Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically. The third night of the first headline tour was a phenomenal success but as Stevie Westwood said, tonight is not about one band as he praised the two acts that set  The tunnels alight for the Headliners.  Opening the night local band Flowerpot and then Mollie Marriott, live music doesn’t get much better.

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyFlowerpot, an all-women outfit have been gaining the momentum of attention by opening for acts visiting Bristol and headlining their own shows. This young band full of raw energy had seven numbers to showcase their own brand of grungy, punk-driven rock.  The music was not hewn from a particular vein of rock. The band had their own sound and energy that flowed from the classy drumming from Jess which defined the shape of the music that allowed Morgan on Bass pick up the rhythm and rock as her flowing and at times revolving hair orchestrated her sound. Pulling the sound together Ellie on guitar provided the melodic chords and riffs for Steph on vocals to hook onto. Up front Steph on vocals controlled the band and had the audience captured as they listened to the lyrics that had something to say as we heard about snails, loser girl and a debut of a new number Bruised.  After their raw, eclectic and blistering set, we were left not battered and bruised or trailing along at a snail’s pace but ready for the next two acts as The Tunnels filled and the temperature raised by Flowerpot.

 

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyMollie Marriott with her critically acclaimed album Truth Is A Wolf was the next band. Quick change round and the band was on stage. A complete contrast to Flowerpot. The raw intensity was replaced by a softer more malleable sculptured rock. Mollie’s voiced captivated with its purity from the first note of her opening number Run With The Hounds with the organ looped in so the full sound achieved on the album can be heard live.   Tonight surrounded by her band Mollie warmed the crowded venue with her winning smile and a vocal range that captured the depth of the lyrics and topics covered.

The rhythm section was solid and the lead guitar giving Mollie the chords, melody and hooks for her vocals to soar.  Early in the set, she slipped in a new number Nobody To Love and if this is what is going to be on the follow-up album I am counting down the days. One of the highlights of the too short set was Broken, the power, emotion and passion shined from Mollie’s face through to the vocal delivery.  We all connected with the feeling of being broken after a failed relationship and hurting people close to us. In this case Mollie’s daughter and her relationship with her.   In the set was title track Truth is a  Wolf and the rockier number King Of Hearts later in the set sleazier, dirty and filled the venue with another side of multifaceted Mollie.  Vocals coloured the stage along with a band that flexed its muscles as she blended rock with jazz, blues and soul a sonic landscape full of texture and tone. Dressed in Black with White guitars and bass the monochromatic visuals contrasted with the music.  Mollie has a famous surname as the daughter of Steve. Tonight she conquered the venue, with her own name Mollie Marriott, and an act to see live. Her voice is better live than in the studio. The voice is warmer and more personal as the lyrics on the numbers take on emotional meaning. She was in total control of the stage as her final number Control finished an accomplished set and we were now in the mood for Bad Touch.

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyThe excitement fizzed like a can of shaken pop as Bad Touch exploded on the stage on their first headlining appearance in Bristol. The crowd were hot for their spectacular feel-good sound captured on the album Truth Be Told. We were definitely not disappointed as they opened with Take Me Away. Yes, we were taken away on the rollercoaster of a band on fire playing the music they love to an audience that was up to be given the Bad Touch treatment from this effervescent five-piece.  The first all-male band of the evening and they knew the audience as already hot for live music so no warm-up numbers for the band they were straight in with high voltage music with a ringing sting that excited The Tunnels tonight. The set definitely elevated them to the deserved headline status one this tour with the hefty heavy/southern rock influences and bags of attitude this is a band that knows how to party. All the musicians understand their role and play to each other’s strengths. With the power of a rhythm section that lays now a depth of sound that grounds the sound as George Drewry’s drumming is timely, powerful and into this he mixes when required a subtleness, a gentle touch. Joining his rhythmic tones is Michael Bailey on bass with his hair flowing, and moving in time with the deep southern hot chords. The guitarist adds the next layer that smarts and stings cajole and weeps as Rob Glendinning takes the lead with stylish slide or plectrum lead guitar work that is simply stupendous. Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seekings adds with top-drawer rhythm guitar work filling in and drawing out the guitar. This quartet is loud and full of imposing attitude and sound. How do you top that? Easy add Stevie Westwood into the vocals as vocals frontman and the glossiest, curly mane of hair and that cheeky waxed moustache, He steps into the frontman role with a swagger, style and talent. Phenomenal!

We have the musicians on stage, full of vim and swagger now for the music. They delivered with a mix of old and new we all were touched with their majestic interpretation of Rock N’ Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majesticallyroll Norfolk style tonight. The set list was the perfect blending of fast, faster furious and the breather we all need. Not once did the band lose control of the sound they are so good at delivering. Stevie’s vocals perfect for the genre and the quality of the backing vocals take the sound to another level. We shared a Sweet Little Secret with the band and delighted as the guitarist played off each other both with their confident cool, arrogant swagger that fills the stage with a six-string punch.  Highlights – every number played. Those that stood out Wise Water and great to hear Down one of their earliest numbers that morphed seamlessly into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic Can’t You See. Down it doesn’t appear on any album must be a contender for the much anticipated follow up to Truth Be Told. A definite keeper for the forthcoming album is the new song aired tonight  I Belong that makes full use of Rob’s ace slide work.  Something Someone took the tempo down with an acoustic ballad as the Stevie and Rob duet and then the band return picking up the beat and building the energy for the last few numbers of the set. We were rocking and singing along to a perennial favourite My Mother Told Me. With one of their signature tracks Take  Your Time they ruled it as the favourites flowed with Outlaw and closing with the might The Mountain.  What a great atmosphere generated as we wanted the band to play on this was a night to remember. We had two more numbers as the encore-closing with the single from the album 99% that got them noticed by Planet Rock and others closing the night leaving us on a high. But before that, a special moment as Mollie Marriott returned to duet with Stevie and the band on Baby Get it On Tina Turner’s classic given the Westwood/Marriott treatment. What a night! Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

