Review: Dani Wilde Band at Warrington RnB Club, Burtonwood – 15th May 2009

Posted on: Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Although this was Dani Wilde’s first appearance in Warrington, the Brighton-based singer/guitarist is no stranger to the county of Cheshire: she was born in Macclesfield and lived briefly in Congleton before her family relocated down south. The twenty-two year old was backed by an equally youthful ensemble that comprised her brother, Will ‘Harmonica’ Wilde on harp and vocals, Ben Poole on guitar, Johnny Chase on bass guitar and ‘Little’ Alan Taylor on drums.

The band opened the proceedings at the club’s new Burtonwood location with Will on vocals before Dani entered to lead a fast-moving shuffle and the bouncy “Born To Love Him”. The up-tempo “Come Undone” lifted the gloom created by the slow and mournful “I Love You More Than I Hate Myself” before Dani switched to acoustic guitar on a medium-paced shuffle, which was embellished by an excellent harp solo. The rest of the band then left the stage to leave the Wilde siblings to perform a fine version of Eric Bibb’s “Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down”. The first set was completed with the slow shuffle, “Red Blooded Woman”, and the Green Onions-style, medium-paced rocker, “I Want Your Loving”, on which Ben Poole and Will Wilde went walkabout amidst the audience.

The second set was initiated without the Wildes with Ben Poole on vocals. Dani Wilde then delivered tremendous vocals on a slow blues that referred to her life-changing visit to Kenya. Poole added a tasty guitar solo and Will provided superb tone and phrasing on harmonica. The Green Onions beat resurfaced only to be comprehensively trumped by the highlight of the evening – a stunning version of “I’d Rather Go Blind”, which featured Dani’s powerful vocals to great effect. Apparently, Gary Moore had suggested to her that she would do the song justice – how right he was!

Calm was restored with a slow shuffle that put Ben Poole back in the spotlight and led the way for “Blues Is My First Love – You Come Second, Baby”, a rocking blues written by Will that came complete with an internal rap section. To complete the set, the band really bounced along with their version of “Rock Me, Baby”. For encores, Dani sang a touching tribute to the children of Kenya before sharing the lead with her brother on Mannish Boy (Womanish Girl).

Dani Wilde is undoubtedly a very talented performer. She is a competent guitarist, her powerful voice is hugely impressive and her songwriting ability is considerable, as the high proportion of original compositions demonstrated. She also projects an easy self-confidence when she chats between numbers. At the age of twenty, brother Will is already a highly skilled harmonica player and his rasping vocals show distinct potential. All in all, this is a fine young band that is surely primed to progress.

Lionel Ross

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