Siobhan Mazzei has been a singer songwriter of Leicester for years, and now backed by a full band (Joe Doyle, Les Hayden and Tom Scarlett), is unstoppable.
Recently starting from scratch, with a self-produced, self titled EP in 2015 (also available on her Bandcamp), and since February 2016 a new band behind her. The band recorded and produced the entire EP themselves.
Her ghostly, haunting sound is not over shadowed by the noise of a rock band, rather accentuated. Her emotive songwriting is expressed with bipolar arrangement. The last track ‘Slaughter’ certainly captures the passion and energy the song oozes.
As those of you who have caught Siobhan Mazzei playing around the city over the last few years will know she has recently moved from solo performances to being backed by her own band and this album is a fine development from the solo “EP” previously released. In Wolf’s Clothing finds her in continued fine voice. There is strength, depth and maturity in her vocals and the band pushes her further on opening tracks Waiting Awake and Ghost In A Shell where volume and intensity ebb and flow really well. Untitled takes the album to a gentler folkier place but then surprises with its sampled voices. Effective. Hurts You More gets a bit funkier before Stone and Slaughter round the album off – the latter building up to a climactic ending. The band have added a different element to her sound but Mazzei’s vocals still retain their power and never get consumed by what some may call a shoe gaze or grunge-folk sound. It’s a voice that at turns can be gentle like the sheep and fierce as the wolf of its title without missing a beat. There is no doubt that Siobhan Mazzei is a fine talent.
Siobhan Mazzei is a very talented songwriter and musician who is not afraid of trying something different. Yes her music is influenced by folk and would sit easily between Janis Joplin and Suzanne Vega but don’t be fooled! Siobhan Mazzei is as comfortable with folk as she is with garage, in fact, Siobhan, through her music and words refuses to be hemmed in by narrow boundaries of genre, which makes TheGuyWithaStick very happy indeed!
Siobhan is clear, that, without lugging a guitar and, often an amp, around the streets to play in a local hostelry followed immediately by a street festival elsewhere you won’t develop as an artist. Yes! Siobhan Mazzei is very hard-working, very talented and very much eager to learn and develop her craft, and she’s doing a great job of it!!!
We like Siobhan Mazzei at TheGuyWithaStick!
The question, then, is what else can Siobhan do to progress, to perfect her craft, to take her in different directions without losing the very essence that is Siobhan Mazzei? Well, Siobhan had added four elements to do just that and they are:
Joe Doyle on Bass, Tom Scarlett on lead guitar and production and Les Hayden on drums, all three highly talented musicians in their own right and all bringing to the table a depth of experience in songwriting, instrumentation and production to name but a few, on top of Siobhan’s own vocal style and songwriting talent.
Siobhan Mazzei Band performs ‘Waiting Awake’ (Not the best quality video i’m afraid)
I asked Siobhan what she thought the guys brought to the table and the way she answered was telling. Her excitement and enthusiasm for everything the guys contribute leapt out at at me, I didn’t think she would stop!! But, the biggest thing I think the guys bring is confidence and a much more relaxed stage presence.
It can be a long, lonely journey tramping the boards on your own week in week out, but, to find people, particularly experienced and highly talented people, who share your outlook is a rare commodity indeed but that is exactly what Siobhan has done! The SIOBHAN MAZZEI band have propelled Siobhan to much greater heights. Siobhan has gone from a really good warm-up act to an accomplished and talented singer/songwriter with a band to envy! Her voice is powerful, as powerful as any one and up there with the likes of Stevie Nicks and yes! Suzanne Vega with a hint of Tanita Tikaram if that’s at all possible… Hell! Anything’s possible with The Siobhan Mazzei Band!
Les Hayden’s drums are top draw, at times he hits them so hard you feel he has a real personal problem with them, Joe Doyle’s bass is clever and frames the set wonderfully while Tom Scarlett’s guitar is perfectly in tune with Siobhan, as though they think as one? These guys truly are a class act. No more Siobhan warming-up the audience for someone else (although she will continue doing what she loves), The Siobhan Mazzei Band are a magnificent headline act in their own right!
Wait a second, I did say their were four elements and I’ve only told you about three! Well, the fourth element is simple, it’s a touch of brilliance… Four different people with four different characters but one brilliant band….. The Siobhan Mazzei Band.
Siobhan Mazzei Band – ‘In Wolfs Clothing’ E.P. is available via the link below and should be in everyone’s collection…
Siobhan Mazzei is a local musician that I’ve seen many times over the past few years I’ve been attending gigs. I especially have a fondness of seeing her perform at The Soundhouse as it was back in 2013, attending only my second gig, that I saw her perform for the first time and in this venue at an album launch for another local musician Rhett Barrow. I wrote a blog post about that event which I will link to, but please bear in mind that I had just started photographing gigs, so the photos aren’t as good as I’d like them to be 😉
Since that day I’ve lost count of the actual number of times I’ve seen her perform, but it’s certainly into double digits. Most of the gigs have been her performing as a solo acoustic artist, but more recently she has been performing with a full band behind her. There has been everything from playing in the corner of a crowded pub to performing on main stages of local festivals, each time putting in the same effort and the performances have been to a consistently high standard, she is one of the few acts that I will always try to see whenever she has a gig on, even if that means missing other gigs that may be on the same night.
