Artist Spotlight: Sundance (November 2016)

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Band/Artist: Sundance

OK, Sundance arenít an originals band and they arenít about to achieve global recording domination with their first album release. But if you are into 60ís psychedelia and you appreciate top musicianship then you really should check them out.

Veterans of the North East Blues and Rock scene, Darlington-based Sundance were originally established in 1999 and pay tribute to the musical legacy of Jimi Hendrix.

There was, and will only ever be, one Jimi Hendrix - so, as you will see, Sundance don't even try to look like him. In any case, there are other "Tribute" acts out there that do a far better job of looking like Jimi Hendrix.

Capturing the energy of Jimiís live shows, Sundance bring together the most authentic Hendrix guitar sound you will hear live today from Simon Cassidy; soaring above the grooviest rhythm section supplied by Martyn Bennett on drums and Terry Sharp on bass. Effortlessly slipping in and out of hypnotic extended improvisations, Sundance will transport you directly back to the psychedelic 60ís. Whether you like Hendrix or not, you will not fail to be impressed by their musicianship, and Sundance might even open your mind to this timeless and beautiful music.

Then, of course, there is the matter of Jimiís stolen guitar. One of Jimiís Fender Stratocasters was stolen from their gig at the Imperial and has since disappeared into the mysts of Darlo folklore and legend. Sundance have run a number of ďamnestyĒ campaigns over the years to try and unearth this guitar without success - yet. Simon Cassidy noted: ďHaving grown up in Darlington, Iíve always been interested in the Hendrix/Darlington story. The fine people of Darlington welcomed this all time musical genius to our town and our hospitality included? Ė stealing one of his guitars! Now some people see this as a bit of a joke but as a guitarist, guitar teacher, guitar maker and Hendrix Freak, Iíd like to see a happy ending to this story. The guitar is of no value to the current ďcustodianĒ and, inevitably, the generation associated with the gig are beginning to die off, so I think itís time to put the guitar to good use before itís lost forever. So if the guitar turns up and is authenticated (which is in hand), Iím proposing to use the money from any auction proceeds to set up a Music and Arts Academy in Darlington dedicated to the Memory of Jimi Hendrix.Ē

Following the articles in the Northern Echo last year, Simon has had a number of calls from people around the world and has managed to put together most of the pieces of this intriguing story including aphotograph of the guitar in a promotional shot of a club act in the 1970ís. Youíll be seeing a new campaign over the next few months which hopefully will result in the guitar played at the gig in February Ė this could be quite a night! Keep an eye on the Sundance Facebook page and website for further details.

Sundance will be playing at The Green Room, Stockton on 12th November and The Basement, York on 19th December.

Sundance are also planning a very special gig to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Jimi Hendrix playing at the Imperial Hotel, Darlington which will take place at Joeís Bar (the basement of the old Imperial Hotel) on Thursday 2nd February 2017.


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