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 Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

 

 

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

 

 

 

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

 

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightFirst opening the night of live music The Blue Horizon, the Weston-super-Mare band the rocks out on the blues that always attracts attention. Tonight, the trio of Iain Ecclestone the charismatic frontman whose guitar sparkles lightning up the vocals. The Rhythm section is the power base provided by bassist Ed Gerlach and Josh Armitage behind the drums.  The set was a mix of originals and covers re-affirming the heavy seventies infused blues that make the horizon blue. They are gaining a reputation that is justified as laid down on one of the Rory Gallagher covers. They set the scene laying down the energy that was going to define the evening. Blue Horizon with local support provided the music and brightened the evening to get a Wednesday night in Bristol off to a flying start.

 

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Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightShort break, anticipation was high as everyone in the audience wanted to hear Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight. Straight off Crow Black Chicken gave a full-on great show, the slide work was amazing; the sound was rough, raw, and distinctive. This approach continued for the next two hours Crow Black Chicken was on stage. The second trio of the evening showing the depth and breadth of music styles influenced by the blues. Throughout the set, there was the innovative use of pedals by bassist Steven McGrath, who provided some wicked sounds coming from his four-string bass combined with the drumming that shaped the texture from Gev Barrett. The yin and yang of Christy O’Halon’s stunning guitar and Steven’s bass balance the sound.  Christy’s vocals are clear in the blues storytelling tradition and every song from their albums and carefully selected covers gave the night the depth of southern-infused vibe. Crow Black Chicken is from deepest Southern Ireland and the charm and wit interweaves the songs. The music was the focus and they insured we were awash with the distinctive sound, the trademark of the band.

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightThe songs chosen were stunning, the band played tight never added more than was necessary. The sound flowed there was no competition this is a band that is in harmony with the delivery pulled together with Christy’s great voice.  From their latest album Pariah Brothers, a selection of the numbers was showcased. Anyone who didn’t have a copy was in the queue to purchase one at the end. These included Jonestown, inspired by Jim Jones a cult figure and Deer Meat Unloaded a real hefty, loud rocky number of experiences on a Spanish Tour. The lyrics told the story we were all on tour with the band in Spain.  The vivid delivery of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Snake Farm was simple; another shining example of the band’s brilliance. They have fun playing music they love, the audience just wanted the party to go on this is finger licking spicy guitar music. Blues inspired music as they played a tribute to Jessie Mae, a blues woman from Texas that made her mark, as the song was introduced with a quip we should arm the Granny’s reflecting on the six shooters Jessie Mae always wore.

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightThis is a band that makes friends and keeps them. Loyal to the people who inspire them and the aptly named Pat McManus a musical tribute to the fellow Irishman.  The night of music that uplifted and flowed delighting everyone who was in the room. A great set of two hours was not enough we wanted more with energetic bounce the boys were back on stage with their version of John The Revelator. This was a really heavy dirty take on this blues classic. Wow, the music was majestic. Blues delivered with panache, charm and a great night that on a dark Wednesday night Crow Black Chicken came to Bristol and stamped their mark. We want you back sooner rather than later.

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Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Monday night in November heats up in Bristol as Simon McBride triumphantly ends this tour at The Tunnels. With the week full of quality live music, combined with a Monday night the turnout was respectable. That does not disguise the fact when a guitarist of this quality comes to town with his band it should be a sell-out every time, whatever the night whatever the weather. If you love guitar driven blues fused rock then and you haven’t seen Simon McBride you have missed a musician at the top of his game. He demonstrated this tonight with every chord, note, lick and riff as the music filled the venue. With Marty McCloskey behind the drums and bassist Dave Marks to kick up the fireworks, this is a trio that has power, attitude and control shaping the tempo and textures to create a wall of sound full of depth and interest.

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels Tonight, The Tunnels reverberated with stunning blues- rock that captured the classics, Simon’s back catalogue and a glimpse of the new on the long and patiently awaited next album. Tentatively promised tonight as next year-end of 2018 it will be a Christmas Album Simon quipped. As would often happen the rhythm section picked up the words as they played jingle bells with the band laughing. Last night of a six-month tour there was a mix of end-of-term party and the delight of playing live music to an appreciative audience.

The covers were special including Free’s, The Stealer with a great key change halfway through and wonderfully controlled powerful lead breaks. This was a foot-tapping joy. His version of Hendrix’s Little Wing was sublime the re-working made you listen to this oft-heard and covered classic. The timing was immense and when combined with the super tone of his signature PRS Guitar was sublime.

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels The new music was punchy with the formidable tone and guitar textures with strings bent and the vocals pulling the song along.  Change gave the rhythm section the opportunity to come to the fore with a bass display from Dave Marks that was full of rhythmic punch. As the bass was slapped, the bass guitar now dominated as we heard jazz, rock and blues melded in a reprise of delight. Then we had the duel between guitar and bass the energy flowed from the stage across the venue. Live music quality and fun.  A definite keeper and as the audience was quick to tell Simon a single from the next album, Show Me How To Love. What a cracking number live full of emotional integrity and up-lifting playing from all three musicians.

