The Vampirettes

Friday 14th October 2022

Cart and Horses, Stratford, London

I am always open to seeing new music, and the thrill of getting to see and photograph an actual band of the undead was too much to resist! The Vampirettes started in the 1960’s as girl band “The Wandettes” who went missing shortly after take-off for their first tour. Fast forward to today, and the band have risen from the dead and stepped out of the shadows of what can only be described as a superb Classic Rock show from Hell.

For all the reasons one could look at East London for ground-breaking inventions, industries, and even an Olympic Games; few global sensations have emerged from the foundry with quite the impact of British Metal legends Iron Maiden. This leads us to the venue of tonight’s concert - the Cart and Horses in Stratford. A stone’s throw from Maryland station, this venue was the home of Iron Maiden’s first shows whilst the band were still finding themselves in 1975.

Leader of The Vampirettes Belladonna’s vocals were on point. Her range challenges those who recorded their original songs, stitching together each track with tales of the band and relevance of the track to them. When the band took on Kiss’s anthem 'I Was Made for Lovin’ You', Belladonna stepped forward with her keytar to complete the sound.

Datura and Wolfsbane shared guitar duties; Wolfsbane moving the whole crowd with 'Enter the Sandman', and Datura playing the most beautiful, frenzied guitar during Python Lee Jackson’s 'In a Broken Dream'. These two ladies truly are a match made in Hell up on the stage. The rhythm section were no less impressive. Kali anchors the show on bass, while Violet Mandrakia on drums plays with so much ability and energy, but still looks so effortless. Time in the shadows has been used well, with the band an incredibly talented group of musicians.

Crafted from the mind of Kareña K (aka Belladonna), The Vampirettes are a rocking group taking the best of the Classic Rock period and melding it to their own style. The standard of music was high, and whilst they pay a wonderful tribute to this period of time, they are no tribute band. The storytelling through their act makes them more of an experience than a simple setlist. The vibrant stage show only adds to the performance.

It is always wonderful to see a band with such passion to their art, who manage to still have so much fun. It is an infectious show from start to finish, filled with favourite songs and tales of each of the band members and their past. Sorry Wolfbane, I won’t be heading back to Camden Stables Market any time soon! This is a show not to be missed, and one would strongly suggest following them on social media so that you can catch them near you, if the Coven of The Vampirettes doesn’t catch you first…

Chris Griffiths