THERE are fierce singing voices and then there are the kind of goosebump inducing voices that Lisa Kekaula was blessed with; a voice which is sure to raise the roof of the Railway Hotel this Sunday, when she appears as lead vocalist of Californian rock 'n' soul band, the BellRays.

If the BellRays are new to you, perhaps the distinct sound of Lisa's pipes will be familiar, since she has appeared as the featured artist on many a credible track over the years, notably to us Brits, on the Basement Jaxx 2004 hit, Good Luck. In 2014, she contributed vocals to two tracks for the Re-Licked album of Iggy and the Stooges songs, re-recorded by former Stooges guitarist James Williamson.

Often described as 'The Stooges meets Aretha Franklin', the Californian based BellRays are stopping off at the Southend pub, as part of their tour to promote their latest album, Punk Funk Rock Soul Volume 2, released on Cargo Records UK.

It follows the release of Volume One released in 2017, which was a four track EP, said to be an "appetiser for the main feast of the full album". Punk Funk Rock Soul, say the BellRays, is their party with their songs and friends.

“We take our ear where our heart lives in simple song writing, making ourselves and hopefully all who hear it feel good,” explains Lisa of Volume Two. “We are proud of its simplicity and love how the new songs sound like old friends. This release is a collection of songs that illustrates why we do what we do. We are not 20 year olds and that’s okay. We are proud of our mileage and journey and Punk Funk Rock Soul validates our comfort in what music means to us. Viability, trend and meaning are up to the eye of the beholder…we like to rock.”

Punk Funk Rock Soul Volume Two is the first full album for the band since the release of Black Lightning in 2010.

On it, the BellRays slide from song to song, changing the dynamics and genre, but not the dynamism.

Lisa, 50, has been vocalist with the BellRays since 1990.

The band are Lisa, Robert Vennum, Stefan Litrownik and Justin Andres.

They will be at the Railway Hotel, Clifftown Road, Southend, on Sunday March 11, from 8pm.

Support comes from French garage trio Fuzzy Vox and Southend's very own RnB band the Phrogs.

Tickets are £8 from

Quick fire Qs with Lisa Kekaula.

KB: Hi Lisa. You’re coming to Southend on Sunday! Please can you let us know what the audience can expect.

LK: The best Friday night show they have ever seen on a Sunday.

KB: Can you tell us a bit about how the BellRays got together and if you had a ‘sound’ in mind from the outset, or if it developed via a natural combination of your individual influences.

LK: We met and both had a love for music and found our way through that commonality. Our process was very organic. We nurtured what we knew and were open to each others passions.

KB: Can you tell us a bit about Punk Funk Rock Soul - Vol 2 (2018).

LK: It is the best amalgamation of a.m. radio and what fed our desire to commit our lives to music.

KB: Have you played in Southend or in the UK before, and how does the scene compare to that in California?

LK: Not sure we have played Southend before, but we've been in the UK and Essex before. Everybody wants to rock it, but it's just a bit warmer in California.

KB: I love that you say you are ‘not 20 year olds and that’s ok’, and you are ‘proud of your mileage’. Could you please elaborate about your ethos where that is concerned and tell us of any experiences you’ve had concerning ageism within the music industry. Do you think ageism is more apparent on the mainstream/commercial side of the music industry?

LK: Ageism is everywhere, sexism is everywhere. The fact that anyone knows who we are is amazing and due to someone like Alan McGee hearing us and thinking other people should hear us, our songs and show, reflect what we have lived and learned and in turn written about. When someone excludes you because of any “-ism” you just carry on doing what you have control over and don’t focus on that.

KB: What is next for the BellRays?

LK: World domination...what else could there be?