The Blues Band: 38 Years and Counting!
What does a great,
lively musical tradition demand? Discipline, devotion, passion
and love. Whether it’s Beethoven or B. B. King, Howlin’ Wolf or
Handel, it all sounds better with a huge helping of skill,
virtuosity and feeling. So when it comes to the Blues,
aficionados of the genre can relax, because with The Blues Band,
their music’s in good hands.
Formed in 1979 by five
seasoned musicians, The Blues Band are celebrating 38 glorious
years as Britain and Europe’s leading exponents of one of the
greatest musical traditions of all time. It began back then with
a phone call by Paul Jones, actor, singer, musician and radio
presenter, no stranger to the pop charts throughout the 1960s as
front man for the hugely successful Manfred Mann. His fellow
Manfred Tom McGuinness shared the same love of the music - he’d
started out with Eric Clapton in the Roosters. And they knew the
right people to make their idea for a band ‘just to play the
blues’ work; they brought in legendary slide guitar man and
singer Dave Kelly, who brought along a talented fellow musician,
bassist Gary Fletcher. With the addition of Tom’s chart-topping
partner from McGuinness Flint, drummer Hughie Flint, (ex-John
Mayall’s Blues Breakers), that first line-up stormed the
post-punk music scene, and contrary to their expectations, they
soon left the pub scene behind for an international career
playing the music they loved. After two and a half years, Hughie
Flint left due to the pressures of touring. His place was
admirably filled by another fine drummer, Rob Townsend, a member
of one of Britain’s most eclectic, legendary outfits, Family.
The rest, as the saying
goes, is history. But what history. TV, films, a stadium tour
with Dire Straits, over 20 albums, within a few years the Blues
Band’s deep, well-tended roots had brought them the status of
lasting legends. From Greece to Finland, Poland to Portugal,
Italy to Denmark, when the Blues Band arrive, the fans turn out
in their thousands. What’s on offer is always the same; a
stunning menu of original compositions and blues classics, all
delivered with passion, knowledge, love of the genre and
entertaining showmanship. Other blues groups come and go, but it
takes something special to achieve the iconic prestige enjoyed
by The Blues Band. If you want to know what 38 years of skill
and devotion sound like, here’s your chance - if you love the
blues, it doesn’t get any better than The Blues Band.
After more than 45 years of continuous
service, The Pretty Things remain a significant, challenging
force in rock and roll. Despite their veteran status, their
contemporary relevance, undiminished energy & inspirational
commitment inspire emerging generations of new artists and young
fans, whilst retaining their devoted, fanatical, core fan base.
is a tribute to righteous, unswerving convictions, always chosen
over a quick buck. It is no surprise that guitarist Dick Taylor
chose to leave The Rolling Stones, which he had formed with Mick
& Keith, to pursue a more raw level of energy with The Pretty
Things. And they still retain that energy, as befits one of this
country’s most exciting live acts, whilst their recordings and
song-writing maintain the same levels of inspiration and
innovation that were set back in 1964, with the world’s first
and best ever “Garage” anthem – “Rosalyn”.
and often overlooked, The Pretty Things have had a seminal
influence on rock music, which is more far-reaching than any
casual observation would suggest, and their career is littered
with many groundbreaking “firsts” - most of which are not
universally known or recognised. Their diverse and unexpected
history has spawned countless imitators, many of whom have seen
greater commercial success than their heroes, but The Pretty
Things remain the original and the best. Not content with being
the first ever “garage” band, glowingly acknowledged by Iggy,
The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Nirvana, & The Libertines, as a
primal influence and guiding light. They created a world of rock
and roll attitude (the first ever rock & roll drugs bust and a
lifetime ban from Australia and New Zealand provide
credentials!) and still found time to create a cult world of
incredible ground-breaking music - which is as influential now
as their attitude was then...... Now read on:
Things were responsible for the world’s 1st ever Rock
Opera. Recorded in 1967 alongside The Beatles & The Pink Floyd
at Abbey Road – “S. F. Sorrow” was the acknowledged template for
The Who’s Tommy, and was, in 1998, another first, when it was
recorded live at Abbey Road, with David Gilmour on guitar, for
the world’s first ever Global Broadband Netcast. This template
for the Classic Rock Opera was often copied, but never bettered.
