FORGET guitars that gently weep.

Joanne Shaw Taylor made her guitar howl at Parr Hall when she headlined Summertime Festival on Saturday.

Warrington became the home of blues rock for one evening only when the Palmyra Square venue hosted The Gig Cartel's showcase which also included performances by Stevie Nimmo, Bad Touch and Xander and the Peace Pirates.

It was great to see the town's biggest music venue used for something like this.

The Parr Hall is more associated with classic rock and comedy and as an intimate stage for singer-songwriters.

In quiet summer weeks it is more often used by artists on the tribute circuit.

So it was fantastic to see The Gig Cartel pull in a different crowd, especially with someone like Joanne Shaw Taylor at the helm who is at the top of her game.

The 31-year-old has been described as a 'superstar in waiting' by Joe Bonamassa and she had her first top 20 album with last year's Wild so this was a chance to see her on her way up.

Stevie Nimmo and his band were Joanne's main support whose big blues anthems were warmly welcomed by fans.

But it was only just before Joanne stepped on stage that the audience – made up of people in their 30s, 50s and 60s – began to swell.

Dressed all in the black apart from her scuffed up white trainers, Joanne was comfortable chatting to the crowd between songs but generally preferred to let her guitar do the talking.

Put simply, her skills were exceptional with solos that were as mindbogglingly technical as they were impressive to listen to.

But what else would you expect from a performer who was discovered by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and has been playing professionally since she was 16?

Part of the joy of experiencing Joanne and her band live is also seeing how much she enjoys herself.

Whenever she did a solo there would be a beaming smile on her face or she would be closing her eyes in concentration. It was a study in performance and passion.

The gig also took a lot out of her. Joanne, who splits her time between Detroit and Birmingham on the rare occasions she is not on tour, gave it 100 per cent.

In the latter part of the evening you could see her shaking her fingers after each long and complex guitar solo to give her hand a brief reprieve.

But despite that level of exertion it was a near immaculate set.

Joanne's singing style is also highly distinctive and perfect for the type of music she plays with a very gravelly, husky tone.

In the nicest possible way it sounded like she had a 40-a-day smoking habit...until each song ended and her soft spoken voice came through when she began chatting to the crowd.

Joanne was the star of a male dominated night in a male dominated scene and shows what a little determination and talent can do to open the right doors.

For my money she is more of an inspiration and female role model in music than the Katy Perrys and Beyoncés of this world.