The Kindred Spirit Band - Reviews

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Saturday 9th April 2016 Four Play Festival
at the Acoustic Couch, Bracknell

Full band with Elaine Samuels (vocals / guitar) Martin Ash (violin), Catherine Dimmock (flute / sax), Mike Hislop (bass), Chris Goode (drums).

Stephen Lambe
Classic Rock Society Magazine

"Closing the evening were Kindred Spirit - led by singer / songwriter Elaine Samuels. The band play folk rock with expansive, progressive arrangements - built not around guitar - though elaine plays rhythm and acoustic but around flute and the lead violin of charmingly bonkers Martin Ash. This was a fine set by a band who deserve a bigger audience in both the prog and folk worlds.

Saturday 28th June 2014


Odiham Bands and Booze Festival


Full band Richard Harris

"Congratulations on a great performance your band did a great job and yes I will look to ask you to perform next year."

Saturday 26th February Kenton Theatre Full band Mike Judd,
Henley Standard

The Kenton Theatre and
Marlow fm are to be congratulated in presenting this concert last Saturday night at the Kenton Theatre. Paul Mansell introduced them as two of the finest live bands around, both Blue Onyx and Kindred Spirit thrilled a knowledgeable audience.

Despite a short delay to the start of the nights concert due to a serious car accident locally, Moody Blues tribute band – Blue Onyx took the audience on a journey across the musical terrain of the Moodies from the ‘Classic Seven’ album period 1967 to 1972.

         With the aim to present as authentic a sound as possible to emulate the vocal variety, harmony and instrumental versatility, they certainly succeeded.

         Founded by Steve Hutchinson (Vocals & Percussion) and TimLake- Keyboards the group also included: Mike Cousins - Guitars, Jeremy deBarbara - Vocals, Susie Fison - Flute, Ged Wade - Bass and Charlie Wade - Drums.
         Moody Blues fans were discussing before the concert just how many songs they would recognise. My guess is that many memories came flooding back with ‘Nights in White Satin’. To sum up: great sound performed so well and with such passion and integrity.

After the interval our second entertainment was Kindred Spirit, an electrifying, contemporary folk rock band. Consisting of the haunting and beautiful vocals of Elaine Samuels, the extraordinary flute and sax playing of Annie Parker with great improvisation and interplay with Gavin Jones on electronic violin, Alan Barwise on drums and Mike Hislop on ‘headless’ double fret guitar.
         This was a
set of perceptive and intriguing originals including thrilling rock moments, subtle and haunting moments plus folky jigs and reels. For me the highlight was the scorching electric violin and the amazing  flute solos, together with the voice of Elaine Samuels.
         No wonder that they are described as “One of the best undiscovered folk acoustic bands doing the rounds…discover with haste”. The appreciative audience certainly did.

Mike Judd

Saturday 26th February Kenton Theatre Full band Barney James
reviewer for the Henley Standard

With its beautifully-lit stage area and full house this venue played host to some pretty diverse and 
brilliant talent that night. 

First up came Blue Onyx, a seven-piece, the brainchild of frontman Steve Hutchinson and keyboard
-player Tim Lake. Together they led their poised and accomplished players through a set that was 
dedicated to 60s and 70s supergroup "The Moody Blues". We were treated to classics such as "
Legend of a Mind", "Gypsy", "Ride My See-Saw" and, of course, the Moodies' tour de force 
"Nights in White Satin". It was a highly-polished performance, with its orchestral sound-washes and 
astral harmonies, evoking the haunting and the joyful compositions of an iconic group. More mood 
than blues on this night, but all the better for that.

Next up came Kindred Spirit. This combo was a revelation. The opening number, 
"I'll Always Love You", started as a dynamic, funky rhythm then transformed into a red-hot, 
accelerating, celtic reel, "The Rights of Man". By the end of the piece, they had the audience in their 
hands. As they moved through a set that went from the unbridled interplay of "Dragonfire" to the dark
and dangerous "Run Red", it became clear that all their material is original and composed by lead-
singer Elaine Samuels, in an understated and omnipotent style. Then you shift your eyes and ears to
flute-player Annie Parker and fiddle-player Gavin Jones, musicians basking in the influences of 
Jethro Tull, Jan Garbarek, Curved Air and Jean Luc Ponti. This is a pairing made in heaven, their 
dynamism ranging from the ecstatic, white-hot, swap-phrasing of "The Hunger" to the mournful 
synergy at the end of "Siren Song".