Their template for the live recording of a classic album was
picked up a few years later, & the shelves are now filled with
similar formats of great records - “Forever Changes”, “Oddessey
& Oracle”, and many others...... Where The Pretty Things lead,
it seems, the rest will follow.
“S.F. Sorrow” the band created another, incredibly significant
first. They wrote and recorded the remarkable album -
“Parachute”. Recorded again at Abbey Road, it was voted Rolling
Stone magazine’s first Record of The Year of the 1970’s,
outclassing Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, The Stones, and The Who.
More importantly, “Parachute” was the only Rolling Stone Record
of The Year, ever awarded to Berry Gordy & Tamla Motown, who had
cannily signed The Pretty Things the year before, specifically
to access the emerging and influential rock and roll album
market. Few realise that it took The Pretty Things to grant
Berry Gordy his most valued wish.... Album credibility.
“Parachute” was recognised by The Pink Floyd” as the inspiration
for “Dark Side of The Moon”...... and the rest is history
(albeit not that well known!).
In 1974 The
Pretty Things were chosen as the first band to sign to Led
Zeppelin’s new label – Swansong. This association re-kindled a
long-standing relationship with manager, Peter Grant, and the
band’s old friends Jimmy Page (who played with them on record in
1965) & Robert Plant. It also spawned two great albums & gave
the band their first ever US chart LP, with “Silk Torpedo”. A
raft of tours and shows with Zeppelin, & a Hollywood Boulevard
Billboard were a tribute to the band’s US status at that
time.... and their new profile spawned a lifelong friendship
with Aerosmith’s Stephen Tyler – who acknowledges Phil May, the
band’s singer, as his primal influence....
the 1980’s the band undertook the huge task of attempting to get
all their recorded copyrights back from their original record
companies, who had universally failed to pay them or render any
accounts. Undaunted by this massive task, they became the first
of the 1960’s bands in history to gain control of all their
work. And in 1995, after ten years of court battles, they
released another first – a dedicated 2 CD long-box that set the
standard for all catalogue releases for the next ten years. The
reviews were ecstatic and the set highlighted their incredible
career and work. Since the catalogue long-box issue, the band
has had all its’ history lovingly re-mastered and re-issued, and
their entire catalogue is easily the best presented of almost
any of their peer group.
remained busy in the last ten years – two great studio albums –
Rage Before Beauty & Balboa Island - have been received with 5
Star reviews by the press, and the sales have been parallel with
contemporary Stones records. This year they were awarded the
first ever Mojo Hero’s Award, presented by Seasick Steve and
Kasabian. They played with Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park (at
his request) & headlined the Childline Rocks show at the O2.
They even found time to promote a sell-out tribute concert at
The 100 Club for lifelong friend and inspiration – Bo Diddley –
which was attended by Jimmy Page, and half of London’s press and
chattering classes. They work constantly, and headline Festival
shows throughout Europe, including The I.O.W. Bestival this
year, easily the coolest and most influential of all the UK’s
lifelong publisher and original manager, Bryan Morrison, sadly
died, and Phil May was the music representative speaker at his
funeral. Bryan built his music and publishing empire on The
Pretty Things, and freely admitted he “bought me Polo Club” out
of their original royalties. Bryan was the first to acknowledge
that he would never have attracted Marc Bolan, The Pink Floyd,
Captain Beefheart, or any of his major publishing artists,
without the credibility that The Pretty Things provided as his
initial publishing act. Managers, agents and publishers who cut
their teeth on The Pretty Things include: Bryan, Steve O’
Rourke, Tony Howard, Neil Warnock & Peter Grant. And they all
learned how it was done with these guys...
their entire career, The Pretty Things have written, performed,
and created informed, intelligent, ground-breaking, and original
music, enabled by powerful, melodic writing that has kept this
incredible band alive for more than 45 years..... This should be
a secret that everyone knows......
