you wanting more. Not many can do that......
By The Blues Man in The Hat
Bluesdoodles Review 8/3/2016
Throw Away Your Blues...listening to Kyla Brox, you will...
One thing is true Kyla Brox singing will lift the spirits any day of the year. This is an album where the blue is Midnight Blue with the nap and resilience of velvet. Kyla’s vocals on all fourteen tracks that combine to make Throw Away Your Blues an album to treasure is velvety smooth with textures and shading that keeps the ears firmly in-tune with her soulful singing.
This, Throw Away Your Blues is Kyla’s sixth studio album, has her band performing to the flick of her hair, and meaningful stare they are putty at the feet of Kyla’s purity and raw talent. The band has a timing that allows the voice to shine but never harshly dominate, the music blends and shades the lyrics. Her music and life partner Danny Blomeley along with Paul Farr and herself wrote the tracks that fit her style and allows the band to explore all the contours of blues and soul.
Opening with If I See Him, Kyla sings a capella the breathing and power drags you smiling into the album, the vocal bar is raised very high indeed. Then the band joins the musical party with a grinding melodic beat adding harshness and anger to the question being asked. The shaping and timing of her phrasing is superb as she sings ‘tell him that I am breaking’ the despair is immense. The flute from Kyla is a lightness in the shading a glimmer of hope and sorrow. After all that emotion the blues is pure in Lifting the Blues and the Paul Farr guitar work is spellbinding as the undercurrent of the words sung with breath-taking beauty.
The opening by John Ellis’ Hammond organ leads you into the third track Beautiful Day and a change again in delivery, texture and tone. This is music that strokes your senses, has all the warm of a sensual women tinged with the raw animosity of a caged cat. Throw Away Your Blues sings Kyla Brox her style is as smooth as midnight velvet. The husky tones of Kyla on Road Home would encourage everyone to drive straight to the front door with no deviations this is slow blues that gently massages and soothes your troubled soul. Then a change of tempo curling flute from Kyla and an up-beat dancing rhythm as she says I’m leaving you to run our home. This is blues with modern attitude this lady will walk out the door if her work in running a home is not appreciated. Listen up and say an appreciative word to those who Run Your Home. Blues is full of textured fun, chores are just mundane.
We are back with stylish guitar driven blues with Honestly Blues as this album full of style draws to a close. Throughout the production, the spaces and timing has been immaculate. Never does the voice battle the guitar or vice versa, the whole package is effortless harmony. The beat picks up vocal tone is deeper and the rhythm has a feet tapping quality as 365 days are explored the blues, anger and despair of a woman who endures 365 days a year of where nothing changes. The guitar lead break is searing as if the words of Kyla have had no effect on his freedom. Closing with a love song we are left with the lingering pleasure of Kyla singing I Will Love You More. I know this is an album you will love more and more with every listen.
Kyla is the British blues queen, her vocal range and textured shaping of lyrics with emotions are earth-shattering in their power and emotive draw.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
KYLA BROX & FIONA BOYES
VONNIE'S CHARLTON KINGS
JUNE 10TH 2015
'A blues musician walked into a bar in Yackandandah'......and has now done her first British gig at a club near Cheltenham. Fiona Boyes has been around both the Australian blues scene, a native of Victoria, played all over the USA from Florida, to Mississippi to Oregon, so it's great to finally have her play in the UK, and it was more than worth the wait.. In fact it was a double header bill as the wonderful Kyla Brox was also on the tour, which tours all over Europe for a month.
The night was started with a set by Kyla, backed by her husband Danny Bromley on guitar, featuring several of her own songs, plus covers of Etta James, Nina Simone and Bonnie Raitt, one of whom's songs she began her set 'I Can't Make You Love Me', her amazing voice alongside Danny's awesome guitar playing left no need for a full band. Her own songs included 'Shaken & Stirred', 'Guilty' , 'Skin' and 'Grey Sky Blue'. only for the closing 'Hot Hot Hot' did she add an extra musician in bringing on Italian Pablo Leone to play washboard. As always Kyla's voice as well as her flute are pure class, surely one of the finest voices Britain has ever had, and it was great to see her and Danny again, also knowing she would return later in the show to join Fiona.
After a break, Danny Bromley returned on stage this time on bass duties, as did Pablo Leone on drums, leading the way for Fiona Boyes, her long blonde hair and full of that Australian dry humour, with stories of her travels and ex-husbands, though happily settled down now. But it's when she began playing guitar you knew you were in for a special show, she is deeply immersed in the real blues, hard, tough and downright funky. Opening with 'Wind Bound To Blow' her echo laden finger styled electric guitar picking drew you right back to the Delta. The set included Hill Country blues, Texas swing and what is Australian blues. From her time in Portland Oregon came, 'I've Got My Eyes On You', then a song about bands who promise much but fail to deliver 'Big, Bigger, Biggest', a solid piece of Texas swing. She is not one for gentle slow blues but with a permanent smile delivers with 'no holds barred' pure juke joints blues. Using both standard electric guitar, cigar box guitars (one of which she found hung on the wall of a hotel bar, bought it and now plays some slide, or another from a little old mining town in her homeland, with the Aussie FB Holden on it, with this played lap steel style she played 'Louisiana', a song of her longing to go to New Orleans, a quieter song with tasty slide, the most laid back song in the set, one of those songs you could hear a pin drop through, and showed her talent for song writing, it's a great song. That among several original songs also included covers such as 'I'm A Stranger Here', Sonny and Brownie certainly didn't play it like this, but with more than a touch of her own adding to the lyrics and style. Performing tracks from her latest album 'Box & Dice' came all through the set, an album featuring these new guitar additions. For her first appearance her, still suffering a bit of jet lag she put on one heck of a show, blues all the way, the way it should be played. Blues is tough and it rocks and she does that throughout. The almost full venue loved every minute of her set, and certainly wanted more, much more !
