Review Date September 20, 2012
Review By David Knowles
Location Gibson Guitar Studio, London
This was a very special album launch for press and a few lucky fans who won tickets to see Scottish blues singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Sandi Thom. Food and drink was laid on for all to partake in, although the beer ran out halfway through the show, to which Sandi joked that her band and especially her mum had probably drunk most of it before the audience were even allowed in. Sandi had her full band on stage with her as she performed a 45-minute set of songs from her new album, FLESH AND BLOOD. Starting strongly with the heated and raging “Help Me” with Sandi’s voice in superb form, plus she also played some exquisite blues harp. She kept her foot on the gas for the fiercely commanding “Stormy Weather” on which her voice came at you like a hurricane, accompanied by the tornado whipped up by her own signature series of harmonica. The pace dropped slightly as Sandi turned more gentle on the gorgeous “Big Ones Get Away” from the pen of Buffy Sainte Marie. Buffy sings it with Sandi on the album but on the night the duet was performed wonderfully with her backing singer. Some fine slide guitar complemented Sandi’s own acoustic guitar playing and preaching vocals on the sermonising “Rise As One.” She then sang possibly my favourite song on the album, “I Owe You Zero.” The song is a dig at all the people who have tried to put her down, hold her back and generally get in her way-this is Sandi telling them that they don’t know her at all. Her vocals start softly but then build to a climactic crescendo with scything guitar and crashing drums; an absolute gem of a song. The breezy “Sun Comes Crashing Down” was followed by the title tune “Flesh And Blood” with Sandi playing a Gibson Les Paul 12-string electric guitar, making her the envy of all the wannabe guitarists in the crowd. Most of the band then left the stage, just leaving one band member on acoustic guitar to accompany Sandi’s enchanting vocals on the endearing “I Love You Like A Lunatic,” about her relationship with boyfriend, Joe Bonamassa. The rest of the band then came back out as Sandi finished with “Lay Your Burden Down,” all about letting go of the past and all the pains that came with it. Although Sandi was doing another gig at the 12-Bar Club at 10.30pm, she still came out and chatted to people before she left. Sandi Thom is a genuinely nice and very lovely person and a terrific singer, musician and songwriter. Hopefully this new album will finally open all the doors needed for her to get the fame she deserves. Personally I can say that both my brother Steve and myself came away from Gibson’s knowing that we had seen a great gig.
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