The British hard rock supergroup was
originally founded in 2011 by former Whitesnake/David Coverdale
members Micky Moody and Neil Murray along with the perfect mix
of high calibre musicians including Laurie Wisefield (Wishbone
Ash), Harry James (Thunder, Magnum), Adam Wakeman (Ozzy
Osbourne, Black Sabbath live), and Chris Ousey (Heartland).
Snakecharmer played live shows regularly in
support of their debut self-titled album’s release and built a
solid fanbase in the UK and Europe. In 2016, Moody left the band
and was replaced by the Irish-born Simon McBride on lead guitar.
After the release of Second Skin, the band
found its own unique musical identity and in particular Laurie
Wisefield and Chris Ousey have contributed some very powerful
and melodic songs, which still have the Snakecharmer blues-rock
The band can’t wait to get out on tour and
play some of the new songs, together with the best of our
established classics, both Snakecharmer and Whitesnake, and
showcase our new virtuoso guitarist, the brilliant Simon
London-based Albany Down
are a contemporary rock band with influences ranging from
classic acts like Led Zeppelin and Thunder to modern bands such
as The Black Keys and Clutch. They combine a vintage
rock-blues sensitivity with a contemporary aggressive energy.
Albany Down are Paul
vocals, guitarist Paul Turley, drummer Donna Peters and
bassistBilly Dedman and they have already recorded two albums
with award-winning producer Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers,
INME, Super Furry Animals).
guys are really going somewhere; make sure they take you with
them!" – Paul Jones, BBC Radio 2
The band is a
hard-working, road-tested outfit, which has been well received
at various UK festivals including the Maryport International
Rock and Blues Festival; The Great British Rhythm and Blues
Festival (Colne); and The Great British Rock and Blues Festival
(Skegness); as well as at venues like Barfly Camden and the
legendary 100 Club.
In 2014, they toured the
UK supporting New Jersey’s Southside Johnny and The Asbury
Jukes, which included the highlight of their year when they
played at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. This was followed
by appearances at festivals in Belgium and the Netherlands
before a very successful tour of Germany with The Brew.
Blues Rock Review
offered a fair assessment of both the band and their 2011 debut
of the City” is a solid debut album from Albany Down and they
will be an interesting band to watch develop in the coming
album clearly showcased what the band are capable of – ranging
from the superbly arranged “Mercy” to the low-down dirty,
slide-led blues epic of the title track.
formidable second album, “Not
Over Yet”, released in 2013, is full of their strongest songs,
lingering melodies and great musicianship. And where vocalist
Paul Muir could previously have been compared to the likes of
Paul Rodgers, he stamps his own personality on this album, while
guitarist Paul Turley produces a virtuoso impassioned
performance. Traditionally a band’s second album is regarded as
being problematical but Albany Down turned that notion on its
Their live show never
disappoints. The band run on pure adrenalin, unrelenting
energy and raw emotion and soon have any crowd entranced.
The music is based on thunderous guitar riffs and pounding drums
juxtaposed with soulful, soaring, emotionally-charged ballads.
blogger Neil Mach probably got it right, when he recently
described the band; “As
hot as volcanic ash and yet as cool as snow slippers.”
Over Yet” is an aptly titled album and an accurate barometer of
a band on the up-escalator currently tearing up venues around
the UK and Europe. Having already generated over 7,500
Facebook fans, the band are due to start work on their third
studio album in 2015.
Both Albany Down albums,
“South of The City” (2011) and “Not Over Yet” (2013) are
available for download on iTunes and Amazon.
Down is the new voice of British rock music. A blend of
contemporary rock and blues – with added brilliance on top.
See for yourself.”
