< Home

 

 

 

“One Note”

The Borough Blues Club Newsletter for July / August 2007

Gig Review – ‘Stone Fox’ 7th July 2007 By Adrian Powell.

It would be fair to say that ‘Stone Fox’ play their blues on the ‘Rocky Side’ of the road, that said, the Borough Blues Club was well entertained by these guys last Saturday. Well the boys turned up and started filling the stage with equipment – a lot of equipment! With the result, one member was heard to say “Bloody hell, he’s got more guitars in that case than I saw in Cranes yesterday”! – But it was worth it.

This five-piece band have obviously decided that ‘playing the blues field’ was the way they enjoyed it, and as a result the boys provided us with a night of blues-rock covering a good fifty years of the genre, with something old, something new - (Penned by themselves), and most things, definitely blue!!

Stone Fox are made-up of a couple of guys from Ebbw Vale, one from Tredegar, a Pontypool lad, and a Swansea boy, who got lost on the way home one night and as a result now lives in Rogerstone, so all-in-all, you could say they were just about local boys.
The line-up: - Jimmy Reed – Vocals. Mike Davies (The Swansea Boy) - Lead Guitar. Then we have Les Williams – bass, Dewi (Doc) Rees – Blues-harp, (and no mean slouch on the guitar either!), and last but by no means least; on Drums – John Price, the latter three being former members of the now defunct ‘Snowy Wood Blues Band’.
The first set kicked off with that favourite from the Blues Breakers ‘Beano Album’: - James Bracken’s ‘Stepping Out’.


Mike was quickly into his stride demonstrating the prowess he was to display all night, and ably assisted on this number by Dewi on rhythm/lead guitar. Always a great song this, made more interesting here by the use of the alternating ‘riff’ with both the guitars contributing in turn. So; that was the warm-up instrumental out of the way, and the boys totally changed the style with a number by a man named Ellas McDaniel, better known as ‘Bo Diddley’, but made popular by Eric Clapton and called; ‘Before you Accuse Me’, a good blues-shuffle which got our members feet tapping. The band changed the tempo again with a great slow blues, Tab Benoit’s ‘Nice and Warm’, followed by ‘It Don’t get better than this’ featuring ‘ Dewi on Harp and Mike on Slide-guitar – great number! Then they treated us to an Albert King number; ‘Born under a bad Sign’, once again, using twin-guitar lead to emphasize the ‘riffing’. Next BB King’s ‘Rock me Baby’, using a shuffle rhythm and wah-wah guitar lead. The set was finished with an ‘Extended Play’ of Fleetwood-Santana-Mac’s, all-rolled-into-one version of: ‘Black Magic Woman’, and the first half was at an end.

We then had the now customary announcements and of course the raffle, and before too long we were back to the music.

The second half ‘lifted-off’ with ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ theme; ‘Stone Fox Chase’,
(I wonder where the band got its name from??) most ably performed on ‘harp’ by Dewi, this was used as an extended intro for Sonny Boy Williamson’s ‘She’s Crazy’, Sonny Boy’s music usually takes a bit of playing, but once again Dewi was well up to it. It was time again for Mike to show his prowess on the slide guitar with a great ‘driving’ version of ‘Statesboro Blues’ very Mick Taylor like, this was followed by moving straight into Elmore James’ ‘Dust my Broom

Then we had a Bo Diddley number – ‘I can tell’ – our more senior members might remember this song being played by ‘Johnny Kid and the Pirates’ – not that they’d admit it mind!, and in keeping with the slightly Rock n’ Roll theme the boys treated us to a very unusual version of Freddie King’s ‘Tore Down’, Didn’t he sound like Elvis Presley? Fortunately Elvis left the building, and we were able to get back to the blues with a stunning version of Eddie Boyd’s ‘Five Long Years’.

Stone Fox were getting close to the end of their set now, and among the last numbers were ‘You put your spell on Me’, ‘Pride and Joy’ and finally; I got my Mojo Working’ – a great end to a great show – or was it?.
Our members were ‘going-for-it’ now and after rousing applause, the band played two more for their encore – Junior Well’s ‘Messin’ with the Kid’, and the final fling was Chuck Berry’s ‘Nadine’, A la ‘Dr Feelgood, and by the end of ‘Stone Fox’s set, we were all feeling good!, and with calls for the return of the band at a future date we called the show a done-deal. A band with a strong front-line, and a solid rhythm/back-line, they will I’m sure be around for some time! Thanks Guys!