Every number played was special, go hear Simon McBride play live when he is next in town. The other numbers that stood out were So Much Love, with glimpses of Prog and more in this brilliant instrumental interlude. The real highlight of the night for many including myself was So Much Love and One More Try. These display the virtuosity of McBride’s guitar mastery. Don’t Be  A fool was a rousing finale with audience participation. This was party-time and fun with the band losing control of the audience as we repeated the lines to the beat of Marty’s drum.

Tonight Simon McBride conquered The Tunnels with the power of live music.

 

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

 

The Forum, a former Art Deco Cinema in Bath tonight is the backdrop for a Beth Hart Solo Concert. The lights dimmed and Beth strode onto the stage full of smiles and confidence. Her opening number was stunning setting the tone of the evening. Alone on the stage, she did not sit behind the Grand Piano but knelt on the stage and sung A Capella giving the audience a true taste of her incredible vocal talent. She greeted the audience, welcomed her sister sitting in the auditorium who had flown in from the States especially for the concert tonight.

 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum TonightThen with a grace, she sat behind the Grand Piano her first instrument of choice. Tonight without a band Beth was her own accompaniment choosing the instrument that suited the song, so we heard her play acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and electric piano as the evening progressed. We heard her version of Tom Waits Chocolate Jesus and by the third song in Beth had the audience entranced. We were hanging onto every note played and every word she sung and the openness with which she shared her bad times that were at times painful to hear, this was not self-pity but gave context to the songs. Many of the experiences the audience could personally relate to. Beth Hart’s music stripped back, with the lyrics laid bare was an emotional journey for everyone tears were shed on stage and in the auditorium tonight. This is music that connects a great performer with the audience.

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum TonightThe frailty of trying to set yourself free from abuse, it was as if while singing the title song from her album Better Than Home alone on a stage behind the Grand Piano we all experienced a cathartic experience, as the vocal crescendo rose up over the piano in a beautiful art deco setting. Music has power and Beth harnessed it tonight majestically. St Teresa was the next Hart classic sung with pure emotion, the words flowed like a blessing for everyone in the room tonight, touching our inner soul healing hurts and uniting us.

Stepping out from behind the piano with a huge smile she picked up the acoustic sharing family tales and how Scott and her bought an affectionate wreck resulting in a song written in his honour The Ugliest House On the Block from her Bang Bang Boom Boom album.  The Boogieman with soft gentle guitar, calming almost a lullaby despite the dark words. Closing the number with whistling that was sublime, eerie and stunning as the song closed the silence was filled once again with rousing applause. Third instrument of the evening, acoustic bass for Spiders In My Bed from her first album Immortal. The inspiration from the effects of sleep deprivation being wired and tired.

Now a change of tone, that moving from instrument to instrument achieved as she sat behind the electric piano. We heard how after her first career crashed, she was ashamed of the drugs, drink and failure. She had screwed up everything. “For the first time since I was four” she told us she stopped playing the piano. Then she wrote Leave The light On emotional, Beth was wrung out, the tempo was warm with a gospel feel. Tears were spilt with the emotional beauty. Then the mood lighted with Coca-Cola, summertime, beach and boys. Inspired from when the younger ten-year-old Beth thought boys would taste of Coca-Cola! What a set of tubes Beth Has. Warm, sultry, angry, soft and beguiling shape the highest to the lowest notes.  The voice rose up to the top of the vaulted dome as the theatre reverberated with the pure joy of hearing Beth Hart’s voice tonight.

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum TonightWith a wave, a smile and thank you for being a lovely audience Beth left the stage, the audience erupted standing on our feet cheering clapping shouting for more. We were not disappointed Beth obliged. With another four songs from behind the Grand Piano. Starting with Tell Her You Belong To Me from Better Than Home, with more tales, some laughs and the inspiration behind Love Is A Lie when Mark left her eighty-two-year-old Mum for another woman!

Two hours of glorious entertainment and Beth left the stage we wanted more as the applause continued as the house lights went up. A Very special evening in the company of Beth Hart and her wonderful voice.

Many of the numbers were taken from her critically acclaimed album Fire on the Floor they worked perfectly in this setting. Beth Hart’s solo performance was special. Interweaving her performance were songs that reflect her life as her career grows from strength to strength the second time around.

Tonight, Beth Hart at The Forum captivated the audience. Loving every moment Beth was on stage. The music was stripped back, exposed at times showing vulnerability, then brutal and beautiful the link between all the emotions Beth shared tonight was heartfelt honesty.

 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

 

 

Missing the voice already? Not long to wait. Beth is back in the UK April 2018 with her band Check out the dates below and book your tickets.