Mark Pontin is
a genuine "triple threat". If he were solely a singer, the new
album ’Textures’ from The Mark Pontin Group would stand head and
shoulders above the pack on that strength alone. His effortless
vocals can turn on a dime from gritty and raw to smooth and
melodic, displaying enviable range without the strain and the
kind of control and dynamics rarely seen in a blues/rock
context. His abilities as a guitarist easily put him in the
upper echelons of blues and rock players, in the UK or anywhere
else for that matter. His beautifully nuanced playing,
musicianly without over-indulgence, at times wrangles massive
sounds from a Marshall amp, at others coaxes delicate harmonics
from an acoustic guitar. As a songwriter, Mark displays the kind
of versatility rarely seen within the often predictably rigid
confines of the blues/rock scene and demonstrates how easily -
when you know how - the genre can incorporate shades of jazz,
funk, soul and pop music.
In the short period since the release of
their 2013 debut Days Of Destiny, The Mark Pontin Group
established themselves firmly on the UK Blues/Rock scene.
Extensive UK tours, festival appearances and stages shared with
the likes of Walter Trout and Royal Southern Brotherhood forged
the band into a formidable live act.The Mark Pontin Group are
never happier than when they are on the stage utilising not only
their remarkable individual talents but also great interplay and
improvisation, with no two shows ever being the same. Obvious
comparisons could be made to Cream or Hendrix though it could be
said that MPGs abilities range further still, incorporating a
rich variety of flavours into their own secret formula. Now,
with their new album Textures it is clear that the bar for
contemporary blues/rock has been raised and The Mark Pontin
Group is a force to be reckoned with.
Fast losing their reputation as the “best
kept” blues secret in the UK, Backbone Blues Band are setting a
pace to 2016 and ‘17 with a busy and varied schedule. Although
still a British rarity; they are better known in the USA than in
the Thames Valley, from where most of them hail, and with their
6th annual tour of the States under their belt in October 2015,
the band are tipping their hat at the next twelve months here at
Their reputation is growing fast and has
attracted the attention of visiting American artists Loomis
Hamilton and Larry Garner for whom they’ve played support, as
well as the UK’s young slinger, Laurence Jones who they’ve
recently shared a stage with at Reading and Rebecca Downes.
Their second album ‘Which Way To The
Blues’ was released in late summer 2015, and received a glowing
review in Blues in Britain magazine; they said ‘an album full of
highly enjoyable goodies by five guys at the top of their
blues’. Their first album in 2013 ‘Made in Britain’ enjoyed
similar reviews and was promoted live on the famous Sonny
Payne’s radio show in Helena Arkansas, ‘King Biscuit Time’.
“More of a privilege than a promotional stunt, Sonny’s a genuine
hero of the blues” commented Duncan Highet, the band’s bass
player and singer.
They’ve played from ‘Beale to Bourbon’ on
their USA tours, including Beale St in Memphis, King Biscuit
Festival in Helena, the Balcony Music Club and Bamboulas in New
Orleans and the world famous Ground Zero Blues Club, where they
have an entire Sunday dedicated to them under the billing, “The
Big British Blues Brunch”. They fold all that experience into
their performances back in the UK. Influenced by the old blues
men and inspired by the new, their music has blues at its heart,
and is threaded with soul, rock and country and delivers a style
that’s both eclectic in its construction, but unmistakably
“Backbone” in its delivery.
“What we’ve learned most from our tours of
the Delta, is that as well as the music, you have to put on a
show. Just playing well isn’t enough” says Tony Seaman one of
the band’s guitarists. “You can’t just shuffle on stage in old
jeans and a scruffy T-shirt, you have to pay your dues and pay
respect to the music and audience”. Frank McConnell the other
guitarist in the band expands on the theme, “We play songs. Yes
it’s plainly the blues, but not predictably so; well written,
well-constructed and well-executed songs is what try to do,
we’re also choosy about the covers we play and give them the
full Backbone treatment too”.
Backbone are a band that have clearly
worked hard at what they do. With a tight rhythm section,
creative guitars and keys and soulful vocals, they deliver a
sound that grooves when it swings and punches well above its
weight when it rocks.
BAND BIOGRAPHY: The
first Blue Commotion gig in February 2012 was a culmination of a
ten-year musical partnership between Zoë Schwarz and guitarist
Rob Koral. Through their intense musical journey and compatible
desire, they developed a perfect collaboration and empathy,
which, when analysed, comes from two completely different
starting points. Because of this melting pot of musical
diversity, there is a depth and uniqueness to the band's music
which is hard to pigeon-hole and categorise.
