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Yoka & The SugarBeats bring their own brand of Soul & Blues – with a rhythm section begging your body to move, just the right amount of sweetness from the keyboards and guitar licks that make you want to grab your air guitar, it won't take long before you’ll find yourself on the dancefloor singing along to the powerful vocals of the sweet but demanding temptress that is Yoka.

 

Each member of this dynamic 5-piece has earned their credentials on the current Blues scene:

 

Yoka

This Dutch Diva has experience in theatre, jazz, opera and blues. In the UK mostly known as lead singer of successful Indie Blues Band Little Devils, Yoka has in recent years performed at blues clubs and festivals all over the UK and Europe. She is a charismatic performer with a big voice that easily adapts to different genres.  A true story teller, she is known to take her audience on a journey full of laughter and the occasional tear. With her new smoking hot band “the SugarBeats” -  Yoka promises to deliver a high energy, stomping musical experience. Nominated in 2014, 15 & 16 for instrumentalist of the year in the British Blues Awards, this multi-talented lady also adds occasional flute and tenor sax to the overall sound. 

For the geeks: Yoka plays a Conn-Selmer PTS380 Premier Bb Tenor Saxophone and a Yamaha YFL311 Flute

Big Ray

Big Ray cut his musical teeth on the Belgian and Dutch Blues scenes, playing with a plethora of musicians both on bass as well as guitar.

Upon his return to London, he joined Little Devils on guitar and went on to co-write their critically acclaimed album, The Storm Inside.

Now, having made waves on the British Blues scene too, Big Ray brings his brand of soulful, tasteful and melodic guitar playing to Yoka & The Sugarbeats.

For the geeks: Big Ray plays Fender Strats (with Fender Custom Shop pickups in one and a set of John Benson's hand-wound-in-NY in the other) and a custom made, hard pine Telecaster (60s Tiesco Gold Foil in the neck, Seymour Duncan in the bridge) through a Fender Hotrod DeVille 2x12. His tone is only lightly coloured via a handful of modulation pedals. When unplugging, he'll either use his Guild or his Faith acoustic. Ray has recently started as a luthier and plays his own custom made guitar: Martha

Spencer Blackledge

Is a self-taught drummer with  25 years of gigging and recording experience playing up and down the UK and across Europe. Highlights in his career: recording in the well-known Ridge Farm studio's, a three week residency in southern China at a theme park called Window of the World, playing the Marquee in London and the Bulldog Bash supporting The Quireboys.  2015 was a good year for Spencer as he played The Upton Blues Festival, Brownstock, Cropredy plus The Great British R n B Festival in Colne with Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective!!

Spencer likes to play  Blues Rock, R n B, Funk and Soul and  worked with Ray Owen's Juicy Lucy, Karena k, The Sharpees, Brian Willoughby, Stevie Smiths Blues Experience, Stuart James Band and Papa George. 

For the geeks: Spencer plays Gretsch and Pearl drums with Sabian And Zildjian Cymbals.

Picture: Angel Images

Andrew Papas

Andrew played guitar and keyboards in his school band, and has played pretty much continually with a variety of original and cover bands for the past thirty years - from prog to punk to funk to blues to rock - in some cases with those same school mates!
Now entirely focussed on keys, his influences are drawn from all musicians, across a broad spectrum of genres and eras, from Miles Davis to Ray Davies, from Chick Corea to Brian Eno, from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Walter Becker, From BB King to Carole King.
 
Andrew played with The Keitels through the noughties, developing and producing original songs as well as regularly playing at many of the well known music venues around London, and recording at the world famous Rockfield Studios in Monmouth.
 
Andrew likes to play anything that gets your foot tapping or your heart pounding and is also into all the technical stuff such as sound engineering, recording and programming.
 
For the geeks: Andrew has a collection of keyboards of various vintages, as well as a proper piano (of course), and currently uses a Korg SV-1, Korg M3 and a MicroKORG as well as a newly acquired Nord Electro 5 (which almost collapses the other three into a single instrument), all played through a Dynacord and Electrovoice backline. 
 
Picture: Angel Images

 

Andy Pullin

Andy is a tight, rock-solid groover with a fluid technique that never stray's from the pocket. A full time musician, Andy uses chops and experience gained from playing in a multitude of blues, rock and cover bands, creating a style that is at home with a hard driven rhythm as well as a delicate soul mover.
 
A busy player, Andy has performed at hundreds of venues throughout the southeast and has had some experience performing in Northern Europe. Andy can also be found playing with the respected rockin' R'n'B band, the Voodoo Sheiks as well as his own covers project, the Wires. Andy is also a first call dep for many bands and has played live and jammed with many respected names on the circuit. Between playing live, Andy spends his time teaching and passing the art forward to the next generation. 
 
Picture: Angel Images

Talk to me Baby!

We are happy to talk to you - you can contact us via email, text or phone call  

info@yoka.london


+44 (0)7847953557 - Yoka  

+44 (0)7815519788 -  Big Ray

 

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