CULTURE

Garage-soul of the Bellrays to hit town

Rock-soul band the Bellrays, who have been widely touted as one of the USA’s more seminal contemporary prospects, will play their first-ever show in Greece this Saturday at the Rodon Club in Athens. The band has prompted widespread reaction – much of it positive – to its style since breaking away from local Los Angeles clubs to enter the international arena. Fusing rebellious sounds of full-on rock with more refined soul, the Bellrays have built a reputation for high-powered stage performances. The act, which had been rocking around since the early 1990s before finally releasing its debut album just three years ago, capitalized on its dynamic on-stage sound by recording its second album, «Grand Fury,» live in its own rehearsal space. The Bellrays formed around the vocal talent of Lisa Kekaula and masterful guitar playing of Bob Vennum. Kekaula had started off as a jazz singer before joining the Bellrays and eventually marrying Vennum. The group got its break when booked to perform at an influential festival, South By Southwest, in 1999. Soon after, the Bellrays released their debut album «Let it Blast,» prompting some critics to describe the band’s rock-soul sound as what could have been had Tina Turner fronted the rebellious rockers MC5, or were Aretha Franklin to step into Iggy Pop’s shoes as singer of the Stooges. Either way, the band, which is touring during a time of joy and wider recognition, could prove to be an interesting prospect on stage this Saturday.