Into the mix comes the
sheer virtuosity of each of the band members who are allowed the
freedom to express their musical authority, and stamp their own
personal magic to the song writing of Zoë and Rob. A testament
to this chemistry is the sheer volume of music coming out of the
band, and 'I'll Be Yours Tonight' is Blue Commotion's fourth
album in three years.
Zoë 's unique, yearning
vocal style is blended with Rob's ability to come up with catchy
vibrant riffs and musical arrangements, which stretch the term
'blues' and keep it moving forward so as to be relevant for our
current times. There is no ridged musical template for Blue
Commotion, the only stipulation is that it feels good, tastes
good and sounds good. The band pride themselves on filling
their 'live' and album sets with original music.
During this four-year
period the band has covered an enormous amount of ground and
received over-whelming critical acclaim, with a growing and
steady stream of festivals and club dates through out 2016 and
“The Ambassador of
British Blues” is back in the UK with a rave-reviewed power-trio
blues-rock album show.
The accolades for Martin’s live and recorded work
“Superb” Paul Jones BBC Radio 2, “Blistering slide guitar”
Guitarist Magazine “A live show not to be missed“ Blues Revue
USA “Brilliant songwriting” Rootstime.
His “Black White and
Blue” show will leave you awe-inspired at the power and
freshness of Modern Blues in the hands of one its most
Winner of the Blues Act of the South West Award
and with Nominations for countless European and UK Blues awards,
he is also one of the few UK Blues musicians to win continued
acclaim in the USA where he had one man band residencies in Jook
Joints in Clarksdale Mississippi and toured the “chitlin
circuit” with a crack Texan band earlier in his career.
He is also the most
prolific UK blues artist of his generation according to the
Penguin Book of Blues Recordings who dubbed him a “a master of
acoustic and electric blues”.
Blues with a pedigree second-to-none is what
Eddie Martin represents on the UK circuit. Or, to quote one
reviewer “What a joy..rich with intelligent writing…Martin plays
lead guitar like the greats, but his multi-instrumental
virtuosity means he is also able to push boundaries and deliver
the unexpected..fresh and alive with energy…An impressive
display of blues-rock virtuosity”
Xander and the Peace
Pirates are a testament to musical integrity and personal
strength. Combining soul, blues and rock, their pervasive blend
of inspired song writing and memorable performances has already
seen them enrapture audiences from around the world.
Brothers Keith and Stu Xander were discovered on YouTube by
Gibson Brands CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, and during their
subsequent performances for the company at numerous
international events, the band caught the attention of not just
an ever-growing collective of fans but also industry legends
such as Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rolling
Stones) and Rick Allen (Def Leppard).
Defying all expectations, lead singer and guitarist Keith Xander
was born without a right arm below the elbow and plays guitar
using a prosthesis and hook with a pick attached at the end.
Although many who have seen Keith play believe him to be an
extraordinary guitarist despite of his (falsely) perceived
‘disability’, he is a virtuoso musician in his own right and his
playing rivals the best in the industry.
2014 saw the band establish themselves as a live-performance
juggernaut after concluding their 5-year tenure as the resident
band at Liverpool’s iconic Cavern Club pub; supporting guitar
royalty Joe Bonamassa and Joe Satriani at ‘Classic Rocknacht’ in
Loreley, Germany; and finally culminating in being personally
invited to support ex-Whitesnake and Blues-guitar hero Bernie
Marsden on his UK tour.
In 2015 the band have gone on to share the stage
with the likes of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Robben Ford and
have since signed with V2 Records for whom they recorded their
debut album titled ‘11:11’ which was released in November 2016.
With haunting riffs,
ingenious melodies, and a uniquely infectious charisma, Xander
and the Peace Pirates continue to share their musical passion to
standing ovations, while spreading a universal message of peace,
love and harmony.