Beth Hart plus Her Band Tours UK Spring 2018

DUBLIN VICAR STREET  – TUESDAY 10th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: +353 1 775 5800
BOOK ONLINE: Ticket Master or Beth Hart Website 

IPSWICH REGENT THEATRE – THURSDAY 12th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01473 433 100
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

BEXHILL DE LA WARR PAVILION – SATURDAY 14th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01424 229 111
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

NOTTINGHAM CONCERT HALL – SUNDAY 15th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0115 989 5555
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

OXFORD NEW THEATRE – WEDNESDAY 18th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0844 871 3020
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

FOLKESTONE LEAS HALL – THURSDAY 19th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01303 228 600
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

CARDIFF ST DAVIDS HALL – SATURDAY 21st APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0292 087 8444
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website  

CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE  – TUESDAY 24th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01223 357 851
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

BLACKPOOL OPERA HOUSE – THURSDAY 26th APRIL 2018

VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01253 625 252
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

HULL CITY HALL – FRIDAY 27th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01482 300300
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

READING HEXAGON – MONDAY 30th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0118 960 6060
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

PORTSMOUTH GUILDHALL – TUESDAY 1st MAY 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 023 9387 0200
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

SOLD OUT LONDON ROYAL ALBERT HALL SOLD OUT – FRIDAY 4th MAY 2018
PLUS SPECIAL GUEST
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0207 589 8212
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or Royal Albert Hall
or   Beth Hart Website 

CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL – SATURDAY 5th MAY 2018
TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY 3 NOVEMBER 
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01242 850 270 
BOOK ONLINE: Cheltenham Jazz Festival or   Beth Hart Website 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedKenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed tonight. Opening the cauldron of fiery guitar curling around the blues, we have Laurence Jones Band. Tonight over six numbers Laurence and his new(ish) band demonstrated a maturity the love of rock infused with blues and so much more. Tonight his guitar cried and fought off any ghouls and demons in the room. This you have come to expect of this young British Gunslinger who has been wooing the crowds for many a year despite his youth. Tonight, at The Tramshed Laurence’s vocals came of age adding to the act as he played a mix of numbers, including two tracks from his latest album The Truth – Give Me Your Time & Never Good Enough, and they were definitely rawer rockier. The rhythm combination of Phil Wilson & Greg Smith works really well creating an imaginative and solid foundation for Laurence to soar from. The addition of Bennett Holland’s lively keys gives the band an additional range of tones and structure for the numbers. Closing with Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s Classic All Along The Watchtower. We had had a fizzing and bubbling helping of live music the band played tight and the music excited. This is modern melodic rock hardened blues this is a band that connects with the music and are enjoying playing for the audience. It was appreciated.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedShort break as the stage was rearranged and the main event started as the stage darkened the band took their place to cheers of anticipation. The lights went up as the first of many sweet guitar chords was struck from Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s Stratocaster and resounded around the Tramshed. We were off on a journey of blues guitar extravaganza with some rock, hints of country and a very large swirling dollop of Kenny Wayne Shepherd magic.

The lead breaks were scintillating Kenny certainly makes the Strat bend to his fingers demands as it weeps, curls around tones of joy and pain. Tonight the setlist was a mix of old and new with six tracks from his current acclaimed album Lay It On Down. Of the six numbers, Diamonds and Gold stood out. It was a superb and stellar highlight among the many that the band shared with us tonight. The ballad Hard Lesson Learned with Noel’s vocals also caught the ear and raised the joy of the audience. SRV’s House Is  Rockin definitely got the Tramshed bouncing and rocking with pure delight.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

As Kenny introduces the band in the absence of Chris Clayton, for this tour sees the return of Sylvester “Sam” Bryant (toured with the band in the 1990’s); bassist Kevin McCormick, Joe Krown presiding over the keys and the mighty vocals of Noah Hunt. A marvellous live version of Baby Got Gone from his latest album, they really have this number captured for the energy of a live performance, with its emotional lead break simply breathtaking. Kenny inserted into the set a number from his side project The Rides from their 2013 album Can’t Get Enough; Talk To Me Baby a superb re-shaping of this Elmore James’ blues classic.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedKenny Wayne Shepherd closed the night with some blues, slow and full of authentic Chicago Blues with a medley of BB King numbers and then Shotgun Blues. What an evening full of exploration of the power of the six-stringed Stratocaster. Tonight we saw three forms including his signature guitar and what tone KWS pulled from the black beast. The lights dimmed, silence fell on the stage as the band left. The noise though was reaching crescendo point as they stamped their feet and demanded more. The band did not resist. Back on stage with two more numbers his signature tune Black on Blue followed by the second Hendrix of the night.  Both acts ended with Hendrix, and so appropriate for tonight we were entertained by KWS, Voodoo Chile and phenomenal playing.

From the first few notes the temperature in the Tramshed definitely rose, there was that feeling of electric joy and anticipation that only live music brings. When you hear a band you love to play in a venue near to where you live, welcome to Wales KWS; come back very soon there will always be a warm welcome for the band and the music that you showcased tonight. By the end of the evening, the cauldron was boiling with energised musical magic on Halloween in Cardiff.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in Wales

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in WalesGov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in Wales. Friday night was alive as the energy of the Mule filled The Tramshed in Cardiff with over two hours of music that fills your soul. Tonight with the recent release we were expecting tracks from Revolution Come Revolution Go but what else with the versatility of Warren Haynes would the band produce tonight? Joining vocalist & guitarist Warren drummer Matt Abs; bassist Jorgen Carlsson providing rhythmic grooves and the fourth member Danny Louis behind keys and with a trombone in reserve.  The Tramshed was buzzing with excitement many had not seen the band live and the anticipation was hot, as Gov’t Mule stood on a Welsh stage for the first time.