All in all it was an extravaganza from a band with fingers and lips that could launch a million feet.

Barney James
Saturday 26th February Kenton Theatre Full band Barbara Sears

Hi Elaine,
Just had to write to say how great Kindred Spirit was last night at the
Kenton.  We had never heard you before and were blown away with the sound
and enthusiasm of the band.  It turned out to be a great evening when you
came on.   Well done and keep it up.
Will be watching for more local gigs from you and hope to see you again
soon.   We can't make 26th March as we are on holiday but wish you well for
that gig.  Signed up to the email list last night so no doubt will be
hearing about future gigs from you.
Kindest regards    Barbara Sears
P.S.  Been enjoying the CD this morning.
Saturday 26th February Kenton Theatre Full band Guy Easterbrook

Really great gig last night, looked like a full 
house and  everyone was ernjoying themselves, been playing the CD this 
morning pretty infectious stuff :-) Guy

Saturday 4th December Leatherhead Theatre Full band
Ray Thomas (Moody Blues)

Thank you Blue Onyx & Kindred Spirits for a brilliant evening of music. Well done, mates.

Saturday 20th March The Eldon Arms, Reading

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Jane Quinn
"Heard you tonight for the first time, really very good. Loved the soul 
of the band, the Fleetwood Mac and Eagles blew me away. A couple of 
times you moved me to tears with your own songs."
Friday 5th March The Crown, Chertsey

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Ian Gorman

elaine  cheers for fri  great music and a great bunch of people. Was a great set with your own original style to some classics, and was enlightening to see musicians who really enjoy their music and each others company, there was smiles while you all played all the way.. 

look forward to seeing you soon  ian..x

Jan 30th 2010 -
Brooklands FM, Weybridge - a response following sending You Tube clips of video taken in the studio - now on Brookland FM's web site front page. Annie, Gavin, Mike and Elaine David Durant - Presenter  - Brooklands FM


Hi Elaine,

I hope you are well, and apologies for the delay in replying!  Thank you so
much and to Clive of course for these excellent videos which I will share
with my colleagues at Brooklands, and will certainly make available on our
website as well as our Facebook group for ALL to watch and enjoy!

You certainly caused a storm here at Brooklands, I have had tons and tons of
excellent feedback from colleagues, listeners, and friends, and I feel
grateful and blessed to have met you and to have shared two very
entertaining and unforgettable hours.  I hope we can do it again soon, and
please lets keep in touch, let me know your movements and I will be more
than happy to give you a plug now and again, and would even welcome the
occasional impromptu visit!

Once again, thank you and please give our warmest regards to Gavin, Annie,
Mike, Clive and the absent Alan, and I very much look forward to seeing you
again soon!

Best wishes,

David xx
Jan 25th 2010 Brooklands FM, Weybridge Annie, Gavin, Mike and Elaine David Durant - Presenter, and Lance - studio engineer - Brooklands FM

Hi Elaine,
It was a pleasure meeting you and your band this evening!  You were great fun and fantastic 
musicians!  I hope you had fun and enjoyed the experience too!  
Thank you on behalf of Brooklands FM and please convey our appreciation to Annie, Gavin and 
Mike, they were awesome!
DD x
"Dear Elaine,
Once again, thank you so much for your fantastic company and musicianship
last night, it was without a doubt a memorable 'Surrey Unsigned' and one of
those 'special' shows I will always remember!
The email below says it all!  I understand our esteemed colleague John Cull
is going to air the attached track on his show tomorrow morning around
Best wishes,
David x"

"Dear All, Please find attached a slightly mastered MP3 of the final track
played by Kindred Spirits of David's Surrey Unsigned show last night.
They were a great bunch and David did a brilliant job getting it all
together and keeping them under control!
Anyhow I thought that you might like to hear the "sound" of St1 on its first
real programme last night.
If David agrees then I think that we should give this track a good airing
once or twice (or more) this week.
It's called "Best Days Of Our Lives" and I believe that the Kindred Spirits
can be seen and heard at the Crown in Chertsey this Friday evening.
All best wishes,

September 2009


Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Rhodri Harris

Hi Elaine.