Crow Black Chicken have earned a
reputation as one of Ireland's top blues acts. Their sound
combines elements of folk and hard rock with the blues rock of
bands like Gov't Mule, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Led Zeppelin. An
extremely hard working band, they have built up a strong
underground following throughout Ireland, the US, and Europe
with multiple well received tours and one off gigs, including a
slot at Glastonbury.
After back-pedalling on his solo
career to start a family, Simon McBride “the man who everyone
wants in their band” is back on the road with his own
The turn of 2016 saw McBride touring with Ian Gillan, filling
the shoes of Ritchie Blackmore in a programme of Deep Purple
songs that played across Europe. The first half of 2017 has him
touring with uber-keyboardist Don Airey (another member of Deep
Purple), followed by an outing with Whitesnake offshoot,
With his band of fellow Irishmen Marty McCloskey (drums) and
Dave Marks (bass) Simon delivers his own distinctive songs
(“Hugely accomplished” MOJO) along with crowd-pleasers from the
likes of Hendrix and Free plus of course, explosive guitar
His guitar skills (“Among the best blues-rock players
anywhere in the world” GUITARIST) have made him a go-to
guitarist on the British Blues-rock scene, admired among
professionals, followed by enthusiasts, and endorsed by some of
the biggest brands on the guitar scene.
Rewind to the early nineties and you didn’t have to squint to
spot future greatness in the unassuming kid from Belfast, who
picked up his first guitar at ten, eschewing formal lessons to
bend his fingers around the music of Free, Jeff Beck and
Hendrix. At 16 he turned pro, leaving education behind to wow
the world as a hired gun in projects that ranged from filling
Vivian Campbell’s shoes in Sweet Savage, to R&B and soul with
ex-Commitments vocalist Andrew Strong. Touring in his own right
he has supported Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck and Joe Bonamassa and
played major festivals around Europe.
Saiichi Sugiyama Band
is a group of musicians hailing from Surrey/London brought
together in 2010 by the guitarist/composer Saiichi [pronounced:
“sigh-eee-chee”], an authoritative live performer who has a
career spanning 25+ years as a solo artist in the British blues
With potent and melodic original music that harks
back to the halcyon days of rock and soul, 1965-1974, when blues
was in the pop charts and all you needed was love, the band is a
stand out while their songs carry lyricist by the Cream
wordsmith Pete Brown.
The band’s single, ‘Melting Away’ was described
by Classic Rock Magazine as “reminiscent of Free at their most
powerful … an emotional slice of blues-rock”. It was one of the
last recordings by the legendary Free bassist, the late Andy
"...Split Whiskers have their roots
firmly planted in Chicago blues, crossing boundaries into rock,
americana with more than a hint of the Delta. Fronted by Gilby
‘Fat Slim’ Fletcher on vocals and blues harp and Johnny ‘Magic
Boy’ Wright on vocals, acoustic, resonator & electric guitars:
They are joined on drums by the very talented Tony Hill. On
bass, the ever vibrant Claudia 'Beads' McKenzie and completing
the line up, Matt ‘Big Willie’ Willshaw on keys". The band’s
fame is spreading and they are becoming one of the busiest bands
at blues venues around the UK, in particular in great demand on
the Festival circuit. Their superb musicianship, along with
their infectious humour on stage, promises a great evening’s
entertainment Having played over 1000 gigs together and now into
their second decade of playing, they have a rich heritage in the
Blues. Recently retired founder member Mick ‘Chippy Carpenter
played with some true Blues greats including Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy
Reed, T-Bone Walker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Hubert Sumlin and
Gilby’s Harmonica Hero, Little Walter Jacobs. Jump 50 years to
the present and the current Whiskers line up and it’s easy to
appreciate a multitude of influences from, Muddy Waters, Jimi
Hendrix & B.B.King to, Little Feat, Ray Charles & Dr.John.
Influences, yes! Copies, No! Split Whiskers are making their own
stamp on The British Blues Scene with their unique style and
interpretation of the genre including a rapidly growing index of
original material. With a wealth of experience between them,
they’re a joy to watch and listen to. This energetic 5 piece
from Cambridge and Leicester are currently assembling their 4th
album. “Double Bind”. It’s a mix consisting of their favourite
original material with a couple of cracking covers thrown in for
good measure. Watch this Space!
