google5fdb2843fc4f1b5b.html Rock Chic: Dana Fuchs - The Tunnels Bristol, 11/05/15

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Dana Fuchs - The Tunnels Bristol, 11/05/15

Seeing new artists for the first time is usually an exciting experience, especially if you have expectations in mind. This was the case for a few tonight at The Tunnels in Bristol, where New Jersey born, Florida raised blues-rocker Dana Fuchs is starting her short UK tour. 

The head count isn’t huge by any means, as Dana notes,‘we’re gonna have our own private hootenanny’, but this is surely down to lack of promotion. Dana appears at around 9pm to a nevertheless excited crowd, full of appreciation. 

When she starts singing, it’s capturing for the next hour and 30 minutes. The sound quality isn’t great at this venue tonight, but she’s not afraid of telling them to sort it out. Partly to do with the power of her lungs, it will leave you deafened in a good way. It’s worth it. Sometimes the microphone just seems a bit of a formality.

One endearing character of this lady is she tells her stories and lays herself bare. Stories of growing up and going to church on Sunday – the only day of the week when people seemed to be nice to each other – the inspiration for ‘Livin On Sunday’. Filled with the joy of gospel and the melancholy of childhood memories, it’s a glimpse into her home life for sure. 

The song ‘So Hard To Move’, featured on her latest album ‘Songs From The Road’, she tells us was written for her brother who passed away suddenly last year while she held his hand. Dana had a few tears before giving an extremely heartfelt version of this.

She lifts the mood by reminiscing about her Father’s influence for her early-years diet of Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, who she described as not the mild mannered ‘Crazy’ crooner, but a total sailor. This is cue for a song inspired by her country influences, ‘Nothin’ On My Mind’ from her previous album ‘Bliss Avenue’. In typical Southern style it’s about a circle of young love that turns sour that turns into a lesson learned. Watching this performance became so engrossing you’re not able to think about anything else but what’s happening at that very moment. The respect for her abilities builds and builds. 

A mess of blonde curls and bedroom eyes, Dana is full of charisma before she even opens her mouth. Then she displays a deep, husky vocal (one she’s honed from the age of 4, as she says she ‘had to do something with it’), a perfect match for the blues numbers she’s kicked out tonight. It’s silky whilepowerful for the gospel numbers and more than capable of a rock ‘n’ roll screech that would kick the ass of any competitors. 

It’s hard to sum up a night that has people leaving with wide eyes and open jaws, so this will conclude in three simple words. Effortless, inspiring, amazing.  

Photo credit: Doug Bearne

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