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Chantel McGregor

Saturday 6th December 2014

Memorial Hall, High Street, Newmarket,

CB8 8JP

Chantel McGregor attended Leeds College of Music where she achieved a number of awards, including the Leeds College of Music Prize for Outstanding Musicianship. She gained a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music in July 2009, and has gone on to develop a career in the UK and international blues music scene, performing solo and with her band.

 

In 2011, she was voted "Young Artist of the Year" at the British Blues Awards, and in 2012, she was voted "Best Female Vocalist" at the British Blues Awards. In 2013 she won two categories, "Guitarist Of The Year" and "Best Female Vocalist", at the British Blues Awards and again won the "Guitarist Of The Year" category in 2014.

 

Her debut album "Like No Other", released in 2011, was produced by Livingstone Brown, who has worked with such artists as Ed Sheeran, Shakira, Kylie Minogue and Corinne Bailey Rae.

 

Realising at an early age that if you picked up a guitar you got attention, especially from her dad whose guitar it usually was, it was inevitable that she would get one of her own. So at the ripe old age of three, she got her first guitar, a half size acoustic.

 

At seven she started lessons but soon noticed that not only did the electric guitars have a smaller neck, making them ideal for little hands, but they could also make a lot more noise. After more lessons and a lot more noise, and at the grand old age of eight she became the youngest person in the country to pass a Rockschool grade. More lessons followed and with them came the realisation that if you want people to listen, you need to sing!

 

So it came to pass that at the age of twelve she arrived at the famous Melborn Hotel in Bradford to play and sing at the weekly jam session. Helped and encouraged by all the musicians, she developed rapidly into a incredible rock and blues musician.

 

Now described as a "prodigy", a visit from a major label soon followed and at fourteen she was told "great voice, but girls don't play guitar like that!" by the head of their A&R. Their advise to change styles because boys would be intimidated was met with an attitude of "that's their problem! I'm not changing!" Singing and playing on national television and radio soon followed.

 

A meeting with two renowned producers soon lead to a change in direction from live performance to recording and writing. This coupled with exams and advice meant an end to live performing for around four years. As seems common in the music industry, once lawyers get involved, things can get messy!!!!!

 

Now qualified at Grade Eight, the wrong “A” Levels required for a music degree course meant enrolling at the world renowned Leeds College of Music for a Btec in Popular Music where she became the first student in the college’s history to achieve a 100% pass mark, 18 distinctions. Progressing onto the degree course she became the holder of the prize for outstanding musicianship for 2006/7 on the way to achieving a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music in July 2009 and at the same time the award for guitar.

 

This has lead to the formation of the rock blues trio, the Chantel McGregor Band which tours across Europe to great accolade.

 

 

 

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For some time Chantel McGregor has been one of Cambridge Rock Festival's favourite artists - just watching the mainstage fill up as she cranks up her guitar amp tells the story!

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