It only remained for us to bid Stone Fox, and our members and guests a safe journey home, and with ‘Nadine’ still ringing in our ears it was homeward bound for us all.

Gig Review – ‘Talkin’ Blues’ 4th August 2007 By Adrian Bold

By Thursday 2nd August Little Dave, who books the bands for gig nights, was beginning to panic. TS Blues band, originally scheduled to play on Saturday had rung the previous

week to say that they would have to cancel their appearance. Jamie, their guitar/vocals lead, had broken his wrist and Kirby, their drummer has suffered a heart attack (we wish them both well soon!). Little Dave had phoned all the bands he knew and could not find one to deputise for the TS Band. Just when things seemed to be getting desperate he acted on a tip from one of the BBC members and phoned Talkin’ Blues who hail from Cardiff. They were not keen to play since they had a gig the previous night but, recognising the difficulties of the situation, kindly agreed to step in which was much appreciated by Little Dave, the Committee and by the Club members.

The band, who have been together for about 2 years, had a few problems of their own since they had lost their regular drummer earlier in the week. So they lined up with Mark Cowley on drums, Brian Humphries on vocals and harp, Ken Markham on lead guitar and Dave Robertson on bass. Mark normally plays with a seven-piece soul band and had only managed one practice three days before the gig with, of course, one performance the previous night. Paying full attention to his notes and with elaborate signals from his band mates he managed to cope well and got through the evening without a noticeable hitch.

The band did two sets of good blues standards to the steady appreciation of the crowd. Dave Robertson, who boasted that he had become an Old Age Pensioner the day before, introduced most of the numbers. He challenged the audience to identify which two writers from those who wrote the songs the band played were still alive. It was said that Otis Rush was one correct answer, but that was not clear. What was certain, however, was that Ken Markham was the other with four good songs he had penned spread throughout the set including one called “Talkin’ Blues” from which the bands name was taken. Ken claims a long experience in the blues having played guitar in the 60’s with Peter Green and much later having jammed with Irish blues star Gary Moore. His elegant style with many slides, runs and fills helped give the band their very laid back feel which they only departed from briefly to provide a few dance numbers at the end of the evening.

Brian Humphries played excellent blues harp and sang well, though in a much understated fashion, as the band delivered one blues standard after another. One, written in 1946, was “Route 66” which went from Chicago to Los Angeles passing through San Bernadino where, apparently, the first McDonald’s restaurant was opened in the same year.

It was clear that the band thoroughly enjoyed the night. Dave Robertson was very complimentary about the Borough Blues Club which he said was gaining a reputation as a great blues venue. Judging by the encore at the end of the evening the members appreciated Talkin’ Blues and Little Dave sighed with relief (possibly assisted by Crow Valley real ale), just grateful that Talkin Blues had turned up and done the business!

Next Gig: -Borough Blues Club 2nd Anniversary
With “Storm Warning” 8th September 2007

Tickets are already in great demand – so get them quick!!
Usual contact for Tickets: -
The Treasurer
23 Oakleigh Court,
Henllys,
Cwmbran,
Gwent
NP44 6HE
Further Info: - 07971-701979



Borough Blues Committee - 2007

Lee Price - Chairman (07909 530147)
Dave Lewis – Vice Chairman (07899 936217)
Adrian Powell – Secretary (07814 032008)
Tony Smith – Treasurer (07971 701979)
Keith Barwood - Liaison Officer (New Panteg RFC)
Adrian Bold - Publicity Officer (07803 853506)
David Leek - Membership Secretary (07969 838319)

Memberships

Do you know of any lapsed members? Or, have you just forgotten that the new membership-year is now in operation? If so, a form is attached at the end of the newsletter for the easy renewal of membership.

Memberships benefits include reduced ticket prices, regular newsletters, trips (which we’re hoping to increase this year) and access to the clubs workshops – of which we have some great ideas for this year.


