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What's on: The Blues Band, Blackburn, September 15
4:49pm Friday 7th September 2012 in What's on in Lancashire
WHEN you form a band and it lasts a few years, you’re very happy — but when you decide to get a few mates together to play a few shows and that lasts for more than 30 years, well that’s something special.
And that’s what’s happened with The Blues Band.
Formed originally in 1979, the band consisted of ex-Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, guitarist Tom McGuinness (also ex Manfred Mann), drummer Hughie Flint and bassist Gary Fletcher.
In the intervening years Fletcher and Flint have left and been replaced by Marcus Cliffe and Rob Townsend.
“Paul Jones brought it about,” says Tom McGuinness.
“He rang me and said that he’d got Sundays off and did I want to get a band together to play some blues and do a couple of gigs.”
“I said yes, but I don’t want to be driving up and down motorways at all hours — and here I am, 33 and a third years later, driving up and down motorways at all hours.
“Paul was so enthused as punk had brought music to a more enjoyable level, you could play in pubs with no frills and just play the music, so we made a few phone calls and we were ready to go.”
Tom and the band got quite a shock at their first gig.
“It was at a place called The Bridge House in the East End and we’d had a sound check then went to my place for a bite to eat before the show.
“We drove back to the gig and couldn’t park anywhere near the pub We thought that there was a function on, but it turned out that they had all come out to see us “After that first gig the phone started ringing and six months later we had an album in the charts.”
Despite all his years in the business (The Manfreds will be undertaking a 50th anniversary tour later I the year), Tom still enjoys his work.
“I love playing live,” he said. “It’s the best thing about being a musician.
“The buzz of performing with people you respect is terrific.”
“I’ve played from back rooms to 60,000 seater football stadiums; the buzz may be different, but it’s still the buzz.”
- The Blues Band King George’s Hall, Blackburn, Saturday, September 15. Details from 0844 847 1664.
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