Writing and playing
their own Blues, Blues Rock, plus a little something in between,
Southbound are heavily influenced by a heady mix of Blues,
Southern Rock, Latin Rock and Motown and the music that they
love listening to: Allman Brothers Band, Humble Pie, Santana, Ry
Cooder, Peter Green, Rolling Stones, and a huge variety of other
artists and bands.
These influences blend
into the Southbound sound that they hope is entertaining to both
listen to and watch live.
2016 has been an exciting
year for the guys, having just released their self-titled 7
track EP which was recorded with the brilliant Aidan Connell at
Goldmine and the hugely experienced genius Steve Honest at
Hackney Road Studios- they are proud to showcase a selection of
songs from the repertoire of material that they have been
writing and arranging together as a band.
They have tried to
replicate their live sound without too much studio trickery-
with most tracks recorded studio live, but they still manage to
achieve a warm rich and at times punchy sound that they were
Southbound love to
perform live and work hard at being entertaining, this year they
have been so lucky to be invited to perform at some truly iconic
London venues: Troubadour, Borderline, Half Moon Putney and the
100 Club Oxford Street, both on their own on their own and also
as support to some fantastic artists and bands.
Further afield they are
so proud to be performing at some exciting Blues Rhythm and Rock
festivals in 2016, Wolverhampton, Doncaster, and shortly this
summer, Durham, Cleethorpes and Harpenden on the same billing
with KING KING, KYLA BROX, LAWRENCE JONES, CLIMAX BLUES BAND,
TOM SEALS to name but a few- exciting times for the guys!.
21 year old Joe’s influences range from
Blues, Rock, into Soul with a hint of Folk and Country. His own
material takes up a good chunk, but everything else has the Joe
Anderton style stamped all over. With a bunch of experienced
guys in his band… it’s fresh; psychedelically serious!
Bristol based Elles
Bailey hasn't been dubbed a 'Blues Princess' for no reason. This
young Bristolian cuts right against the grain in so many ways,
that’s probably why she’s such a rapidly rising star in the
British music scene. Her husky toned, lived-in voice sounds like
she drinks Jack Daniels neat from the bottle and has a 60-a-day
habit, was caused by a serious illness when she was three
causing her throat to almost close up!
Nowadays Elles and her
band (made up of some of Bristol’s brightest and finest) are
currently tearing up the UK and European scene, scoring raves
reviews at every place they play from Bristol to Berlin, with
energy packed hi-octane performances. That trademark gravelly
voice providing the lead.
She is backed in the
studio by well known producer Brian Banks (of Michael Jackson,
Lionel Richie collaboration) and Elles is certainly headed for
big things. And rightly so, this captivating, hard-working
songstress mixes the soul of the blues & blends of country with
a contemporary edge, featuring meaningful and personal lyrics,
big anthemic choruses and smooth blends of pop
sensibilities. Her songs showcase her amazing vocal talent and
her band’s incredible musicianship. She has been featured
numerous times in print and on radio, had one of her songs used
on an iShares advert and has been steadily building a dedicated
following from the sensational live performances.
Her last EP features
Spencer Ludwig on the second track ‘Heart Go Oooh’. Ludwig,
plays trumpet for the LA band Capital Cities, who had a top ten
hit with their single ‘Safe and Sound’ and have just finished
opening for Katy Perry on her Prismatic Tour.
Elles had a busy 2015,
releasing her ‘Who am I to me EP’ and touring the UK and Europe
in January, February and March then playing the summer festival
circuit, and doing a mini tour in October. 2016 is set to be
even businer - She has currently just finsihed an extensive
tour of Europe taking the south of the UK, Holland, Belgium,
Germany and Austria, finisging on home town soil with a slot at
The Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival.
As well as writing and touring her own music Elles actively
supports new talent in the music industry. She has just taken a
post as Head of Production & Host of Positively Talented, the
newest station brought to you by Noel Edmonds, part
of his PositivityRadio.World. Positively Talented provides a
global stage for singers, musicians, producers and writers who
want to break into the tightly controlled music industry.
