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Feature: Chantel McGregor

...it is Chantel's ability to make something new out of the familiar that provides the integral part of her appeal.
(Pete Feenstra)

Chantel McGregor

Realising at an early age that if you picked up a guitar you got attention, especially from her dad whose guitar it usually was, it was inevitable that Chantel would get one of her own. So at the ripe old age of three, she got her first guitar, a half size acoustic.

At seven she started lessons but soon noticed that not only did the electric guitars have a smaller neck, making them ideal for little hands, but they could also make a lot more noise.

After more lessons, and a lot more noise, and at the grand old age of eight she became the youngest person in the country to pass a Rockschool grade. More lessons followed and with them came the realisation that if you want people to listen, you need to sing!

So it came to pass that at the age of twelve she arrived at the famous Melborn Hotel in Bradford to play and sing at the weekly jam session. Helped and encouraged by all the musicians, she developed rapidly into a incredible rock and blues musician.

Now described as a "prodigy", a visit from a major label soon followed and at fourteen she was told "great voice, but girls don't play guitar like that!" by the head of their A&R.

Their advice that she should change styles because boys would be intimidated was met with an attitude of "that's their problem! I'm not changing!" Singing and playing on national television and radio soon followed.

Chantel McGregor

Then came a change of direction, studying with a view to becoming an English teacher, musically she went away from live performance to concentrate on her exams, whilst at the same time recording and writing and, having passed her A Levels, chose music.

Now qualified at Grade Eight, the wrong A Levels required for a music degree course meant enrolling at the world renowned Leeds College of Music for a Btec in Popular Music where she became the first student in the college’s history to achieve a 100% pass mark, 18 distinctions.

Progressing onto the degree course she became the holder of the prize for outstanding musicianship for 2006/7 on the way to achieving a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music in July 2009 and at the same time the award for guitar.

Once free of the restrictions of studying, she started performing both solo and with her band throughout the UK, quickly building a following and being asked to play at festivals throughout the UK and Europe.

This has now led to the release of her debut album "Like No Other", from which the track "Help Me" has been included in the worldwide release from Universal Records "100 Years of The Blues".
 

Interview by Mark Taylor

 


Tour Dates 2011

August

Thurs 4.8.11 New Crawdaddy Club, Billericay, Essex 19.30
Sat 6.8.11 Cambridge Rock Festival - Main Stage

September

Fri 9.9.11 Borough Blues Club, Pontypool 19.30
Fri 16.9.11 Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury, West Berkshire 19.30
Sat 17.9.11 Buxton Blues Festival
Sun 18.9.11 Leamington Spa Blues Festival
Fri 23.9.11 Orkney Blues Festival
Sat 24.9.11 Orkney Blues Festival
Sun 25.9.11 Orkney Blues Festival
Orkney TBA

October

Sat 1.10.11 Settle Victoria Hall, North Yorkshire 19.30
Fri 7.10.11 Manchester Academy 3, 19.30
Sat 8.10.11 Birdwell Venue, Barnsley 20.30
Fri 14.10.11 Fibbers, York 19.30
Sat 15.10.11 The Piper Club, Hull 19.30
Sun 16.10.11 Bedford Esquires, Bedford TBA
Thurs 20.10.11 100 Club, London 19.30
Fri 21.10.11 Limelight Aylesbury 19.30
Thurs 27.10.11 Millers Blues Club Kirkby in Ashfield, Notts 19.30 - Tickets available on the Door
Fri 28.10.11 Darwen Library Theatre, Lancs 19.30

November

Fri 25.11.11 Morecambe Platform 19.30

December

Sat 3.12.11 The Flowerpot Derby 19.30
Mon 12.12.11 Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton 19.30
Sun 18.12.11 Greystones, Sheffield 19.30

 


Interview (2011)

Album review

Photo Gallery (Cambridge Rock Festival)

Artist website


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Gig review (2010)

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Like No Other (2011)

Gig review (2011)

Interview (2011)

Gig review (2011)