The show started with a series of revolutionary inspired musical snippets warming the stage as Warren picked up his twelve-string and started the night of a musical pleasure dome of a journey with Railroad Boy. What a powerful number to start the show we all knew as Warren asked how we all were that we were fabulous let the show take us on a musical adventure.  We were taken back to the second studio album Dose released in 1998 and forward to the latest in the first set.  The whole set was spell-binding the interaction between the band mesmerizing. The lead breaks from Warren sparkled with interest, meaty chords were sat next to delicate riffs as tones and textures mixed up. We never knew what was coming next, the only certainty in a Gov’t Mule live show. The whole set was a crescendo of highlights with fabulous instrumental breaks and vocals that pulled out the depth of the words being sung by Warren.

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in WalesEvery number was stretched out and explored revitalised the studio versions with a raw energy. For me two numbers stood out Gordon James from the By A Thread album, the words have a ringing power. Personal and a story of a life sung with tonal passion and empathy.  Plus the title track Revolution Come… Revolution Go played powerfully full of revolutionary intent. Highly charged music that set The Tramshed on fire. Now we knew why there was a Trombone on stage as Danny added the sound of brass that vibrated across the venue. Now we were in the zone of the Mule from the front to the back of the balcony. The set closed with two more numbers from the album. As the first hour and a half in their company flew by, the last number of part one may have been Stone Cold Rage. No-one was in a rage we were all high on the mighty drug of music played live with verve passion and style.

Short break as friends caught up and celebrated set one and anticipated what was going to be the second helping. No-one was going to be disappointed as the next hour and a half in the company of Gov’t Mule got underway as Pink Floyd’s One Of These Days was given the treatment by the band.

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in WalesThe second set upped the tempo, the atmosphere was growing the venue was hot.  Warren was true to this when he said this is our first time in Wales and we are going to give you a flavour of the Mule’s music. They did dipping into ten of their albums with some tasty covers and hints of other pieces as well. With Monkey Hill ending with The Beatles, I Want You (She’s So Heavy) Superb!!!

The inner rock of the Mule displayed in all its glory with Tastes Like Wine as the number starts slow and then builds and builds with guitar intensity and urgency.  We were rocking on a Friday night as we returned to the latest album with Travelling Tune.  We were travelling tonight on a journey as guitars were changed the tone developed and we explored the inner depths of the music. Next up Mr Man with the riff of Highway Star as a mental teaser to make sure we were listening and alert to the intricacies of the music.

All too soon the clocking ticking was catching up as we heard Blind Man In The dark, an instrumental from Band of Gypsys Machine Gun and back to Blind Man In the Dark. What a band the timing, the clever additions the gentle licks this is music that makes you glad to be at The Tramshed on a Friday night.

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in WalesThe crowd cheered, roared and demanded more. We were all entranced as the crew bought on another amp who was going to be joining the band? It was mighty Bernie Marsden who always delights whenever he plays in Wales. The two numbers were magical first, Bobby Bland’s Ain’t No Love in The Heart of The City a Whitesnake/Bernie classic. Closing this truly memorable night of music with The Allman Brothers Band cover Blues Sky. How awesome to hear the number live in Cardiff.  Two legends, geniuses of modern music jamming the night way brilliant it just doesn’t get better than this. Gig of the year, highly likely in my opinion.

Gov’t Mule live is special as they weave their magic, Jamband, Rock and Blues meld and colour the music, with shuffles and grooves and the heat of Southern Rock. Who cares how they are defined this is jolly good music, entertaining, exciting music you want to hear. Time is suspended in The Tramshed tonight, realities are switched off all that matters is the moment and music.

Set List
Part 1
Railroad Boy – (By A Thread 2009)
Thorazine Shuffle – (Dose 1998)
Banks of the Deep – (The Deep End Vol 1 2001)
Time To Confess – (The Deep end Vol 2 2002)
Thelonious  Beck – (Dose 1998)
Gordon James – (By A Thread 2009)
Revolution Come Revolution Go – (Revolution Come … Revolution Go 2017)
Dreams & Songs – (Revolution Come … Revolution Go 2017)
Stone Cold Rage – (Revolution Come … Revolution Go 2017)

 

Part 2
One Of These Days – (Dark Side of The Mule 2014)
Fool’s Moon – (The Deep End Vol 1 2001)
Monkey Hill – (Gov’t Mule 1995)
Funny Little Tragedy – (Shout 2013)
Tastes Like Wine – (Life Before Insanity 2000)
Travelling Tune – (Revolution Come … Revolution Go 2017)
Mr Man – (Deja Voodoo 2004)
Lola – (Deja Voodoo 2004)
Blind Man In the Dark – – (Dose 1998)
Machine Gun

Encore (With special Guest Bernie Marsden)
Ain’t No Love In the Heart Of The City
Blue Sky

 

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in Wales

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

 

The Muni is back open for gigs. The crowds outside just show how popular the venue still is and the two acts on tonight Sari Schorr and The Engine Room opening for the mighty Walter Trout.  Whenever Sari Schorr steps on a stage she brings a vibrant dramatic energy.  What a voice! What a band that surrounds her! As the Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightSari Schorr, the perfect act to warm up the crowded venue. Always a dramatic performer she delivered today with her unique interpretation of the blues.  The music and energy are modern the story behind the numbers is true to the traditions of the blues.  The set of eight tracks many from her critically acclaimed album Force of Nature combined with classy covers. Having the sensational Innes Sibun on guitar gives the band depth and feel. Tonight he was playing a Wudtone, a guitar made by a local company. He laid on every layer of tonal quality and texture from the innovative hand-built guitar.   As the crowds lapped up the virtuoso guitar playing The Engine Room ensure that Sari will always stand out from the crowd with her amazing vocal range and control. The inclusion of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll gave Innes the chance to have lots of fun. This is blues jamming that will always animate an audience hungry for live music.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightSari’s own numbers have deep lyrics reflecting her own experiences and hardships. She explores the love of her Pit Bulls. Numbers about the power of addiction, opening with Ain’t Got No Money about greed, addiction to money and later on Aunt Hazel and heroin addiction. Closing the set with the Leadbelly number she has made her signature song Black Betty. As the set closed the audience was left breathless, invigorated and the magic of live music bringing us all together.