Sure there was more as Kyla came back on stage to join her, and together the party really kicked in 'Wang Dang Doodle', 'Don't Mess With My Man' and one everyone got involved in chanting 'All night long', yes it was 'Smokestack Lightning', maybe one of the best known guitar riffs around, and this really was blues at it's best, the band left the stage. Still the audience wanted more, so a song about Fiona's friend who had put on a few pounds ,and those who made comments 'Celebrate My Curves' and that was it. A tremendous evening of blues in it's truest sense, by two of the best around, Remember the name Fiona Boyes, played over the years with some of the USA blues finest, and now here to broaden her fan base, by this show that's a formality , and we look forward to her return before too long. Great stuff !
Again thanks to Dave Jones for bringing her and Kyla bring 'em back !
Friezland Church Hall. Mike Butler
There is no more authentic blues and soul singer in the UK than Kyla Brox. Blues and soul, note, because the two forms are indistinguishable when they're played right. The fact that Kyla is still playing such intimate gigs as Friezland Church Hall is almost proof of authenticity. Her raw talent and purity is a shocking thing in an age of conveyor-belt pop idols.
She's so good that she merits two kinds of listening. At home, Brox CDs can honourably share the same shelf as Janis Joplin or Tracey Nelson (she has a better voice than either) or, getting closer to the source, Irma Thomas and Koko Taylor. But there's no substitute for the intensity of the live experience.
The show kicks off with a slow-burning blues. From the go, Kyla demonstrates her mastery of the soul singer's art. She calibrates a performance perfectly, and, like the best soul singers, she takes her time and stokes up the heat by gradual degrees.
Next, Frustration vents some negative feelings about the daily grind. It's an original by Brox and Blomeley (Danny; bassist, life and musical partner). Every serious musician's goal is the search for one's own voice. This becomes even more urgent in a structurally rigid form like the blues. Part of the solution is to write original material, firmly in the vernacular, but with enough individuality to be distinctive. Always Looking At Me is another original, and the scenario overturns blues machismo: it's the girl who takes the initiative.
Kyla does 'sassy' very well, but then, to put such role-playing in broad relief, Gone is about real emotion and real pain: specifically, the bereavement of Kyla's much-loved grandmother. When she sings, "it's unbelievable you won't know my first child", the line acquires extra poignancy from the knowledge that Kyla is the mother of 13-month-old Sadie. But even blues singers can buckle under the weight of pain, and so Shaken And Stirred returns to lusty concerns, with Kyla declaring her women's love rights.
This zig-zag of conflicting emotion is one of the chief characteristics of soul music, which has always blurred the distinction between pleasure and pain to a sadomasochistic degree. It's probably the one thing that damns it the most in our straight, strait-laced, anodyne culture.
How hard is it to be a young woman on the road? There's a famous quote from Janis Joplin: "On stage I make love to twenty-five thousand people, and then I go home alone". In a very tough business, it's necessary to have a support network. First there was dad, of course: Kyla started singing with her father, legendary bluesman Victor Brox, at the age of 12, and is a veteran of two gruelling and very surreal (naturally, for Victor) Australian tours. But bassist Danny Blomeley and drummer Phil Considine have been playing with Kyla since they were all members of Victor's band, the edition laughingly referred to as the "child slavery band". The musical benefits are obvious: the joint co-operativeness, the telepathic understanding. They predict each other's thoughts, and are really inside the music. Whereas many blues drummers are ploddingly four-square, Considine is a delight, with a jazzman's ability to vary the dynamics of a beat. Danny Blomeley is always there, both on-stage - he is self-effacing virtuoso on bass - and off-stage, as helpmate, manager and proud dad.
Don't Change Horses In The Middle of Stream has been a highlight of Brox gigs since 2004, when Kyla rescued it from an old LP by Tower of Power, and made it all her own. It's great. This kind of aggressive soul, which draws on hard rock riffs and is decidedly unsentimental, is under-explored but fabulously potent. Think of I'm Just Not Ready For Love by Erma Franklin, or There's A Break in the Road by Betty Harris. It's natural territory for Kyla, whose blues legacy gives her license to be blisteringly abrasive.
There are unexpected touches, like the flute on Do I Move You. How many other celebrations of raw sex are embellished by pretty tooting from this most pure and elevated of instruments? Marshall Gill is a guitarist from the Peter Green School. spinning single-line arpeggios that cut like razors, driven by melody, so that the attack is concealed and all the more effective. A true guitar hero, Gill is beginning to look disconcertingly like Seasick Steve.
Another Marshall, Tony Marshall, is a saxophonist with a vocalised quality, like King Curtis or Junior Walker (all the best soul saxophonists, in fact). Occasionally, he will venture into Charlie Parker mode, and launch an avalanche. More often, he prefers to be Tony Marshall.
But then Kyla can also turn around and surprise. On the second Nina Simone song of the evening, the crowd-pleasing Feeling Good (reserved for the encore), she sailed into the upper register and achieved operatic purity with some uncustomary high notes. The different registers convey different emotional states: pleading in the upper register, brusque and sassy in the lower. The duality can be unsettling, especially when they alternate in the same line, but it's very, very compelling. Kyla can make the earth move when she sings.
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