MYKE GRAY (ft KIM JENNETT). Find out more about MYKE GRAY here.
I've been following Myke Gray's career since my youth when I first saw
his band SKIN in the '90s, a band I watched live many times and always
felt it a massive shame they split. They were quite frankly one of the
best rock bands of the era, fantastic songs with Myke's classy guitar
work and that stunning voice of Nev MacDonald. Perhaps just a little
too late to the party, five years earlier and they could have been headlining
arenas. I wish I'd seen Myke's earlier band Jagged Edge but loved the
Red, White & Blues which saw him again hook up with Jagged Edge
frontman Matt Alfonzetti, another truly great singer.
After some time away from music he returned in 2017 with a solo album,
Shades of Gray, which showed his touch around the fretboard to be as
brilliant as ever, mixing the shredding with sublime melody like only
he can. An invite to play Download festival followed and this current
project started to take shape. Myke has always worked with brilliant
rock singers so it should come as no surprise to see Kim Jennett becoming
It's a partnership that has seen her incredible charisma and youthful
energy re-ignite that rock n' roll spark in a whole bunch of classic
songs from his back catalogue, stamping her mark so strongly that her
own solo career is also starting to blossom, with an album in the works
which Myke is producing. So the future looks bright for both of them
right now, and deservedly so. I felt privileged to be able to shoot
their recent London show at one of my favourite venues, the Underworld
in Camden. The musical history resonates so strongly in those walls...
The band was completed with guitarist Glenn Quinn, Colin Parkinson playing
bass, and Neil Ogden behind the drums, a solid trio who provided the
perfect platform from which Myke and Kim were able to thrive while also
adding their own personalities to the mix.
The set opened with the Red, White & Blues track Stand Up For
Rock & Roll, a song tailor-made for moments like this, and
ended with a barnstorming Take Me Home. In between were select
gems from throughout Myke's career including one of my all time favourites
the Jagged Edge classic You Don't Love Me during the encore,
but it was understandably the SKIN tunes that made up the bulk of the
Colourblind, Take Me Down To The River and Love
Like Suicide showed the class of the songwriting and of course
the hits got the crowd moving and singing along... House of Love
and Look But Don't Touch both hit the sweet spot in particular.
Kim chose the introduction to the latter to speak about issues of consent,
a message the guy who kept grabbing her leg should try harder to understand.
The song is literally called Look But Don't Touch!
Not only does Kim have an outstanding singing voice but a compelling
stage presence too, a constant rush of energy throughout, throwing shapes,
popping hips, and punching the air like a born performer. The stage
wasn't big enough for her. Much kudos should be given to Myke here for
stepping back a little and giving her room to create such a show. Make
no mistake, he knows how to perform too, power-poses a-plenty looking
every bit the guitar hero his people had come to see. And what a connection
he has with his audience. There was a lot of love and respect in the
room for him for sure.
It wasn't all rock n' roll bluster and swagger though. A heartfelt Counts
For Nothing showed the classy sublties and Tower Of Strength
was simply glorious. Shine Your Light closed the set on a high
before a cool Tripping kicked off the encores. Myke spent some
time thanking the band and crew and even people in the crowd who he
recognised from their constant support over the years, naming them too...
a sincere moment of gratitude before he took to the mic himself for
I Get Up. This latest release has been so well received, a
tongue in cheek nod to the '80s hair / glam scene and a reminder to
us all that there's always a place in rock n' roll for a whole lotta
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