Wolverhampton blues rocker Rebecca Downes talks ahead of hometown show
Black Country blues star Rebecca Downes has been nominated for an award - and will play her hometown of Wolverhampton this evening.
The singer is up for Female Vocalist Of The Year at the FORM UK Blues Awards, set to take place at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavillion tomorrow.
The former Smestow High School pupil said is was an ‘honour’ to be nominated, and it would be ‘amazing’ to win.
“I would love to win the award, but it’s a strong field so I’m not counting my chickens,” the singer added.
Rebecca is no stranger to receiving accolades, having previously won Best Female Vocalist and Best Emerging Artist in the British Blues Awards in 2016.
Ahead of the awards ceremony, Rebecca will play her only hometown show of the year at The Slade Rooms tonight.
“It’s always great to be home and we will know a lot of people in the audience,” said Rebecca.
“We’ve performed at some amazing venues in the UK and Germany, but nothing compares to that feeling of familiarity during a hometown gig.”
“Abi K will be opening the show with her own mixture of originals and classics, then it will be the normal full-on Rebecca Downes show with mainly our own material punctuated by one or two classic covers.
“We will be showcasing a couple of tunes destined for the new album, and introducing Tara Simms on guitar and backing vocals.
“Tara will be guesting for us on a number of occasions in the future.
This show follows Rebecca’s recent support slot on Birmingham rock icon’s Magnum’s headline UK tour, which culminated in a show at the city's Symphony Hall on March 2.
“It was scary to go on stage in front of a band with an amazing following of dedicated, committed fans, but they welcomed us with open arms,” said Rebecca.
“The reception we received was amazing right across the tour.
“Performing at the Symphony Hall really was the icing on the cake.”
After playing shows with Magnum, Rebecca has some big ideas surrounding who she wants to tour with next.
“We plan to do an album launch tour, probably early next year,” she explained.
“Given the success of the Magnum and Snakecharmer support tours we would love to get in front of more rock audiences, so we would love to tour with bands like FM and Thunder.”
Though she is now based in Birmingham, Rebecca is excited to be returning to Wolverhampton to visit her family and experience the warmth of local crowds.
“The people in Wolverhampton are great and the reception will be warm,” Rebecca said.
“I come to Wolverhampton frequently to see my parents in Finchfield and we go out and about there, but tonight I’m excited to grab a quick meal in one of the city centre pubs.”
Rebecca is set to release her third studio album this year, containing new material created with advice from producer Chris Kimsey, famous for working with the Rolling Stones and Peter Frampton.
This will be the star’s first release since she signed a deal with US record company TriArts Partners LLC in 2017.
The album follows the success of her second studio album, Believe, that was released in 2016, and promises to introduce fans to a different side of Rebecca.
“After working with Steve Birkett, Chris and our Tri-Arts Partners, we have allowed our creativity to take us to a different place on this record,” she told us.
“This release is more rocky, atmospheric and very definitely ‘us’.
“It will still have overtones the blues but it will be a significant development from our earlier music and we are very, very excited about it.”
Rebecca Downes will play Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms tonight. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.wolvescivic.co.uk