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“One Note”

The Borough Blues Club Newsletter
September 2007

Gig Review – Borough Blues Club Second Birthday Bash 8th September 2007

By Adrian Bold

Two years of the Borough Blues Club already!  And what a good reason for a great celebration last Saturday night!  Not only were there live performances for the whole evening but there was also a free raffle with the usual prizes of Blues CDs, wine and chocolates, an “on the house” birthday drink for everyone and a superb complimentary buffet.  The Clubroom had been decked out with balloons, candles and posters and from very early on it was clear that people were entering into the party spirit.  The room was nicely crowded and, with the atmosphere building, the evening kicked off with a great set from local “unplugged” duo Mike Markey and Nick Jones, fresh from their previous weekend’s successful performance at Pontypool’s “Jazz in the Park” festival.

Mike is a vocalist and harp player in a traditional blues style who sang a range of songs from the blues greats including “Tired as a man can be.” (Sonny and Brownie); “I just can’t be satisfied” (Muddy Waters); “Dust Pneumonia Blues” (Woody Guthrie) and “I’m so lonesome” (Hank Williams).  Mike was superbly supported by Nick Jones who is highly accomplished on both guitar and a beautiful, shiny, metal resonator.  Nick’s intricate picking and slide guitar was held in awe, particularly among the aspiring blues guitarists in the room.  It takes a special talent to hold an audience spellbound with just guitar, voice and harmonica Mike and Nick managed this well and the Borough Blues Club provided a good reception and warm applause.

No expense had been spared and the evening continued with two sets from the highly acclaimed band “Storm Warning” who are building a reputation as original and entertaining rock-blues band.  Their list of credits is huge with many appearances at big UK festivals and upcoming tours of Holland and Poland where they will take third place on the bill at the RAWA festival, the biggest indoor blues event in the world, with over 8000 people attending.  The band, who hail from Aylesbury and High Wycombe, have been together for three years and are fronted by Stuart “Son” Maxwell who has a melodic vocal style and is a virtuoso harp player – and has actually had books published on the subject.  He was elegantly accompanied by Bob “Mad Dog” Moore on guitar.  Bob, according to his blog, was “born under a road sign, near the cotton fields of East London, the eldest of seven older brothers.  My father had been killed by a lynch mob just a year before.  My mother entertained gentlemen at home to make ends meet, or so she told us.  I left home at twelve and took the greyhound to Chicago.  I got back about one thirty, and gave the dog back.”

(Check out the Storm Warning Website http://www.stormwarning.co.uk/ for more in a similar vein).  The band was completed by Derek White who has bass experience with some major bands extending back into the 1970’s, and Roger Willis on drums.  These two provided the excellent platform from which the whole band sprang to life.  Unfortunately, Ian Salisbury, who normally joins in on keyboards had been called away abroad and was not able to appear.  However, if this had not been mentioned it would not have been noticeable as the band gave a very professional performance made up almost entirely of songs written by band members themselves. 

In fact, a few more familiar “standards” might have made the evening even more enjoyable – but, the crowd did not seem to mind and called loudly for encores as the group finished their set. 

Storm Warning is a band determined to go places.  They are producing their second CD of original songs at the moment; they have a list of major engagements in the diary and are beginning to make their mark in the media.  They recently had three “live session” songs played on the Paul Jones Rhythm and Blues programme on Radio 2 and are getting air time in other places.  Their visit to the Borough Blues Club was a fitting way to mark our second birthday and marks the commitment of the Club Committee to provide the best of the blues into our third year.  Watch this space!

Club News

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 ‘Workshop Gig’ – A view from the crowd          by Dave Leek

Monday 6th August. They came in their droves or at least about forty of ‘em did. Friends and family, plus the odd hanger on, to witness the debut performance of the Borough Blues Club Workshop Band.

There were a few nervous looking faces and that was just amongst the crowd. What had they let themselves in for? Had all those long nights playing with themselves in the bedroom with the other half shouting for them to “Turn it down I’m trying to watch Corrie”, paid off?

 Well we were about to find out and I can tell you we were not to be disappointed.

The workshop players, ably supported by a large proportion of the blues club committee, kicked off and stormed through a set that included old blues classics from the likes of Robert Johnson through to modern blues from old ‘Slowhand’ and Van the Man. There was even a bit of Jazz thrown in for good measure (nice crooning Dave).

The night proved to be thoroughly enjoyable, I’m sure, for both the band and audience alike and the families in attendance should be rightly proud of the workshop members’ achievements. They’ve all worked extremely hard over the last few months and thanks have to go out to them for their efforts.

Last but not least, thanks should also go out to Dave, Keith and the two Adrian’s for their efforts, and to Pat for a fabulous buffet.

Cheers guys we look forward to perhaps seeing the workshop band playing on a regular gig night.

So, to the future, 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, and them, know and we’ll make them welcome. The only rule is that you have to be a member of the Borough Blues Club to attend, and the cost will be £2.00 per session. We meet at New Panteg RFC every fortnight on a Monday, and we run from 7.00pm to 9.15pm.

New players/singers are always welcome, so check website for dates, and-come-on-down.  

Next Gig – 6th October 2007

Doctors Orders were formed in 2005 with the aim of playing ‘Good Time’ bouncing blues, the result is just that. Their music, while it can broadly be described as blues, is an eclectic mix combining funk, rock, R n’ B, jazz and swing, to produce a varied up-tempo set. Covering artists such as ZZ Top, Dr Feelgood, Fleetwood Mac, Johnny Winter, Gary Moore, Allman Brothers, Robben Ford, and many others, ‘Doctors Orders’ are exactly what the doctor ordered to cure your blues yearnings.

The band features a front line of Jon Bridger and Martyn Davies on guitars, and a solid Back-line of Dave Wiggins on bass and Chris Houghton on drums.

 


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