Karima Francis and Guests @ The Beach House

Karima and her new band

Arriving a little later than intended my first visit to the Beach House Bistro Bar on the promenade just north of the Tower was quite an evening. I’d missed the first act Katy Pickles, which was a shame as I have heard her before and do enjoy the music she plays.

Mark Thomas
Wonderful view with great music

Mark Thomas took to the stage area in front of the massive south facing floor to ceiling windows. The vista of a beautifully lit early evening seafront leading off towards Central Pier acted as backdrop while his Velvet Underground inspired tunes skilfully played to a full and intimate audience.

Jess Harwood followed. I’ve seen Jess a few times, each time she seems to get stronger and stronger. Here her very British vocals filled the air and demonstrated why Blackpool is a place to watch at the moment for the next big thing in music.

Mike Dignam then oozed confidence with his performance. Lovely warm guitar strums with heartfelt songs to accompany the sinking sun. As far as a show case for local talent goes, this place has ITVs prime-time gloss well beat.

Darkness falls and Karima Francis takes to the stage. I have seen her many times, usually she’s playing solo, on occasion she will have a second guitarist. After a powerful open solo song, much as we are used to, Karmia opens her arms and invites to the stage, her band.

Matt Gallagher (Hammond organ) and Matt McNicholas (drums) from the ‘Victorian Dad Band’ take their positions while Norman Helm (Bass) and Bradley Harper (Pedal Steel) get themselves ready.

Farima Francis
Karima sings to a packed crowd

If ‘The Author’, Karima’s first album was a fresh new sound from and artist full of potential, and ‘The Remedy’ her second record, an introspective look of an artist dealing with the sudden attention and the demons it can bring, this sound of Karima with a full band is a British singer songwriter ready to take on the world.

The sound was tight, here was a band that knew how to play together and, by the look on their faces, really wanted to. Karima threw herself into a set list that comprised of her earlier works mixed with new songs. You could see how much she trusted her band mates and this seemed to give her a freedom on stage to share her energy with the audience.

Having the band help create a dynamic rage that her previous performances never really had. From the full power of the band she can now drop into very personal solo songs that take the audience of a journey with her, one count of four later and it’s back to big time Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Those who were there on the 25th April 2013 should remember this gig as the night the singer songwriter from Blackpool became the artist know as Karima Francis.


Karima and her new band
Karima and her new band
Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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