Old folk and young rock in South East London

Veteran singer-songwriter Michael Chapman is playing Croydon’s Fairfield Halls this month, and Chantel McGregor will be appearing at the Beaverwood Club.

Michael Chapman.

Michael Chapman may be 72 years old but fortunately for his fans he appears to be in no hurry to retire. Croydon’s Fairfield Halls are not quite as ancient, but having clocked up a half century last November, the people running the organisation are still in a mood to celebrate. Chapman is playing Fairfield on February 24, rather surprisingly as a support act for Bellowhead.

Michael Chapman hails from Leeds and is old enough to be Chantel McGregor’s great-grandfather. Who is Chantel McGregor? Well, she was born just down the road at Bradford, and studied at Leeds College of Music where she distinguished herself.

Apparently at the age of 14 she was told by an A&R man “great voice, but girls don’t play guitar like that!”

Obviously this guy hasn’t heard of Sarah Zimmerman, but anyone who has heard Chantel McGregor both speak and play can only conclude he was stone deaf. She can certainly play; there is plenty of footage of her all over YouTube, although academic prowess aside she is not yet in the same league as Ritchie Blackmore, Santana, Michael Schenker or Ulrich Roth, but give her time.

Alas, although her singing isn’t that bad, her everyday speech is much worse; she should leave her instrument to do the talking. A stunning blonde, she is also incredibly photogenic. Chantel McGregor will be playing the Beaverwood Club at Chistlehurst on March 7.

The incredibly photogenic Chantel McGregor.

[The above article was first published on February 15, 2013; the original wasn’t archived.]

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