Friday, 18 April 2014

Eilidh McKellar

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh 18th Apr 2014

Eilidh McKellar is a 20yr old guitarist and songwriter from South Queensferry. 2014 looks like being a landmark year for Ms McKellar - just finishing a successful mini-tour, she is due to graduate from Leeds College of Music this summer and shortly after will release her first album, Delta Devil Dreams (link below), as she moves forward in her full-time music career.

Some biog stuff: Eilidh started playing the guitar when she was 9 years old. In 2011 Eilidh began uploading performance videos to YouTube, initially to raise her profile and to help with music college applications, which landed her at the Leeds College of Music. She also began performing on the local Edinburgh blues scene, firstly at the Voodoo Rooms. This provided Eilidh with opportunities to jam with established musicians such as Oli Brown and James Burton. One of the highlights of her early career was performing with legendary blues/rock guitarist, Joe Bonamassa. Joe had seen Eilidh on YouTube and asked her to join him on stage. Watch and listen here Joe Bonamassa with guest Eilidh Mckellar, Glasgow April 4th 2012. Over the last couple of years she has released a couple of singles  ‘Hold Steady’ and ‘Summer Daze’ - listen on YouTube.
I saw Eilidh once before at the Caves in Edinburgh in Dec 2013, supporting Matt Schofield, but this was her first ever headline show in her home city of Edinburgh. The Voodoo Rooms venue was really packed, and the crowd welcomed Eilidh and her recently formed band to the stage with much noise. Although grinning from ear to ear, Eilidh looked a wee bit nervous initially, and didn't say much more than "Hi". Instead she launched into the first song, Killer Joe. The sound was great in the small venue and it was obvious that this was going to be a killer :-) show. By the time the band launched into the next song, Summer Daze, they were all smiling, and the interplay between the musicians was a joy to behold. Summer Daze has a singalong chorus and the band were playing as such a tight unit with Eilidh riffing up front. The second single Hold Steady followed. Another catchy tune which gave Eilidh the opportunity to show her skills - never overdone, but well executed.
The band were epic and they were: Declan Muldoon (drums), Santino Cocchiarella (guitar), Josh Pamplin (bass), Mali Campbell (backing vocals) and Dan Hudson (keyboards).

Favourite moments were: 
  • the beautifully understated Avenue E 
  • and The City where Eilidh and Declan's guitar/drums intro gave me goosebumps
  • a great cover of Lipstick Wonder Woman (Tyler Bryant)
Set-list was: 

The only (minor) criticism of the gig was that the vocals were not quite as clear as I would have liked, and having listened to the Delta Devil Dreams tracks before the gig, I was slightly disappointed that Eilidh's lyrics could not being heard too well. Still, everyone left with a smile on their faces, and Eilidh and the band packed their stuff into their van and headed back to Leeds. 

Listen to her new album Delta Devil Dreams on SoundCloud, due to be released later in 2014 (Oct I think)


..were the support on this occasion.They are, and I quote from their own website "a no-holds barred electric blues rock band from central Scotland" led by frontman Greig Taylor (GT) and lead guitarist John Boos with bassist David Atkinson and drummer Stephen Coetzee to complete the line-up. The band was joined by harmonica ace Jim Harcus from Wang Dang Delta for this live show. They are currently touring to promote their debut album 'Steak House' (listen here: Steak House).
Top blues band - if you get the chance, go see them!!!


  1. Sounds a good gig - enjoyed reading the write-up - good to see a little bit of (minor) criticism. Nothing quite so dull as an "Everything was wonderful" review.

    Was that your first visit to The Voodoo Rooms?

    1. Hi Ian - tried to reply from my (not so) smart phone, so if you get this multiple times, apologies. Yes, this was my first visit to the Voodoo Rooms and it's a great venue for small bands - really up close and personal. The gig was great - and it's hard to explain how good the band were - really bouncing off one another throughout the set. Eilidh was fab, but vocals weren't too clear - shame as the album lyrics are very good.