This night was another EP launch, she already has an album and an EP out, but both of those are more solo stuff, this is the first EP from the Siobhan Mazzei band. As soon as this night was announced I checked what else was on and noticed I was working days, although finishing at 7pm I knew I could get home and then out to The Soundhouse without missing much, if anything. There was another band playing elsewhere this night that I would have gone to see, but I’d seen them recently and couldn’t miss this EP launch gig.
I arrived at about 20:30, and unfortunately had missed the first act of the night, but No More Heroes were just about to start their set. I’ve only seen them once before, which was at Western Park Festival earlier on this year, and that was a strange day with all the weather issues, so I was looking forward to seeing them again. They played a stripped back set as they mentioned their drummer wasn’t well, but they still sounded great, I’ll have to catch them again soon when they are back up to a full band.
Next up were Abandon Her, who I’ve definitely seen a few times before but can’t remember when the last time was. I know they played Glastonbudget and Oxjam a couple of years ago, but I’m sure I’ve seen them perform more recently. Great songs that people can dance around to, performed well, everyone seemed to be enjoying their set and announcing they have an EP launch soon, I may have to try and get to that if I’m available.
Next up we had the headline act, The Siobhan Mazzei band. I’ve only seen them perform as the full band once before, but all the other members are musicians in their own right and I’ve seen them on other occasions.
Earlier on in the day I’d received an email from Bandcamp telling me that the EP had been released, so I had the decision to make as to whether to get it earlier and be able to listen to it, or wait till this event and get the actual cd, I decided on being impatient as I wanted to listen to it while I was at work. The EP has a few tracks that are on her solo album, but obviously sound different with the band involved in the tracks.
There was a really good crowd packed into The Soundhouse, more than I’ve seen for quite a while, but I haven’t been to this venue as much as I should have recently. I really like the sound quality and lighting here, so need to get down and see what’s on more often. I knew quite a few people in the crowd, either being friends or recognised them from attending other gigs, but it shows how much she is respected in the local music scene as there were a lot of other musicians in attendance this evening.
Performing as the full band, the set gradually got more energetic, building up to completely rocking out on the final track with the whole crowd dancing along, and with some of the tracks being well known to the people there, you also had people singing along in the crowd.
Normally at the end of the set you’ll have the familiar chants for an encore, and it usually involves the band coming back on stage (if they even leave the stage) and performing one or two more tracks. This time, and an encore was certainly deserved, we had something which I’ve not seen before but was totally awesome. Siobhan grabbed her acoustic guitar, walked out into the crowd and performed right in the middle of all her fans. Not even an ‘acoustic’ song where the guitar is plugged in, proper acoustic, with everyone being respectfully quiet so we could all hear. This is another sign of how much respect Siobhan has in the local music scene, I’m not sure how many other people could make the whole crowd go silent so they could hear an acoustic performance at the end of a Friday night. And that is how flexible she can be, equally as comfortable performing with a full band as she is with just a guitar in her arms.
I didn’t stay around much after it had all finished, just chatted to a few people for a bit and then headed home. At one point it had crossed my mind to not go to this as I’d been up since 5am and working 12 hours, but I’m so glad I did. This really was one of my gig highlights of the year, excellent music performed brilliantly, all in the company of friends and music lovers.
That’s how you do an EP launch!
Siobhan Mazzei armed with only her guitar and her voice, but oh what a voice, reminding me a lot of Sinead O’Connor, with piercing vocals, while playing her original material. Siobhan’s voice, dramatic and mysterious, adding theatrical impact which was fantastic to experience.
Seeming like a natural, Siobhan was at home on the stage and left me wanting more. A memorable performance.
Siobhan Mazzei took to the stage once again to repeat her memorable performance from her earlier show. Her opening song Rejection got her time off to a good start. Delivering excellent string playing and a distinctive vocal line, she gave a strong performance. An artist who is enjoying a growing reputation, Siobhan has gained new admirers from the shows here. A vocalist of high quality, her well articulated songs were delivered with passion and vitality. In Second Best, she demonstrated her ability to deliver well constructed phrases and subtle lyrics. A performer of distinction, this was a highly excellent set.
Finishing my weekend of music in style, this gifted guitarist and singer performed a brilliant set of well written songs. An outstanding guitar player, Siobhan used a mixture of styles including finger picking and tapping to create a unique sound to her performance. A really good voice finished off the solo act well, her voice hitting every tone effortlessly, portraying the lyrics beautifully. An artist I would love to work with. Very talented and quite unique.