 

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

 

Short break and the applause was rapturous before a note was played as Walter Trout stepped onto the stage. As ever Walter the great showman held the audience in the palm of his hand as his cream Fender Strat took us into the world of Walter’s Blues. Opening with the Johnny Winter classic I’m A Bluesman, the tone, mood and vibe were set. Walter can fit more notes into a crescendo with skill and timing to makes his guitar leap out and grab your ears.  Walter Trout is not about fast and furious for the sake of it. He plays with passion, control with changes in tempo and feel. He is from his heart and inner soul the consummate man of the blues. Demonstrated with a slow blues number in A minor. What a wonderful version of the mighty Albert Collin’s Cold Cold Feeling. Under Walter’s dexterous fingers he magic’s up a pure connection to the original whilst making this a pure gold classic Walter playing live moment.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightBlues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightWalter let the guitar do the talking as the band played, no set list this was going with the flow of the evening. With a short introduction about his latest album, We’re All In This Together with a phalanx of guest friends from the world of modern blues. Tonight the guest was Innes Sibun rather than stepping into Joe Bonamassa shoes. Now a five-piece with two lead guitarists fireworks were promised and delivered, with a waterfall of shimmering blues fire.  Trout & Sibun tonight gave a spirited battle of guitars which was absolutely captivating. Superb live music. The venue was now hot with blues. As Innes left the stage he was replaced by Sari. The obvious number was Walter Trout’s Work No More. The number was on Sari’s album with Walter guesting. The chemistry between the guitar and vocals was intense.  Once again Andrew Ent joined Walter on the stage the power of his vocals rocked the rafters of the Muni.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightTwo of the numbers tonight were influenced by women in his life, His first wife with an old number as Walter explored the songs from his vast discography spanning twenty-eight albums.  The most moving number of the evening was Please Take me Home. The only number taken from Battle Scars. His heartfelt joy of being alive and how much he owes to the donor and the gritty determination of his wife Marie through the ordeal. The acoustic guitar from Andrew Elt made the number dramatic, poignant an emotional journey Walter and his family have been on.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightHis band was not left out as drummer Micheal Leasure was given the spotlight demonstrating what a powerhouse he is behind the music. Stepping out front was keyboardist Sammy Avila and his son Danny on Bass. The bass was deep with the strings bending under his will the Muni was rocking.

Throughout the set on every number Walter Trout was on top form, he fed off the audience and the audience gave back. This is blues that stirs your heart as everyone connects through the sound of live music.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightWalter loves playing in Wales, with a few Welsh words he had the crowd roaring as he said, Cymru am byth. ( Long Live Wales).  Once again as he did at the Tramshed last year he was fulsome in his praise for Wales’ forward thinking regarding Organ donation. In Wales, you have to opt out rather than opting into organ donation.

He left the stage the lights dimmed. The audience roared, taking up the chant Walter, Walter. In this heat, Walter returned to tumultuous applause for one more number. For me one of the many highlights of the evening was Prisoner of Dreams, capturing the life of a homeless woman and the words that have been washed away. No one wanted the night to end. Come back soon Walter, there will always be a warm welcome in the Valleys.

For many, the definition of Blues is playing with feeling. Tonight Walter, his band and guests all capture the feel. The River Taff flowed with the blues tonight in Pontypridd.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

 

Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana

Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana, Bristol.

Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana

 

 

Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana, Bristol.Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana. Who came outta the swamp? It had to be Big Boy Bloater and the Limits bringing Luxury Hobo to Bristol tonight. Opening the Friday live music delight was Ruzz Evans, flying solo tonight. His rockabilly guitar-fueled the energy. Creating that end of the week vibe. As he showcased numbers form his two albums with some spicy instrumentals.  Ruzz set the scene for Big Boy Bloater with his energetic mix of Rock n’ Roll, Bo Diddley and a twist of Country.

The room was full with a dark and atmospheric upstairs at The Louisiana, Bristol. Nothing subtle about these hard-edges hard-hitting blues. Bog Boy really got the crowd going with his unique interaction with the audience full of smiles, stories and the raising of his can with a hearty cheer.  A real gruff voice with lyrics that were as clear as a bell booming out. The Limits supporting provided a rhythmic base for the melodies of his guitar to fly. Creating a harmonious and heady mix of British R & B.

Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana, Bristol.Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana, Bristol.The drumming was superb from Matt Cowley, with a different drum set creating a distinctive and contemporary sound even with judicious use of a cowbell on the nearest thing to a title track of the current album Luxury Hobo Blues. The bassist Steve Oates add a throaty growl and rhythms that shaped the sound that was being created building the tension. Every note curling around the guitar of Big Boy Bloater.

Big Boy Bloater has a distinctive style. He exudes confidence as he explores the darker side of thinking. Never dampening the mood whether singing about murder or neurosis. This is due in no small part to his easy conversation with the audience sharing insights behind the numbers. With another song from Luxury Hobo. I Got The Feeling Someone’s Watching Me. He instills the gothic horror movie, with tension and the feeling that something is just about to happen. Great song, fantastic vibe live music that excites, intrigues and energises.

Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana, Bristol.

Now he may have a new album out early this year but the heart of the set was five new numbers. Forewarning his fans that another album is around the corner that is if these songs are representative going to be exciting with more Big Boy Bloater stories to be told.

A true story kicked this part of the set-off. Love and betrayal explored on She Didn’t Even Buy a Ticket. The drugs that keep us going are explored on Pills and on Unnaturally Charming a deep and heavy number with the slide that adds to the mood as we look into a murder’s mind. Then a highlight of the evening a wonderful shuffle with The Saturday Night Desperation Shuffle.

Time we were now deep in the clutches of the music. With Rocket Surgery a perfect way of addressing some technology gremlins we moved on to Robot Girlfriend.

Yes, Friday night we were Insanely Happy listening to the music that made you want to dance and smile. Far too soon it was the last song. Few minutes silence and then the encore It Came Outta The Swamp. What a highlight to leave us with. What a night of music to kick-start the weekend.

Now, this is live music and sometimes the band brings gremlins into the venue. Tonight BBB was beset with technology gremlins including his vintage amp deciding it needed a rest. The consummate professional, keeping the vibe going with quips and working through the issues. This did not dim the enthusiasm of the audience. This is live music we like the unexpected. Tonight, everybody went home happy having heard some brilliant contemporary blues-tinged R n’ B.

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Live Music Came Outta The Swamp to Play The Louisiana, Bristol.

Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight

Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight

Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight

 

 

Tonight The Tunnels welcomed Erja Lyytinen and her support band Red Butler to Bristol for the first and definitely not the last time. Tuesday night was blues night that filled the arches with music that was full of energy and played with style.

Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol TonightOpening tonight Red Butler with their new line-up that many in the audience had not had the opportunity to hear yet. Alex Butler, Mike Topp and Charlie Simpson are joined by Dan Spellman on vocals and guitar. With a change of vocalist, the dynamics of the band have definitely changed. The interactions between the four members on a cramped stage space was natural and full of energy that is the fuel for their rocky blues. With Dan as the vocalist adds a harder edge to their sound, which certainly suits the direction they took on Nothing To Loose. The set reflected this with the numbers taken predominately from the album. The new vitalized Red Butler tonight added to their skills some brilliant harmonization between Alex, Dan and Mike. The whole set was played with aplomb, the sound was very tight and the interplay between the guitarists was intuitive and worked well set against the rhythm section.

Calm Before The Storm was a highlight, they nailed it. Other highlights of a short set that showcased the band was Belly Of TheErja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight Blues, rearranged and sounds better with new vocalists adding a layer of drama. Crowd-pleasing cover of Bobby Bland’s Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City. With the rocky edge more akin to Bernie Marsden/Whitesnake version and sounds wonderful and the audience gladly added their voice to the chorus. Mike took the role of the wolf, complete with a mask for Big Bad Wolf, combined with the music adding to the live experience. A great set, the only pity was not more people had turned out on a Tuesday to hear blues rock at The Tunnels.

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Short break, change of sound man, Mikko Kiviniemi takes charge of the desk as Erja Lyytinen and her band take control of The Tunnels. For those familiar with the queen of the slide guitar, already familiar with her new direction on Stolen Hearts her current album provided anticipation for a night of full-on blues that flexes its muscles. Her music explores and captures the vibes of funk, prog rock and more. The energy flowed from the stage and across the venue. The band was determined that everyone was going to have fun and be left with a memory of musicianship that brought music alive.

 

The band provided the cascading backdrop of sound from which Erja could fly with her vocals and guitar. Tonight in control of Hammond and keys from the magical energised fingers of Harri Taittonen. Whilst the deep and sometimes dark rhythms were delivered by bassist Juha Verona and Kai Jokiaho on drums. A powerhouse captured in a quartet.  Erja the flying Fin with her sparkling Sapphire blue guitar and glass slide set the second half of the evening into a tumultuous celebration of the blues, a theme she returned to throughout the evening.

Despite the disappointing turnout Erja did not disappoint with a wonderful balance of authentic Blues, Blues Rock and ‘ProggishErja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight Rock’ showcasing why she is so popular and is gaining a fan base whenever she plays in the UK.  Her guitar work is impeccable, full of grace and style and her interaction with the audience is warm Erja Is the real deal. The set delivered was storming as they played the last gig of the current UK tour.

With numbers from Stolen Hearts including the title track that was a highlight with lots of joyous interaction and community singing for the chorus. The centre piece and the absolute highlight of the evening was Black Ocean. With deep driving blues textures, heavy riffs and rhythms reflecting the ocean swell dark and dangerous. Erja tonight bought prog-blues to Bristol. We loved it. Showing the depth and breadth of style across the album we had slow blues a thing of beauty as Slowly Burning curled around the arches. Then Rocking Chair the interaction between guitar and bass is immense. As Juha, on bass reflects the rocking beat of the Rocking chair. Live musical magic.

With a Ko Ko Taylor cover, full of slide blues that is rooted firmly in the original African source; and delightful instrumental solo from Erja as she showed the styles of the greats. A medley full of subtle changes and interest that was delivered with fun as she asked the audience if they knew of BB King, Charlie Patton and many more.

