Toby Lee Thrills Cheltenham Jazz Arena

At the Cheltenham Jazz Festival’s the 19-year-old Blues sensation took to the stage at a packed Jazz Arena. Toby who has just been voted the 2024 UK Blues Awards ‘Young Blues Artist of the Year’, for the third time (just like his early mentor Laurence Jones). This means he is now in the UK Blues Awards Hall of Fame along with artists such as Dom Martin and Elles Bailey.

The Toby Lee band line-up was Toby Lee (vocals & lead guitar), Sam Collins (bass & BV), Chris Haddon (rhythm Guitar & BV) and Joe Harris (drums & BV).

The audience had a wide range of ages but all expecting a spectacular show and they weren’t disappointed with a rip-roaring opening set of numbers where Toby showed his guitar excellent and vocal range, supported by his band and their backing vocal harmonies.

Songs such as ‘Song of Happiness’ allowed Toby to demonstrate his undoubted guitar skills (none older than 1975) with solos right across the range of his historic guitars up to the highest notes.

His vocal power was shown to great effects on slower blues numbers such as ‘I Know You’ with its great passionate singing allied to his guitar playing, backed by the band.

As Toby commented ‘This is the last night of this tour. Next week I will be supporting Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on his national tour, and I am excited to announce that I will be at Glastonbury later this year’

Next, we had one ‘Passionately Waiting’ of the tracks that will appear on his third album, with its funky rhythm, which will be released in autumn this year. The set also included the title track from this new album ‘House of Fire’ with its multi harmonies and great guitar breaks which the audience loved with great applause.

Toby likes changing guitars from a rack of several historic ones, including a 1964 Gibson Firebird which he had to exchange his 1963 VW Beatle for, and had to hold off Bernie Marsden from Whitesnake from getting his hands on it!

Toby finished with an encore with ‘Fever’ with the whole audience on its feet at the end with wild applause. 

Toby Lee Thrills Cheltenham Jazz Arena
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 11 May 2024
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