‘We’ll probably get abducted by aliens on the way to Lancashire’

“I know this sounds absolutely bonkers, but I don’t even like the blues,” explains Chantelle McGregor, who holds a first in the history of the British Blues Awards as the only woman to be voted Guitarist of the Year.

Saturday, 22nd February 2014, 10:00 am
Chantelle McGregor
Chantelle McGregor

“I don’t even consider what I do as blues.

“I love the music of Jayce Everett, Foo Fighters and Ryan Adams – my influences are vast. I’m really into Steve Wilson and his old band Porcupine Tree. I love prog rock too.

“I guess I could never be into one genre. You have to open your mind to music or you get boring don’t you?”

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McGregor’s debut, Like No Other, is a beautifully crafted compilation, showcasing her musical resourcefulness and could be the start of something big for the 27-year-old songstress.

It begins with the emotional power of Fabulous, a tough as teak sonic rock song, that would have master of metal Lemmy nodding his head in approval, before her album weaves through the nooks and crannies of pop and rock.

“Fabulous is a great song to play and it usually wakes the audience up too,” she joked.

“I wanted to write a loud song that would make people feel good, so it’s about getting ready to go out, dancing around your room in high heels, drinking cocktails and gearing up for the weekend.

“I 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.”

Her second album is in the pipeline and due for release later this year.

“It’s one of those difficult things with me, I’m a perfectionist and like everything to be right, so I take my time.”

“With the blues awards, that was amazing and very humbling, because the public voted for me.

“But you shouldn’t measure success by prizes, sales and numbers. That can equate to financial success, and while that’s satisfying, it doesn’t necessarily mean life success.

“Am I doing something that I love? If the answer is yes then you’re successful.

“There are many artists who have huge audiences, million selling albums and you watch them on stage go through the motions, clearly having had enough, and you think, isn’t it time to stop?”

McGregor’s a charming, straight-talking Yorkshire lass, and it is not hard to see why she has captured the imagination of the music world.

“Maybe people think I should jump on stage in a leather vest, hot pants and a rose through my teeth, but I like the floaty dress look.

“Stevie Nicks is a massive influence on my stage look – she has gorgeous dresses.”

McGregor has become a huge favourite at Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre, and admits the Ribble Valley venue has become one of her favourite haunts on the circuit.

“I love the Grand, but every time we go to Clitheroe something goes wrong,” she added.

“We were caught in giant snowstorm and got stuck in a lane somewhere on the Pennines a couple of years ago.

“We got snarled up in a giant traffic jam the first time we played. It took five hours to do 60 miles. We got to the Grand five minutes before we were due on stage. We just plugged in and played. We’ll probably get abducted by aliens on our way next week.”

Chantel McGregor, March 1, £12 adv, £14 on the door. 01200 421599.