The Borough Blues Club Newsletter
1st April 2006 Gig Review – “Blue Traffic”
When we booked “Blue Traffic” to play at the Borough Blues Club, I think it’s fair to say we took the decision to book them as they were highly recommended. To ensure we hadn’t made a mistake, our chairman ‘John Dixon’, telephoned the band to make sure that they understood that we were a blues club, to which the lead guitarist and singer Dave Williams replied; “Don’t worry ‘Kid’ (John is in his fifties, Dave’s a lot younger) you won’t be disappointed”, cocky words we thought, but the deed was done and they were on their way. Little did we know what we were in for!
Blue Traffic is a three piece outfit, based in and around the Rhondda Valley and comprises: - Dave Williams – Lead Guitar and Vocals, Wayne Jones – Bass and Vocals, and Meirion Sampson – Drums and vocals.
The guys turned up, set up, and were playing within twenty minutes, no sound check, no quick practice, nothing, just straight into the first set with; Statesborough Blues, Bare Footin’, and Little Wing, in quick succession. Wow, what a sound! This was high pressure blues straight out of the Hendrix bottom drawer, with scintillating performances from each and every member of the band. We were all, as a fellow committeeman said, “Gob Smacked” by the sheer brilliance of Dave Williams on lead guitar, and were no less impressed with the rest of the band. Then came JJ Cale’s Cocaine, a stunning version of All Along the Watchtower, out Hendrixing the man himself, followed by a very heavy Stormy Monday. The band continued in this vein and eventually finished the first set with a belting version of a BB King favourite, Rock Me.
It has to be said that the set was probably a little more rock than blues, but by the enthusiastic reaction of our members it didn’t really matter what it was called they were up for it big time!
We then had our break with the usual raffle, big thanks to Vanessa, Pat, and Jane, for collecting, and organising the raffle, where would we be without our wives? And thanks to all the members who regularly support this part of the club’s routine.
The second set erupted with an instrumental which went straight into Voodoo Child, this was followed by a ‘rocky’ version of what seems to be the club’s anthem; - Hoochie Coochie Man, then we had, Sweet Home Chicago, Red House, an old jazz number, Flip Flop and Fly done very un-jazz like!, followed with Blue Traffic’s version of Black Magic Woman, - very Santana-like with the added bonus of, would you believe?, the Beatles, ‘Eleanor Rigby’ riff in the middle of it, - very special indeed.
It was clear that the past problem of chit-chat amongst the audience was not evident on this night; such was the dazzling performance of Dave and the boys, no one wanted to miss a single note!!!!
Many more numbers came and went including a sweet version of Peter Green’s Albatross. But all things must end so, with their last number being Snatch it Back, which, for all we know, may have been a tribute to last month’s band of the same name, Snatch it Back, and then their second set was finished – or so we thought, we and the band had reckoned without our members, who refused to let them go – so, two encores followed, and still they weren’t satisfied, the band’s attitude was fantastic, and up they got again for the final number – Crossroads, absolutely brilliant. Our members made it very clear on the night that they want these guys back again; and I don’t think it will be too long before this happens. A fabulous gig with an outstanding band, what more could we want? Our thanks to Dave, Wayne, and Meirion; and to the members and guests who supported us on the night. If you weren’t there, you missed probably one of the best nights at the BBC to date!!!
6th May 2006 we are hosting “The Fugitives” a cracking blues band.
Please keep supporting your Borough Blues.
Don’t forget: - 6th May 2006 for The Fugitives
Upton Blues Festival - Day Trip
We are pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to come along on a day trip to Upton Blues Festival on Saturday, 15th July 2006. This trip is in association with Torfaen Jazz Society and organised by one of our BBC founder members, Steve Rees.