With Cross Town Traffic given the Erja treatment along with her version of Steamy Windows an opportunity to be sexy with the audience and get close and personal with Juha on bass. All too soon it was time for the final numbers.  People get Ready where we were treated to guitar that resonated the tone and style of Jeff Beck. Erja tonight was Queen of the Blues. Her playing majestic, stylish with a hint of bedevilment and fun. Live music doesn’t get much better than this!

 

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Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

 

Long before the 10th September 2018 dawned the excitement of holding the 4th UKBlues Challenge in The Cavern Club, Liverpool was causing a wave of anticipation throughout social media. On the 7th September slowly increasing in numbers a frame appeared on Facebook. People showing their support by having their profile picture framed with I’M SUPPORTING  THE 4TH #UKBLUESCHALLENGE.

The atmosphere was redolent with the past glories that have been played out at the original Cavern. Tourists were buzzing, selfies were being taken as the board of UKBlues Federation set the space up. The bands arrived full of energy and expectation. The sound guys did everything to ensure the sound checks went smoothly. The venue was in the WiFi free zone of the basement dark and already hot. The mood was electric, as the queues formed outside of blues fans who were delighted to be spending a Sunday afternoon with five bands that representing the variety of angles across the U.K today. Bringing the Blues back to the Cavern 60 years on…

The five bands were given thirty minutes to play the music they love and to get the chance to represent the UK in Memphis at International Blues Challenge and in Hell, Norway at the European Blues Challenge; stepping into the shoes vacated by Kaz Hawkins Band who won and went on to fly the flag of modern Blues being played and enjoyed by diverse audiences. The judges were ready and waiting. The six wise listeners who all love the blues as artists, promoters and DJ’s. The Six were, Victor Brox, Connie Lush, Rosy Greer, Kaz Hawkins, Chris Powers and Nick Westgarth.

 

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The five bands now knew the running order

 

The venue was, hot dark and steamy. The audience on the edge of their seats with anticipation as Ashwyn Smyth (Chair UKBlues Federation) opened proceedings. With Elles’ first note the 2018 challenge was underway.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernElles Bailey debut album is aptly named Wildfire. Elles and her band were like a wildfire burning up the stage. They filled their thirty-minute set with a windswept melee of originals. With country Blues rocked up everyone knew that this was going to be a great live session of blues interpreted by a rising star.  The set was polished as the musicians surrounded her with a hug of sound for Elles to bounce from and deliver the lyrics.  First, up is always difficult. Elles used every note to her advantage setting the bar very high.  The audience whooped and cheered they loved the set. The bands following knew that they had to do not their best but their very best were they ready for the challenge?

Next up with a quick changeover, were The Rainbreakers.  This is rocky blues full of panache and UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavernswagger. Ben on vocals and lead guitar was on fire. His rocky blues electrified the audience. Playing with passion, determination and driving the blues home. They were enjoying their moment, as they interspersed the rockier edge with slower numbers showing the deep blues depths that are the undercurrent fueling the Rainbreakers.  Their number Heart of Gold certainly stood out. A performance that the audience really enjoyed as they warmed to this young band from Shrewsbury who left them wanting more.  The performance like Elles Bailey gave the judges plenty of food for thought.

The energy and fantastic performances that all five acts put in were spell bounding. Anyone of the bands could have represented the UK in Europe & USA. The commitment they demonstrate to Blues and live music is astounding, between them they had driven over 1,000 miles to get to the Cavern and had the prospect of the return journey at the end of the event

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernUKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernNext up, were the winners from the eight bands that played at The Great Rhythm and Blues Festival over Bank Holiday weekend as part of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Acts project.  Introducing the band was Paul & Margaret Foxley, Robert J. Hunter had only a couple of weeks to prepare as they brought their urban blues to the Cavern. Like the other bands, they were so excited to be playing at such an iconic venue.  A trio that delivered an authentic modern blues sound.  The vocals at times overpowered the sound which is a small point as the sound they were creating was rollicking fun.  Another act that smiled and delivered the blues and gave the judges something to ponder over.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernThe fourth band of the Challenge was LaVendore Rogue. What a stellar set, Joel Fisk once again demonstrating his skills as a blues guitarist. You can always count on front man JoJo to put on a show and tonight they did. The audience reaction was loud and excited them. They were lapping up the music that the band delivered. Not pure blues but every song has deep roots into the heritage of the blues from Charlie Patton and beyond.  Leaving the stage the judges had another band to consider before the final act that had to follow that barnstorming session.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernLast, but definitely not least was Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion. Stylish, sophisticated blues with a jazzy edge. High-quality authentic blues. The title track of their current album, This Is The Life I Choose captured the life and motivation of musicians who play their music live.  Their performance of Angel of Mercy was one of the best I have ever heard Zoe sing and Blue Commotion were spot on with every note and the crafted spaces. What a rousing finale and I am so glad I was not a Judge.

Five Acts, raffle tickets about, prizes handed out and the success of the Minute auctions. The final votes had been counted and verified.

The Winner is: …….. As Dave Raven and Ashwyn Smyth handed over the responsibility of presenting the trophy to last year’s Challenge winner Kaz Hawkins.  The baton, well stylish trophy really, was presented to LaVendore Rogue. They now will be representing the UK in Memphis and Hell.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

Closing the challenge with a party feel was a mighty jam. The stage was filled with the winning band, joined by Connie Lush, Kyla Brox, Kaz Hawkins and the mighty voice and trumpet of Victor Brox. What a resounding end to a challenge that will be long talked about as the blues sung out loud live at the Cavern once more.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern