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Angel Forrest: The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

ian sutherland
Words: Ian Sutherland, Pictures: Mark Holloway
5th April 2018

angel forrest

Angel Forrest is renowned in her native Canada for her award winning take on blues, rock and much more.

The Montreal native is less well known on this side of the Atlantic and for that reason her fans in Edinburgh were privileged to gather in the sumptuous but cosy confines of The Voodoo Rooms ballroom to see her perform an intimate acoustic set.

The nice surroundings seem to contribute to a hushed atmosphere at the start of proceedings, but within a few bars of the first song the genial disposition, enthusiasm and above all the impressive voice of the lady on stage has things warmed up and cooking nicely.

angel forrest

A hugely experienced performer, she is obviously still in love with what she's doing and that really comes across.

Her past includes stints in a Janis Joplin tribute act and she certainly has the gritty and emotional tones to do Janis songs justice. In fact she begs our indulgence and throws 'Piece Of My Heart' and a scintillating 'Me And Bobby McGee' into the set.

There is much more to Ms Forrest's voice than that though and it's on her energetic yet blues-soaked originals like 'Hold On Tight Mr I'm Alright' and 'Mother Tongue Blues' where she really gets to shine.

angel forrest

Letting her own real rock and roll soul out is what she's all about, and even in this refined and laid back acoustic setting the result was still electric.

The musical backing on stage was extremely impressive too. Denis Coulombe may be the star's husband but he is also an excellent singer in his own right and provided a marvelous kind of acoustic rhythm guitar which somehow gave a bass end to the sound too.

This allowed the other guitarist Ricky Paquette free reign to show off his lead skills. What skills they were too. In forty years of gig going I don't think I've seen anyone do acoustic lead better than this guy.

Amazing playing and the person with their name on the posters knows it too, so both guitarists were given plenty of room to show off their skills.
angel forrest

With her warm bonhomie, her natural smile, her cool dance moves and above all her magnificent voice, Angel Forrest captured the hearts of all present at this show.

The setting may have been small but this was a towering, triumphant gig, an artist showing that talent, authenticity and hard work can overcome any situation. Fantastic stuff and I can't wait to see her again.

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Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here.


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