For those of you who haven’t been before, Upton upon Severn is a small town very similar to Usk, with bands playing in every pub and on the riverbank all day and evening. There are also lot’s of stalls selling food, mainly around the riverbank area and most importantly all the pubs sell beer!!!! This is not the type of festival you picture where you will need wellies!! (Although I might regret saying that if the river floods!) Programmes are available from the festival tent, along with T-shirts etc. The festival runs from 14th – 16th July 2006 This is an excerpt from their web site www.uptonbluesfestival.org.uk:
“Upton Blues Festival is an annual celebration of Blues Music, held in the delightful town of Upton upon Severn in Worcestershire. We try to bring a mix of all styles of Blues Music, along with a range of well-known artists through to new and upcoming bands. The Festival also caters for music workshops, where the different styles, instruments and voices are open for discussion and demonstration. Our venues are mainly based in the Pubs in the town, otherwise as open-air venues. And best of all - IT'S ALL FREE !”
We are able to offer a special deal for Borough Blues Club members only - £12.00 for the Upton trip and gain free entry to the gig at the club in August – Mango Crow (05/08/06). If non-BBC members would like to go on the Upton trip the cost will be £12.00 without the offer of the free August gig at the BBC. We feel that this is one way of offering benefits of being a club member, plus of course reduced ticket prices for regular gigs, and workshops for members.
The closing date for bookings will be 15th June 2006, although the coach may be full before this date so book early!
There will be various pickup points throughout Torfaen, but of course the more pickup points - the longer the journey, so we have to strike a balance. Pickup times will probably start around mid morning and return journey from Upton will be 11.00pm.
Please complete the form at the end of this newsletter with your FULL details (to enable us to verify your membership for the ‘members offer’) and return with your payment ASAP. Please use separate forms if booking for members and non-members.
We will issue a voucher to be handed in on the day to gain entry onto the coach and your free ticket (if appropriate) to the August BBC gig by return.
In a previous newsletter we stated that we had received complaints from a number of members regarding the chitty-chatter during performances. It is with sincere thanks that we can now say that over the last two gigs there has been a big improvement in this issue. So once again thank you to everyone who appreciates that we are only asking for respect for the band and for other members and guests.
Keep up to date with news and such via the borough blues club website, which now contains all the gig reviews to date! (www.boroughblues.com)
Gig reviews (with photos) can also be viewed at the other BBC site (you know the broadcasters!) www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/sites/music
If any member has an idea as to how we can further improve our club, please relay it to a member of the committee. It’s your club – you tell us what you want, and we’ll do our best for you. If you can help in promoting the club, via contacts you may have, please let us know. We’re not really going in search of more and more members, just an opportunity to increase the profile of our club and celebrate its success thus far.
You can keep the feedback coming in via direct contact with committee members, (see bottom of page for names) or via the web site message board / forum, so please let us know your views.
The real ale is going down a treat on gig nights – remember shut tap is midnight!!
Blues Workshop Project
We have held three workshops so far and the interest is still growing. Structures and systems are still being developed, and it is hoped that a regular pattern will soon evolve, which will benefit all attendees.
Never-the-less we have been reassured that everyone has got something from it and that it is indeed a worthwhile cause to pursue. It you’re interested or would like more information please contact one of the committee.
You have to be a member of the Borough Blues Club to attend and it’s £2.00 per session.
Dates of workshops: 10th April 2006
24th April 2006
15th May 2006
22nd May 2006
Gigs and Tickets
The membership is still increasing and demand for tickets becoming greater. We are starting to establish a regular cohort of members to each of the gigs, thank you for your support and commitment to the club. New-comers to the club are overwhelmed with the support we have ……….. Keep it going!! Ticketing arrangements seem to be working with a vast proportion purchased on a gig night for the next forthcoming event. Of course any remaining tickets will be available from the committee members – you know who they are!!!
Tickets will, as usual, be on a first come first served basis. No reservations without payment!! (A pertinent note from our strict Mr. Treasurer!)
Some returned tickets may be available on the door on the night, but please remember;
When the house is Full……the house is Full!!!!!
Ticket prices: - £4.00 members, £5.00 guests.
All pre-paid tickets not received, will be issued at the door on the gig night.
(Subject to usual name and address confirmation)