Many thanks for the album; it is quality. Saw you guys at Weyfest and was blown away. 
Hoping to see you live again soon.
All the best,
P.S. The e-mailing list sounds good. Please sign me up!

September 2009


Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

© Neil Mach, for the Staines weblog, Adpontes

Another of my favourites, ‘Kindred Spirit’  with their electro-folk prog-roots, also put on a fine show. I was still humming ‘The Chain’ (Fleetwood Mac) days later, but I also loved their self-penned tunes like Meta-Mor-Phosis and Dragonfire.  Band leader Elaine Samuels has a sweet yet powerful ‘Country & Western’ type  voice, well suited to the very English misty, moody and magical themes. Annie Parker adds some smoke and fire on flute, whilst Gavin Jones creates drama and majesty on electric violin. Mike Hislop on bass and Alan Barwise on drums provide the rhythm to the polished, meticulously crafted songs from this band.

July 2009 Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Libbie Rice

Each year the Festival aims to mount a variety of artistic events. On Saturday 11th July we were treated to a brilliant evening of contemporary folk rock music performed by the band, Kindred Spirit. Led by singer / songwriter Elaine Samuels, the band is full of virtuosic players, including Annie Parker on flute and saxophone and Gavin Jones on electric violin. We heard many tracks from their new album Metamorphosis which has already received some excellent reviews. Their music is inventive, sometimes mystical and often electrifying, but most of all it is hugely enjoyable. Well worth seeing again, so check their website for more information and upcoming gigs. They are becoming increasingly well known and respected but hope they will still have time to come and perform again at the RAC before too long.

See two You Tubes from this concert:-

Before Midnight

Devil Went Down to Georgia


June 2009 The Belle Vue, High Wycombe

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Vinnie Stevens

Hi. Just a quick one to insist that you place me on your mailing list immediately!!
Thanks for a blinding set at the Belle Vue in High Wycombe and also for the 
Metamorphosis CD. Loved the gig, love the album, and I think I fell in love with 
Annie too on the night. Just wish i'd been sober enough to remember our brief 
conversation. Hmm...probably best that I can't! But seriously, thanks and see 
you soon. Vinnie x
May 2009 Central Studio, Basingstoke

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Barry Taylor

Hi Elaine,

Just to say that what an enjoyable concert it was! It was especially good to
see Annie taking more prominence than she used to years ago. Along  with
Gavin,she is KS's USP (unique selling point)! (Although I'd like to see her 
use her saxophonemore). I also think Gavin plays as well as Sim did, although 
I do miss the latter's guitar riffs. Nevertheless, a brilliant concert - and the new 
CD is superb, too!

With very best wishes

You Tube Videos from this concert




I'll Always Love You

Before Midnight

Lady Eleanor

Green Man

Run Red

May 2009 Central Studio, Basingstoke

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Martin Harold

Another brilliant night Elaine from you and your great band. Loved every minute of it. The hanging screen and the costume change were another welcome new addition to the show. Also great to see you being the sole act now at Central Studios, shows you have made big progress from being a support act first time around and sharing the stage last time out with Blue Onyx. Maybe the step up away from the pub circuit is not that far away. The new songs from Metamorphosis fitted in seamlessly with the older numbers, just like old friends.(Love the new album by the way). Not a lot more I can say about the music as it just gets better each time out, great songs played by some brilliant musicians, congratulations to you all, look forward to next time.

Cheers, Martin.

May 2009 Richmond May Fair

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Surya Cooper You were fab today! Love the band- so tight!
Very interested in the Hunger song!
Must buy your CD...
April 2009 Pyrford Social Club, West Byfleet

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)


I would just like to say on behalf of so many members of Pyrford Club a very big
 thank you for a wonderful night on Saturday. I have been approached by so 
many who would like to congratulate you all on a first class gig, top music, and 
by such incredible musicians.
as I mentioned on Saturday we do not normally book a band twice in one year, 
but have already been asked to try for a couple of dates next year (budget 
 Once again thank you all for a first rate evening and hope to talk soon.
May 2008 Central Studio, Basingstoke

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Elliot Grimes of the Basingstoke Observer

With such a hard act to follow, Kindred Spirit would have their work cut out. It was not long, however, until it was obvious that this was a band who enjoyed every second of being on stage. They were playing in front of those who appreciate their music and are as passionate about it as the members themselves. Long instrumentals allowed both flautist and violinist to show off their hidden talents. The introduction of a saxophone in a selection of songs was an interesting change.
“Songs of Dragons” and “the Devil” were something very special and a brilliant example of Folk Rock at its best. The bassist coped extremely well playing his double necked bass, bringing another air of individuality to the band. A well deserved round of applause from the audience allowed the band to sneak back on stage, and, accompanied by the members of Blue Onyx, play through one last song. After thanking the crowd, it is brought to everyone’s attention that they will be playing in the not too distant future. Maybe an event worth checking out for those looking for a relaxing evening of live music?

May 2008 Central Studio, Basingstoke

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Martin Harold

Hi Elaine, Just got back from Central Studios on a big high. What a great night, that's some band you have got. Put you in a proper music venue and you can hold your own with anybody on that performance. I thought you were superb, even better than the last outing at the same venue in '05 and I remember writing to you then that it was a brilliant gig and time just flew. Its the first time I have seen Gavin, what a find he is, I thought you might miss Sim till I saw him play, loved every moment, I thought you all seemed so at ease and having a ball, I could not help smiling at some of the interplay between Annie and Gavin. I bet you have trouble keeping Annie in check sometimes, I think she would give Ian Anderson a run for his money no problem.
I hope you can get more venues like this, I know we have had this discussion before but you are too good to be playing pubs and battling over people talking.

April 2008 The Wheelwrights Arms, Hurst

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Wendy cherry
Thanks for letting me know about the band at the Wheelwright last night.  They were excellent!!!  We stayed until the end, cause they were so good! 
The violinist should be famous ... if he isn't already ... and the flutist/sax player ... and the singer ... and of course not forgetting the drummer!!!!!!!”
March 2008 Sunbury, Riverside Arts Centre

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Gavin (violin), Mike (bass) and Alan (drums)

Cathy Black, SSAA Chairman
On 29th March Kindred Spirit, a five-piece contemporary folk-rock band, appeared with song writer Elaine Samuels on voice and guitar, outstanding, classically trained violin playing from Gavin Jones, the extraordinary flute and saxophone playing of Annie Parker, expert driving bass from Mike Hislop with drums and percussion given by Alan Barwise. This is a band which engaged so well with the audience and all members really enjoyed the concert. Again a group we hope will feature in next year's festival.
October 2005 Central Studio, Basingstoke Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Sim (violin), Joey (bass) and Russell (drums)

Martin Harold

Hi Elaine, just had to drop you a line. Just come back from your Gig at Central Studios, Basingstoke and was knocked out, just Brilliant...It was the best Gig I have been to in a while and I go to a lot. You remind me of Blackmores Night with a bit of Curved Air thrown in. Great songs (Ace songwriter) Brilliant Musicians. Sim, where has he been all this time, I was never too keen on Violins...till now, he was amazing, change my mind completely on the instrument, sort of Jimi Hendrix of the Violin. Some great work from Annie as well, loved the Sax and Flute, Rhythm team were spot on as well. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed it ... Thanks again Martin.
October 2005 Central Studio, Basingstoke

Band with Annie (flute / sax / whistle), Sim (violin), Joey (bass) and Russell (drums)

Ray Cawte

Annie is a very talented musician with a natural ear for harmony and improvisation. Her bright style and enthusiasm was not wasted on the audience. You probably noticed us all lifting and swaying with her when Annie pipped the high notes!