The Blues Band performing at The Lowdham Village Hall Nottingham on Friday 23rd September 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Paul Jones and Dave Kelly were back at The Lowdham Village Hall last night, but this time they brought with them Gary Fletcher, Tom McGuinness and Rob Townsend, and if those names sound familiar, it is because they are The Blues Band.

Now in their thirty seventh year as a band, they are still as popular as ever as this packed out Hall showed. With the amount of talent on stage being simply awesome, the evening began with Jesse Fuller’s San Francisco Bay Blues, and from then on the blues just never stopped. Included in the first half were Muddy Waters’ Too Young To Know and a Tom McGuinness solo track, I Got My Eyes On You.

With Dave Kelly displaying a master class in slide guitar with the likes of Sittin’ and Down In The Bottle, he made it all seem really simple. Not to be outdone was Gary Fletcher’s My Love Made You Strong, Tom McGuiness’ Sitting On Top Of The World and Heading For A Breakdown and Paul Jones’ Suddenly I Like It.

With each song having its own introduction, the story telling was engaging, informative and funny, and with each band member having had other careers outside of The Blues Band, the set list was varied and interesting. After a rip roaring version of Big Joe Turner’s Shake Rattle And Roll, they finished with Ray Charles’ Hallelujah I Love Her So which brought the audience quickly to their feet to show their appreciation.

Paul Jones told this enthralled crowd that back in 1963 they had backed one of the greatest harmonica players in the world, Sony Boy Williamson, but unfortunately it did not work out for them. The story goes that Williamson said “those white boys wanted to play the blues so bad and that’s just how they played them”. The Blues Band have clearly come a long way since then because last night they were simply outstanding.