★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Sonia and Sasha certainly kicked their Mind the Gap tour off with a bang – a sold out show is always a great way to begin a tour. Jeannine Barry and Katie Nicholas opened for the dual headliners, and their short sets warmed the audience to the pop country sounds of the evening.
It was, however, when Sasha McVeigh took to the stage, that we truly saw what the audience had been waiting for. Sasha’s enthusiasm on stage is infectious – every move, every note, every smile has a purpose, and draws the audience in even further. She charms the crowd with the stories behind the songs, from the heartbreaking tale described in First, to her fifteen-year-old self writing the anthemic I Stand Alone, to the fan-favourite story of fate of Mr Brown Eyes. Sasha exudes star quality of someone far beyond her 21 years, and has created an image and brand; her beautiful tasseled dress and sparkly guitar strap perfectly personified the ‘Sasha McVeigh’ her fans have grown to love.
It is difficult to compare Sonia to Sasha, but there is no need to, both of these women are a force to be reckoned within their own unique styles. Sonia’s style is far more rock orientated than Sasha, and it was during Sonia’s set that the band themselves shone brightest. Sonia allegedly ‘kidnapped’ Sasha’s band, but you would never believe their first rehearsal was earlier that day. The guitar licks and harmonies accentuated Sonia’s husky vocal, especially on her latest single When We Are Alone. She played through many a fan favourite – including My Name is Money, and Booty, with the band; it was high energy and she rocked that stage.
But it wasn’t until she finished her alleged last song that something incredibly special happened. The borrowed band knew no more of her repertoire, but the audience would not let her leave the stage. So, with no more than an acoustic guitar she played on. In fact, she nearly doubled the length of her set, taking requests from the crowd, including her ‘mama’s favourite song,’ Alabama, (and you’re right Sonia, she would be proud), and Bar, the makings of a classic drinking song.
So, how do you finish a show quite like that – with an audience full of such excitement and pride for these artists. Turns out these girls have it covered. The perfect finale is a full band cover, and, of course, duet, of Summer of ’69. It fully encompassed that party atmosphere that had been building all night, and showed of the contrast, and talent of both vocalists. Sonia and Sasha put this tour together themselves, their intention to ‘Mind the Gap’ – and bring music from the U.S. and the UK, closer together. This tour is a celebration, and I can not urge you enough to go and see them, if there are any tickets left!
The Mind The Gap tour continues until April 22nd. More information and tickets can be found at sashamcveighmusic.com and sonialeigh.com