Roger Kiesa..Solo/Duo [Covers - various, Solo Artist]
Entertainer Roger Kiesa is the consummate professional.
Despite Coronavirus restrictions, a major hold-up on the motorway getting there and a power failure, Roger continued to smile and perform to the highest possible standard at this early evening gig.
Roger was a superstar in several Scandanavian countries in the 1970s and his records are still played on Danish radio. His vast experience shone through at this performance at the Builder's Arms.
Right from the opening song, the Eagles' haunting Lyin' Eyes, Roger demonstrated his amazing one-man show. And, believe me, this really is a one-man extravaganza.
He is a highly accomplished guitarist playing both lead and rhythm guitar; he uses a vocal harmonizer to create the sound of several voices; while a foot pedal controls a digital drum machine.
So it's like hearing the Roger Kiesa Band as he works his way through numbers like Mike Oldfield's Moonlight Shadow; the Beach Boys' Sloop John B (the harmonies being used to great effect on this one) and the impressive Darius Rucker country hit Wagon Wheel.
Roger's excellent sense of humour shines through between songs and he offers a wide variety of material and is happy to take requests.
So punters were treated to rock 'n roll -- Chuck Berry's classic Johnny B Goode; Elton John's catchy Crocodile Rock and Elvis's early smash Blue Suede Shoes.
; plus plenty of country sounds like Kris Kristofferson's Help Me Make It Through The Night; Ricky Nelson's Hello Mary Lou and Don Williams' I Recall A Gypsy Woman.
If you add to that some hits from the sixties, a couple of Irish tunes and a few soul numbers it made for a great musical cocktail.
Congratulations too to the management of the lovely Builder's Arms pub and restaurant. This was the first night of the new 10 pm restrictions and they did a brilliant job in very difficult circumstances.
Roger (and his band) worked tirelessly for a full two hours without a break. I would urge you to see his one-man band at the earliest opportunity. You won't be disappointed.
COLIN FENN, DJ/Freelance JournalistColin Fenn, Thursday 8 October 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.. such a delight to go out and play!
And thank you Colin for a such a nice review.. I was just delighted to see people enjoying the music..
I tried to get Roger booked a while back but guess the stars weren't properly aligned at the time and, sadly, I failed to get him a gig. However, move on a year on and success at last! Roger was well worth the wait.
Mr Kiesa is a brilliant and rounded performer. His likeability and stage presence is very infectious and the slight nervousness he displayed only helped you warm to him and encourage his debut to go well.
After hearing Dire Straits' "Walk of Life" umpteen times by various singers, I must confess my enthusiasm is dampened somewhat by a bit of 'ear fatigue', but hearing Roger's version gave it a new breath of of life! To go then from this into probably 'the' most popular country song at the moment in Bob Dylan and the Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel" was nothing short of superb, and the fact he performed the original version of Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through The Night" was music to my ears.
Roger did say after the show that he'd tried to get people up dancing, but I reassured him that Sunday Nights are more laid back back and that as I had looked around to gauge our customers' reaction to Roger's performance, I had seen lots of singing along and a great deal of foot tapping. That my interpretation of their appreciation proved accurate was later confirmed in the positive and favourable feedback we received our members and guests, which we always use as a means to re-book an act that has gone down well at The Hightown.
In all, Roger gave a blinding debut, and I have already secured his considerable talents for a further gig.
Peter GallagherWednesday 10 June 2015
This was such a nice club, lovely stage, lovely audience and friendly bar staff, it was delight to entertain them, and I look forward to the next time.
What a night! I was lucky enough to see Roger Kiesa at the Glenn Social Club, Watford on Saturday 9th August 2014 and I really was not disappointed. He is both a talented guy and an accomplished performer.
Roger is a quality singer and guitarist, with a little help from a vocal harmonizer and a rhythm sequencer. No backing tracks here. This is pure voice and fingers flying over the frets. He knows how to use these gadgets to best effect and uses them wisely to enhance the performance and the song.
Selecting a repertoire that suits your ability is very important and Roger entertained the crowd that night with ballads, sing along, pop, country and good rock songs. I always think if the singer does a good job and enjoys his performance, then so will the audience. From the first song he played through to his last, people were singing, dancing, watching and listening to him and everyone was enjoying the evening.
Roger knows too many songs to list here, but in his act this night were well known delights as: "Country Roads" recorded by John Denver, "Hotel California" and "Lyin' Eyes" by The Eagles and Don Mclean's "American Pie". With a surprise song of the evening "Wagonwheel" which is the latest viral sensation on the World Wide Web sung by The Old Crow Medicine Show. I had not come across this song before, but on first hearing, this was a terrific rendition and Roger made it his.
The staff and locals at The Glenn were very welcoming and friendly. It is a terrific venue and a great place for live music. I really enjoyed the evening for many reasons and I was very impressed by the self contained act that entertained for virtually 2 hours without a break. Roger made it look so easy. I will definitely be back to check out their Friday Open Mic night and look forward to seeing Roger entertain in the near future. I would recommend him to events organizers and live music venues. He knows what he is doing and does this well. An absolutely brilliant night and a first class act!
Carol O'SullivanMonday 1 September 2014