Alex Voysey Amazes Sold Out Launch Show in Cheltenham

Alex Voysey’s stunning ‘Blues in Isolation’ album launch sold out Cheltenham Playhouse to an excited and enthusiastic audience. The excellent band was, Alex Voysey (guitar & vocals), Ben Hands (bass), Paul Arthurs (drums), Andy Allpass (keyboards) and Rob Miles (guitar). 

The album had been co-produced by Paul Arthurs and Paul Long from band Catfish as well as being a BBC Radio 2 blues producer. It also featured the spectacular guest backing vocals of  Alison Jiear.

The show kicked off with a video of Alex walking in isolation, while the band took to the stage in low blue light, before the smoke and lights came up as Alex launched into the dystopian instrumental number ‘Down the Long Dark Road’, which led straight into ‘Drive On’ with great piano/bass/drums backing and great soaring guitar. Then, after Alex introduced the album to the audience, to a change of style with the upbeat bluesy ‘Away to Mississippi’ with a great bass piece from Ben Hands followed by a response on guitar from Alex.

Then we moved to the acoustic section of the show with the first performance of ‘Crossroads’ where Alex used his Malta purchased slide on his acoustic guitar to great effect, along with solo from Rob on guitar. Then the more country blues style of ‘Start Talking’ to great reaction to the ever-involved audience with shouts of ‘Oh Yeah’. The washboard silver tie of drummer Paul starred during ‘Athens to Athens’ with great keyboard from Andy followed by Alex responding to Ben’s bass lines to great applause.

The classic Stevie Ray Vaughan song ‘Texas Flood’ followed with solos from Rob on guitar and one from Andy on keys before Alex finished with quiet but fast guitar picking.

‘You Better Come Back Home’ with its stop in the middle was up next before a bit of blues jazz with the instrumental ‘Blue Sunday’ with another piece of great bass playing from Ben to match Alex with solid drum beat from Paul.

Then we had the first for Alex as the band had challenged him to write a blues love song which he achieved with ‘Whisky & Wine’ with its heartfelt lyrics, which he dedicated to his wife for all her backstage help and support. This finished the first half.

Starting up the second half we had a couple of foot stompers with ‘Forbidden Rock N Roll Jam’ and ‘Ballad of John Henry’ with Alex and Ben getting down at the front, which was dedicated to dedicated fan Jane on her birthday.

A very pertinent song next with ‘Old Shop on the Corner’ which is about the number of small businesses that closed in or due to the pandemic. Then ‘Lab Rat’ written by Alex and his wife in an inflatable paddling pool in their lounge!, which started with a slow evocative start with just Alex on guitar, before the rest of the band joined in. Followed by ‘Life You Lead’ with its heavy blues rock beat.

Then we had a section with classic blues cover songs from BB King ‘The Thrill is Gone’, which is drummer Paul’s favourite song but he had never played live, until tonight. This was followed by a Jeff Beck song that the band had not played for years ‘See Cause We Ended As Lovers’ with its very eerie start with echoing guitar and piano which breaks into a faster tempo with Alex guitar mastery showing with its soaring up and down his guitar. An Eric Clapton song ‘Further On Up The Road’ was played next with a great keyboard solo from Andy before ‘Not Over You’ from Alex’s debut album ‘Head In A Blur’.

The night finished with Alex thanking the band and the audience for supporting him before playing as an encore his second single from the album ‘Watch the Sky’ before a standing ovation from the audience.

Here is the Full Image set

Alex Voysey Amazes Sold Out Launch Show in Cheltenham
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 19 March 2024
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