Californian soul rockers, The Bellrays, cross the pond this March for a mammoth European tour – and they’ll be stopping off in Middlesbrough to blow the roof off the Westgarth Social Club.
Veterans of the independent scene, The Bellrays have been dishing out their unique brand of rock since the early 90s. The band describes their individual sound as ‘Punk, funk, rock and soul’ and come to think of it, this makes a lot of sense.
The punk sensibilities of the band can be heard loud and clear on their 2010 studio album, ‘Black Lighting’. However, this isn’t your average gritty, screeching punk sound – this is measured, smooth punk, courtesy of front woman Lisa Kekaula’s powerful vocal ability.
Speaking of vocal ability, this is where the soul element of The Bellrays’ sound becomes apparent; Lisa’s vocals seamlessly combine melodic soulful harmonies with powerful screams that are akin to that of a classic blues singer – Lisa Kekaula is a master when it comes to controlling her cadence.
Finally, rock and funk combine as Bob Vennum’s 80s axeman-style guitar playing, filled with cutting solos, perfectly complements Justin Andres’ rhythmic bass lines. Round that off with Stefan Litronik’s hard rock drum style, and there you have a truly individualistic blend of genres – AKA, The Bellrays.
Despite being a ‘90s’ band, The Bellrays sound like they’ve been plucked right out of the 80s – in the best way. They have a sound that makes you want to jump in an open top muscle car, put your foot on the gas and head straight for Route 66 without a care in the world.
Their show at the Westgarth Social Club on Saturday 3rd March promises to be an intimate and high-octane affair and is one not to be missed.
Tickets, priced at £12.50 in advance, are available from bigfigurepromotions.co.uk.