An all-day music event to raise funds for
the newly-formed BRITISH BLUES ARCHIVE
Things kicked off at 2pm with four brilliant bands, a solo act and a DJ, followed by a jam from 8pm - 10.30pm. For a full description, see Stevie King's review below.
A message from Blues Archive founder, Peter Harvie:
" What a great day it was! A huge thank you to those who helped set it up and a humungus thank you to the bands. Stevie King deserves special mention for organising it and for being our MC.
I have been swamped with emails and facebook notices saying how terrific the event was. Personally I was blown away by the musicianship. John O'Leary, Tim Aves & WOLFPACK, Mike 'Dr Blue' McKeon, Paul Garner & Friends, The Untouchables and Ian McCann all gave us an experience I will always remember - a special day! "
The Coach & Horses rocked to the sound of Blues as it never has before, thanks to the wealth of home-grown talent who came out to play for the British Blues Archive at the first Blues Legacy Festival. All our performers generously provided their time, energy, and equipment free for the benefit of the Archive, and we thrilled to an entire afternoon and evening of the best Blues Britain has to offer, kicking off with a set from the legendary Savoy Brown harpmeister JOHN O'LEARY.
John's acknowledged as one of the finest Blues-harp players in the country, and it was a tremendous honour for a FABGOL and friends to be asked to accompany him. With Bossman Terry Duggan on bass, Marc Turner depping for Reg on drums and Steve Taylor sitting in on keyboards, the C&H House Band was at full fighting strength, and under John's relaxed leadership I'm proud to say they excelled themselves. With Mr O'Leary's soaring harp at the helm we worked through some classic Junior Wells-style Chicago Blues to the enthusiastic appreciation of the audience, and if they enjoyed listening to it half as much as we enjoyed playing it, then they must have had a whale of a time! John, many thanks for a fabulous performance, and for letting us be part of it.
Next up was our old friend, Essex Blues personality and DJ TIM AVES, with his exciting new band WOLFPACK. Founded on the reliable Rockin' Armadillos rhythm section of Paul "Lazy" Lester (drums) and Rob "Tank" Barry (bass), the band features Hokie Joint's award-winning young guitarist Joel Fisk and takes its inspiration from the songs of Howlin' Wolf. They don't stop there, though, and with Tim at full throttle and Mr. Fisk sounding magnificent through my Marshall Plexi, hem hem, they treated our crowd to a dynamic version of Kim Wilson's Full Time Lover, Doyle Bramhall's Life By The Drop and Tim's own rousing Robert Johnson's Shoes in a powerhouse set of high-octane Blues and boogie that had our crowd baying for more. Thanks, guys, for coming all the way from Burnham-on-Crouch to rock this house.
Accompanying himself with guitar and harmonica, jam regular MIKE McKEON, from local heroes Dr. Blue & The Prescription, gave us an acoustic interlude, playing songs from his solo album "Heaven Bound", including the poignant title track and the nostalgic Rocking Chair. Mike did a great job of geeing up our audience, getting them to quieten down and listen to the more reflective songs, then encouraging them to sing along with his uptempo closer Doing Good Business. Nicely done, Mike, and see you Wednesday at the jam. Thanks for being part of our celebrations.
Unable to perform with his band due to prior commitments, young New Zealander PAUL GARNER compensated us by bringing along his regular drummer Jason Ribiero and star keyboard player Eric Ranzoni - a man who's played behind Mud Morganfield and Otis Grand. Bassplayer Costa Tancredi couldn't make it, but fortunately Paul didn't cry "Is there a bassist in the house?" or dozens would have been trampled in the rush - and that would've just been by me! With Eric's left hand providing the bass, the trio were just getting comfortably into their third number, then some idiot turned out the lights. And the amps. And the keyboard. Jam Roadie Wayne Mills came to the rescue to re-route the power and they picked up where they'd left off in a set that included Paul's Louisiana Blues and Eric's lovely audience-participation version of Little Red Rooster. These are musicians par excellence and great performers too, and we're very flattered to have them supporting the Archive. Many thanks, fellows.
Last up we had a bunch of guys most of whom I remember from the old Bishop's Blues Club at the Half Moon on Stortford, they're now one of the most popular Blues acts in London and appearing regularly at Camden's Blues Kitchen and Islington's Round Midnight. Nattily dressed in hats & spats, sporting a sparkly guitar and an upright bass, meet THE UNTOUCHABLES, whose set is a virtual "Greatest Hits Of Chicago Blues" with numbers from Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Magic Sam, Jimmie Rogers and John Lee Hooker. Colourful and lively, they play Blues as it was intended - for dancing - and only their names have been changed to protect the innocent. Vocalist Keith Parker introduced bassist Paul Green as "Chuck", drummer Malcolm Buckland as "Eddie" and guitarist Peter Ellison as "Sneaky Pete, the Rocking Rabbi"! Well, a rose by any other name would still rock the joint just as much guys, so thanks for putting your weight behind the Archive, it's greatly appreciated.
And indispensable to the proceedings was DJ IAN McCANN, editor of Record Collector Magazine, who covered all our changeovers by spinning some of the most brilliant Blues and Soul tracks all night. Special thanks to Ian's mag for sponsoring our little shindig, and to his art department for producing all our lovely posters…and of course there was still the evening Jam for us to look forward to !
So it behooves me to name and acclaim the gents who made the night memorable by calling...
The Roll of Honour:
Yours Truly sang a few, downed a few, finally relaxed a bit, and a good time was had by all.
To close, let's not forget the unsung heroes of the whole venture: Peter Harvie, the man behind the British Blues Archive project; his hardworking wife Tina; our Jam's own Terry and Vera Duggan; our researcher Ernie King; Jam Roadie Wayne; Webmaster Ken Cumberlidge; old uncle Tom Cobley and all. This is just the beginning for the British Blues Archive, so watch this space for further developments!
We now have an mp3 copy of the interview that Peter Harvie and Stevie King did on Tim Aves's radio show "The Blues Is Back". You can find it HERE - or you can visit the new British Blues Archive section of our navigation menu. You'll find it under "Why I SIng The Blues".