The log fire had been stoked high at Lanercost Cricket Pavilion making it hotter than a chile doing the breaststroke in Tabasco sauce. So with the winter chills well and truly shaken off, and the venue stoked to overflowing with an eager audience, the scene was set for an evening to remember.  Support act, Craig Bell opened up with a soothing blend of covers and original music, played partly on a custom 'Picasso' guitar made by local luthier, Neil McHardy. Craig has a relaxed vocal style and soon had the audience won over with his commentaries and anecdotes.


The scene was now set for the main act. Tony and Heidi have been wowing audiences up and down the county during the last 12 months as 'Acoustic Soul.' Recently expanding to include percussion, trumpet and violin, the sound has had another dimension added to it.

Heidi is 'The Voice' - she could sing the telephone directory and still make it sound interesting. This evening she was suffering from a late winter cold, but to these ears it made very little difference. Fortified with lemsip the voice still soared unfettered. The ensuing two hours showed that she is the Stradivarius of the vocal world.


Emoting the vibes of Anastacia, Stevie Nicks or even Otis Redding, Heidi visited the canon of soul standards such as 'Son of a preacher man', 'Dock of the bay' and The Zuton's' 'Valerie'. Heidi is above mimicking the original artist but instead produces the spirit of the vocal and thus takes the song to another height. With such accomplished musicians in Heidi's band it would be very easy for them to overplay. They resist this temptation and give room for Heidi to spread her wings. Ian, the drummer, uses congas and chimes to add variety to the rhythm while Tony, the guitarist, keeps the bottom notes going on his acoustic guitar, simulating a bass. Alan provides most of the solos on his electric fiddle with occasional use of the trumpet. They are an impressive unit.


By the end of the evening Sugar Rush had the audience singing along to favourites 'Hard to Handle' and Steve Miller's classic 'The Joker'. They even came back for an encore in the form of Patsy Kline's 'Crazy'.


Heidi and Tony will be appearing at a venue near you. Check out their website at - they are unmissable.