London Show Review
July 19, 2016
by Nigel Foster
A Day In The Life
One of the many joys of going to see real live music is getting to unearth new talent and that was exactly my experience last night at the superb riverside pub The Bull's Head in Barnes.
The artist was brand new to me, Blues guitarist and singer songwriter Chris Antonik, all the way from Toronto Canada. The set Chris and the band delivered was diverse and varied and of genuine high quality. Amazing when I learned that Chris and the bass player had not met the skins man and second guitarist until they landed in the UK last week.
Fellow Blues fan John Mitchell further told me that Chris and Ben Fisher said guitarist, write music and songs together across the Atlantic using social media and technology. For me to do that there that must be a shared love of the music and it was absolutely obvious watching these two play together that there is a chemistry between the two. When one led on a riff or solo the other held the melody and vice versa. Some of the intricate interplay between the two was beguiling and richly beautiful.
The music really was top drawer, the back line getting to know each other well nailing the groove, Antonik's rasped deep but soulful vocal lighting up the lyrics and then that dual sumptuous tone of a Stratocaster and Les Paul ringing out to fill the room with kaleidoscopic sounds.
The set list drew from Antonik's two albums and gave us a flavour of the new album due to see daylight in early 2017. For added variety, entertainment factor and further evidence of the musical prowess some well chosen and brilliantly executed Blues standards.
My vantage point was front and centre and there was a veritable feast of string bending and fret weaving brilliance from the two guitarists. Antonik and Fisher both have free spirited styles that allowed them to go where the music and feel took them, a pleasure and treat to watch and hear.
Original composition From A Good Place was as fine an exhibition of funky Blues Rock as I have heard in a long time. Antonik and Fisher trading scorching riffs. The King of Infidelity took us deep in to the soul of classic slow burn Blues and once again the duo dazzled as they stepped in and out of luxuriant solos and lead breaks.
Antonik has a style that reminds me of Eric Clapton and that was right to the fore in Blues hewn Key to the Highway and a quite mesmeric epic delivery of the Derek and the Dominoes classic cut Why Does Love Got To Be So Bad. One of those interludes of music where the patterns of aural sounds just grab hold of you, simply sublime. The legacy of that dual chiming chasing sound created by EC and Duane Allman in very safe and loving hands.
Great show, great artist.
UK Blues Fan