Broadcasting 24/7 around the world Positively Talented aims to
showcase and playlist the finest “unsigned’ & “undiscovered”
performers alongside more world renowned artists. For more
information, to hear the station or to submit music please head
to Positively Talented.
Grizzly first gained
wider recognition as front man for Grizzly and the Grasshoppers.
Based in Hants/Surrey, he has been touring all over the south
of England for the past several years appearing with the band,
and as a solo artist, at pubs, clubs, art centres and festivals
incl Weyfest, Labyrinth Roots & Blues, Rhythmtree, Boomtown,
Henry`s Little Big Gig, Chilled in a Field,
Lowdefest, WonkyDonk, Guildford Beer Festival, Winchester Ale
Festival, Eat Drink Bristol Festival, to name just a few.
raw vocals and original music ranges from folk songs to
foot-stomping roots & blues tunes that keep his loyal followers
coming back for more. Featured instruments include, Weissenborn
lap slide and electric lap steel guitars, acoustic
guitar, Dobro, stomp box, djembe and harmonica.
Rainbreakers express an
undeniable influence from the sounds of the 60's and 70's, with
contemporary artists also having a huge impact of the group's
sound. When moulded together this creates a timeless spirit that
weaves between the borders of rock, pop, blues and soul.
Since the release of
their debut EP ‘Blood Not Brass’ in 2015, the four-piece from
Shropshire have acquired critical acclaim. This has given the
band the leverage and momentum to sustain a dominant presence
among the circuit.
Coupled with their
fervent live performance, Rainbreakers have acquired global and
national press. The Blues Magazine have featured the band’s
music on numerous occasions, while Blues Matters has given
nothing but positive words towards the release, highlighting
their adaptable musicality in combining the old with the new.
Passionate to deliver
authenticity, the band have sustained an honest and ever growing
following through a relentless desire to perform. This has seen
them play stages such as London’s famous 100 Club to The Great
British Rock and Blues Festival, which saw them win a spot on
Centre Stage in 2017.
Rainbreakers have no
intention of slowing down and 2016 is already shaping up to be a
busy year for the band.
The Ryk Mead Band, are
indeed a blues band but by definition a lot more. A Stunning
Power Blues, Jazz, Rock Trio.
Through playing many different styles of music it has always
been the case that the blues has had a deep influence on
whatever type of material I’ve played. As time progressed, so
did the inclination to select the more obscure and less trodden
path of song and material I wanted to play.
It's hard to say whether
this is my influence on the other members of the band or if the
others have joined because they feel the same about the way
music has influenced them. Whatever the case my band has
developed a style of its own.
When i play live the set
may change from night to night. We might suddenly change an
arrangement or change direction at any moment within a song. The
basis of the song stays the same but things change, imagination
and feel for the moment take over; something new is created. Not
even the guy’s in the band know when it's coming. This creates a
tension and excitement that means things evolve and develop
night by night. With hard work it becomes possible. This makes
every gig potentially electrifying and new.
Ryk Mead, singer/guitarist, songwriter, Musical Director; Heart
and soul of the band. A confirmed guitar virtuoso, started a
gigging career on stage in the late 60s, touring in Germany from
October 1969, he has built a reputation on solid experience
gained alongside some of the worlds famous names, such as: Dave
Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Annie Lennox, Alison Moyet, The Pretty
Things, Steve Waller (Manfred Man's Earth Band), Paul Fox and
Dave Ruffy (The Ruts), Elmer Gantry (Stretch / Alan Parsons
Project) Beverley Martyn (partner of former icon John Martyn)
and a host supporting musicians from the professional arena.
Working through many styles and genres, as professionals often
do, Ryk has paid his dues and now has a world of experience to
draw on. But if you listen you will hear in all these styles the
heart of the blues.
native Londoner is performing all over the world, from China to
the United States. Recently appeared in the USA as supporting
act for Willy Nelson, and in Europe often touring France.