Upton Blues Trip – (The Nearly One)

As most people will be aware, due to the unbelievable weather conditions that began on the Thursday before, we were unable to run the Upton trip this year. This was disappointing for those us who were due to take the trip, but our loss pales into insignificance compared to the problems and heartache that was, and in some cases, still is being experienced by the townsfolk of this usually beautiful little town.
The rain started late on the Thursday before the event, and by the Saturday most of the town was about a foot under water, with a number of the pubs totally flooded out and the M5 and the M40 closed in both directions. No one could get in or out, in fact Lee and Vanessa Price who had gone up on the Friday morning, had to move from the camp site they were on because it was expected to be under water by the evening. (The outline in the picture was to have been their campsite)

 


Due to the Local and Main road closures, the various bands booked to play on the Friday night didn’t get into Upton at all and it should be remembered that this was the second time that the River Severn had breached its banks in the three weeks prior to the event, and we know from the phone calls that Vice-chair Dave Lewis had made to the blues committee, that it had taken an immense effort from the town to get ready for the festival in time, only to find that the flooding was even worse this weekend leading to the total abandonment of the event, and leaving the locals with the need to salvage what they could and just try to ride the situation out.


 

In the aftermath of the floods, the town and surrounding areas have been badly affected, it was plain from the newscasts at the time how dire the situation was, with the whole of the lower reaches of the River Severn effectively becoming a huge lake, and virtually isolating the towns of Upton and Tewkesbury. Dave Lewis has been in touch with the Blues Festival organisers and expressed our concern at the turn of events, and as up-beat as ever, the organisers have said that they are going to do their best to put a smaller Jazz/Blues day on hopefully in late September as a way of supporting the local trades-people. We are looking into how we can offer our club’s support - we'll keep you posted.

 

 

It may be possible to run a small trip to a revised Upton Jazz/Blues day later in the year – watch this space for details. Check out the new website. Do you have any suggestions for bands you would like to see at the club? If you have, please let us know because we do: - NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE!!

New Website

The new website is now up and running with all the general information available – gigs, workshops etc. The site is still being developed, so please bear with us a little longer until we have loaded all the information and links we have at the moment. Hopefully, this site has greater potential than our last one, and as a result we will be placing a lot more information on the site for you to access. 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. In the meantime: -
You can keep checking for updated information at (www.boroughblues.com)

Also further information can be got at: - the other BBC site (you know the broadcasters!)

www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/sites/music

Blues Club Workshops

The workshops have proved a great success with a regular fifteen to twenty members attending each session .It was decided about four months ago to further the playing experience by organising a ‘Performance Evening’, and so we started to create a ‘set-list’ of blues numbers that the members could practice, and go on to perform on stage.
The final rehearsal took place at New Panteg RFC Sunday 5th August, with the performance taking place the following evening before an audience of families and friends.
The result was a resounding success, so-much-so that almost before we finished we were asked “When’s the next one then”? Due to the number of people wanting to play, we had to split the group up into a number of different combinations playing a range of Blues numbers, and even a bit of Jazz just to show their versatility. The result was a fantastic night enjoyed by players and audience alike, and combined with a superb buffet from the wonderful Pat Barwood we could not have wanted more.
There was great applause for all the musicians who took part on the night, and a special round of applause went to Dave Lewis without whom this event would not have happened.

Dave put a tremendous amount of work into the project, and he was rightly rewarded by the way everyone performed, Dave said “The looks on peoples faces was reward enough”

So, to the fture, we are always looking for vocalists, Key-board players, and drummers,
In fact, anyone with an interest to complement the happy gang we have already. If you fancy a go, or know someone who does, just let us know and we’ll make them welcome.

You have to be a member of the Borough Blues Club to attend and its £2.00 per session. Every fortnight on a Monday, 7.00pm to 9.15pm. Check website for dates.
New members always welcome.

Dates of forthcoming workshops: (All these dates have been booked at the club)

August 13th 20th 27th
September 3rd 17th
October 1st 15th 29th
November 12th 26th
December 3rd 17th
Gigs and Tickets

As the present ticketing arrangements seem to be working with a most tickets being purchased on a gig night for the next forthcoming event, we intend to keep this sales system for the foreseeable future. And coupled with the support we have from you members; this will benefit the regular supporters with the opportunity for purchasing tickets to ensure access for the next gig. 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.
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, of course, to the usual name and address confirmation)

Committee Members/Contacts for pre-ordering tickets:

Lee Price - Chairman (07909 530147)
Dave Lewis – Vice Chairman (07899 936217)
Adrian Powell – Secretary (07814 032008)
Tony Smith – Treasurer (07971 701979)
Keith Barwood - Liaison Officer (New Panteg RFC)
Adrian Bold - Publicity Officer (07803 853506)
David Leek - Membership Secretary (07969 838319)
Or:

Next Gig – 8th September 2007 --The Birthday Gig!

< Home