Nikki Hill performs at Bluesfest 2017.
Nikki Hill performs at Bluesfest 2017.

REVIEW: Must-see act rocks your soul

"YOU must not miss it. It will be a fantastic, balls-out rock set," a discerning friend counselled. 

And so it proved when Nikki Hill exploded onto the Delta stage on Thursday night in a show that maintained a hot pace and sensual energy throughout while remaining entirely free of the testicular.

This isn't Nudge Nudge Wink Wink, after all. 

Let Me Tell You About Luv opened up and set the tone for the next hour, a rocker from the 70s songbook, with more than a hint of Tina and the Stones to it. 

There's even a song called Struttin' and Hill's supple Jaggeresque swagger and the crunching guitars driving it infused some fresh blood into the old devils' RnB, suggesting that this is an act to catch live, adding a number of other stimulating dimensions to the recorded work. 

Husband Matt Hill traded licks with a fabulous new female guitarist Lauren Chavez, an electric exchange that will stand as some of the most exciting sounds of the festival - the band's tightness belying the fact it was their debut as a live item.

The woman peeled off blistering licks that soared straight into the pleasure centres of the brain. More please. 

In an uncluttered outing, Hill drew upon the old school - Let the Good Times Roll, New Orleans (where she is based), melding soul with rock and punk brevity, and giving a Queens of the Stone Age punch to a Chuck Berry riff courtesy of the pounding rhythm section (Mama Wouldn't Like It). 

The rock was punctuated by a few more melodic tunes - proving Hill's song-writing and vocal talents go beyond her core strengths as a soul shouter. 

She's an AC/DC fan and reportedly finishes her sets with one of the lads' numbers. It didn't happen on Thursday it may be heard on her last set (of four) tonight at 9 on the Delta stage.

Old mate was right: You really shouldn't miss it.  


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