Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Chantel McGregor (Self BIOS) Realizing at an early age that if I picked up a guitar I got attention, especially from my dad whose guitar it was, it was inevitable that Iíd get one of my own. So at the ripe old age of three, I got my first guitar, a half size acoustic.
At seven, I started lessons but soon noticed that not only did dadís electric guitars have smaller necks, making them ideal for little hands, but they could also make a lot more noise. After more lessons and a lot more noise, aged eight, I became the youngest person in the country to pass a Rockschool grade. More lessons followed, and with them came the realization that if you want people to listen, you need to sing!
So, aged 12, I started playing and singing at local jam sessions, and two years later, the head of A&R from a major label sat in our lounge and told me "great voice, but girls don't play guitar like that!" His advice, ďchange styles because boys would be intimidatedĒ.
Singing and playing on national television and radio soon followed.
Then came a change of direction, I wanted to become an English teacher, so I went away from live performance and concentrated on my studies. Having got the qualifications to enroll to do an English degree, I changed my mind, and went back to the music. Now qualified at Rockschool Grade Eight, and with the qualifications to do an English degree rather than a music degree, I enrolled at the world renowned Leeds College of Music to do a Btec in Popular Music, where I became the first student in the collegeís history to achieve a 100% pass mark, with 18 distinctions. Progressing onto the degree course, I became the holder of the Collegeís prize for outstanding musicianship for 2006/7, on the way to achieving a First Class Honors Degree in Popular Music in July 2009 and at the same time the award for guitar.
Me? What do I do and what do I like? Well, there are the cats, theyíre not mine (or ours), they have a song named after them, think that they own our house, and have the lifestyle that dad dreams about, with the exception that they donít drink real ale. He does, I do, I canít help it, itís a natural product, and if you get a good one, itís delicious. Delicious? Food? All of the wrong things, pizza, Chinese, and you canít beat the curries where I live! When will they make Slimfast Madras? Cars? Fast ones. The one that I drive isnít that fast, and to be fair, itís more of a get you from A to B car. Track days? Thatís a different story. The Lamborghini Murcielago is gorgeous, the Ariel Atom is crazy, the others, well suffice to say my ideal car is a hatchback and is totally practical, a Ford Focus RS. Mum and dad, that goes without saying! Tapas, life doesnít get better than wandering around Spanish bars soaking up the culture. Everything made by Apple, Iíd be lost without them. Guitars, what can I say about those?