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Chantel McGregor at The Institute, Birmingham

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Girl's Gone Gothic on New Album
Blues singer/guitarist Chantel McGregor has 'gone Gothic' on her new album.

The 29-year-old from Bradford, who is touring the UK during September, October and December, reveals that Lose Control is influenced by the darker side of life.

Chantel McGregor Lose Control Birmingham Institute
Gothic: Chantel McGregor (pic: Ian Stafford)

"I've always been interested in the dark side of Southern Gothic literature, artwork and media," says Chantel. "I wanted to create an album that reflected the imagery and themes of that genre. I drew inspiration from the TV shows True Detective and True Blood and studied the literary works of Tennessee Williams, Carson Mullers and Mark Twain.

"I also surrounded myself with imagery from artists and photographers such as Walker Evans and Clarence John Laughlin, all to immerse myself in the sinister, dark world of depravation, magic and voodoo, writing most of the songs from the perspective of the disturbed flawed characters."

The album is released on October 9 when Chantel is on the midst of her British tour. She plays Birmingham Institute on October 1. You can get a flavour of the album by viewing the taster video here:

"Playing live to great audiences is one of the most wonderful feelings, I feel lucky to be able to do something that I love, see the world and bring happiness to others through my music," she admits.

Chantel McGregor Lose Control Birmingham Institute
Prodigy: Chantel McGregor (pic: Steve Howdle)

A female guitar prodigy, at the age of 14, Chantel was told by major labels that she had a "great voice, but girls don't play guitar like that!"

Wisely ignoring the comments, she enrolled at Leeds College of Music and became the first student in the college's history to achieve a 100 per cent pass mark, with 18 distinctions. She left with a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music and a coveted prize for outstanding musicianship.

Chantel McGregor Lose Control Birmingham Institute
Losing control: Chantel McGregor (pic: Keith Newhouse)

Early in her career, Chantel was invited to perform with Joe Bonamassa on two of his UK tours.

In 2011, her debut album, Like No Other, was produced by Livingstone Brown, whose production credits include Ed Sheeran, Robin Trower, Tina Turner, and Shakira.

In 2013 and 2014 Chantel was voted by the British Blues Awards as Guitarist of the Year.

Lose Control, which is released on her independent boutique label Tis Rock Music, shows how her blues rock template has evolved into a bigger, bolder sound.

Chantel says: "I really enjoy creating my own songs, it's a fantastic way of being able to say what I wouldn't normally say in everyday life and getting my feelings out, writing for me is very therapeutic."

Chantel McGregor's 2015 UK tour:

Sept 11: The Assembly, Leamington Spa;
Sept 12: Newark, Blues Festival;
Sept 17: 100 Club, London;
Sept 19: Town Hall, Hessle;
Sept 20: Pavilion Theatre, Whitby;
Sept 24: The Arc, Stockton;
Sept 25: Riverhead Theatre, Louth;
Sept 26: Central Station, Wrexham;

Oct 1: The Institute, Birmingham;
Oct 2: The Tropic, Ruislip;
Oct 9: Playhouse, Halifax;
Oct 10: Atkinson Blues Festival, Southport;
Oct 16: The Dome, Doncaster;
Oct 17: The Elms, Retford;
Oct 21: Greystones, Sheffield;
Oct 22: The Caves, Edinburgh;
Oct 23: Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow;
Oct 24: The Venue, Carlisle;
Oct 26: Arts Centre, Salisbury;
Oct 27: Phoenix, Exeter;
Oct 28: Arts Centre, Bridport;
Oct 29: Komedia, Brighton;
Oct 31: Engine Shed, Lincoln;

Dec 12: Town Hall, Ripley;
Dec 13: The Cluny, Newcastle;
Dec 14: The Platform, Morecambe;
Dec 15: The Brudenell, Leeds;
Dec 16: The Tunnels, Bristol;
Dec 17: The Flowerpot, Derby.

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Why? Blistering blues from Gothic Girl
When: October 1, 2015
Phone: 0121 631 1800 (The Institute)
Where: The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham
Cost: £13 plus fees (advance)
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