|Rebecca Downes and her superb band totally blew away The Robin 2 [Photo: Kevin Totts]|
#904: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! As ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] has grown in scope, one of the things Yours Truly KJS likes to do is, from time to time, feature local Midlands artistes. I first came across Rebecca Downes in person during last years Brewood Music Festival with news of her songwriting and vocal talents regularly crossing my path since. Hence, Bekah's debut headlining gig down the road at The Robin 2 with Reuben Archer's Personal Sin on the evening of Thursday 7th May was well worth checking out.
Preceded by a top class set of rock music by Reuben Archer and his excellent band, Rebecca Downes arrived on stage with her troupe and delivered a stunning set of sixteen songs including eight from her debut album "Back To The Start" [Real 2 Reel Records #R2R002], a taster or two from her forthcoming second CD an some superb covers of blues favourites by Etta James and Erma Franklin as well as her own interpretation of one Led Zeppelin and a Beatles classic.
As you are no doubt aware, I've had the pleasure of attending a great deal of gigs over the years but this particular performance by Bekah was astounding in terms of both the quality of her vocals and her stage presence as she wowed the venue. Add to that the tight, professional and slick band aiding and assisting her and you had the perfect recipe for a night of the most excellent female led British blues as she delivered "I'd Rather Go Blind" and "Another Piece Of My Heart" alongside her own excellent material - co-written with fellow band member and friend Steve Birkett - including "Basement Of My Heart", "Messed Up", the beautiful "Walking With Shadows", title track "Back To The Start", rocker "Round And Round" and "Laughter From Her Room" [I should really re-list the whole set shouldn't I?].
Special mention should also be made of the contribution of guitarist Johnny Caswell who is also a member of The Steve Gibbons Band and was in inspired form on the night, a real treat to witness.
For me, Rebecca rounded off the night superbly and perfectly with a passionate and lively rendition of Lennon and McCartney's Beatles epic "With A Little Help From My Friends" with a nod to the late, great Joe Cocker yet with her own personality stamped all over it. This really was a fantastic gig and the news gets better knowing that Rebecca Downes is returning to Brewood in just two  weeks on Saturday 23rd May to join forces with The Trevor Burton Band, per this recent ELOBF article:
Set list: "Rock Me Baby"; "Fever In The Night"; "When I'm Bad"; "Round And Round"; "Laughter From Her Room"; "It's That Easy"; "I'd Rather Go Blind"; "Basement Of My Heart"; "Messed Up"; "Another Piece Of My Heart"; "Walking With Shadows"; "1,000 Years"; "Sweetness"; "Back To The Start"; "Rock 'n' Roll"; "With A Little Help From My Friends" [Encore]
The Rebecca Downes Band were: Rebecca Downes [Vocals], Steve Birkett [Guitar], Johnny Caswell [Guitar]; Dan Clark [Bass], Lloyd Daker [Drums] and Rick Benton [Keyboards]