UNDER THE INFLUENCE have been together since the beginning of 2017, when Hugo Kappes, followed by Chrissy Thomasen, joined its founding members – Bobbi Prentice, Gleniss Kehely and Pete Wood. The band’s original name was The Rifters, but when Under the Influence was suggested instead, members voted unanimously in favour.
Under the Influence of what? – of BLUES MUSIC of course. The band has slowly built a repertoire of songs over the past two years and is going from strength to strength.
Chrissy took up drums at age 39 and began playing in church worship teams. New to Hamilton Blues Society, Chrissy’s first brush with Blues was a stint in Al’s Angels 2015-16, before joining Under the Influence. Chrissy works in Property Management and is also passionate about visual and the creative arts, acting, dancing, writing, photography, painting and making videos.
Gleniss plays an invaluable role in the band. Aside from doing percussion and backing vocals, Gleniss keeps an accurate log of band music and songs, recording fine details and taking video for the band to review. She provides constant feedback on performances, and this helps the band to continually to reflect, adjust and grow. Glennis has been a member of HBS for many years and is currently serving as Chairperson (2018– 2019).
Pete loves to play his Music Man bass guitar, but when he wants to make a statement, he plays Genevieve – his upright bass. Also a member of HBS for many years, Pete began by mixing it up on the sound desk. His desire to get on the stage gradually took hold – he started learning the bass and was a founding member of ‘The Conmen’. Pete runs a small business making plastic components and designing machinery in his workshop. “The Jam Factory” is also home for band practice.
Bobbi is the original band member, band coordinator and contact person. She is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. Bobbi has been a member of HBS since 2011 and wasa committee member in 2015. This is Bobbi’s first blues band, but she has been a regular at the Hamilton Acoustic Club and open mic. nights at Biddy’s for several years. Bobbiwas part of the HAMC committee for 3 years when the club was part of the Biddy’s livemusic scene.
Hugo has played guitar behind closed doors for years. Now he’s out and there’s nostopping him! To date Hugo sings three or four songs in the band, one of which he recently wrote himself. Hugo works as a blacksmith, creating beautifully crafted knives, swords and daggers from recycled steel. Hugo also enjoys sailing with the Spirit of Adventure and acting on television and in movies, with a recent role seeing him play a blacksmith from the 1800’s.