One of the many great things about a relationship are the kind of new
experiences that the 'other half' introduces to you. Both of us have introduced
each other to our respective friends in different circles, whether that be at
church or within other circles, such as regular people from the Atari scene and
also the people I'm personally getting to know from the McGuire Programme, which
I joined last year. More on that hopefully later on, as we're digressing a bit
Although I've always tended to enjoy watching and listening to live music, I've
not historically had a chance to visit many concerts, apart from the excellent
one given by 'Crash Test Dummies' back in June of 1999. From March of this year
and onwards, this has now begun to change.
After an unfortunately aborted attempt to see the Blues Band in concert at the
final night at Guildford's Civic Theatre (the night also played host to a live
show from Eric Clapton, of all musicians) Paula and I finally managed to see
them together at Dorking Halls, in the small town of Dorking, just outside
The Blues Band have quite a long history, going back just over 25 years or so
(we also recently attended their 25th anniversary celebration, more on that
later). The band consists of Paul Jones (lead singer), Tom McGuinness (guitar),
Gary Fletcher (guitar and singer) and Rob (surname forgotten). Along with their
other players, part of the Blues Band also formed another band known as Manfred
Mann, who were around in the fifties and sixties. Yep, all the guys are getting
on a bit now in terms of age, but they still produce some excellent live music !
All of the guys have either collaborated with each other on the song-writing,
also writing their own stuff as well, which they have recorded on either their
own solo albums or as a group, and have gone on to achieve moderate sales in the
lower extreme, with very high sales occurring at their concerts over the years.
Paula and I arrived at Dorking Halls a little before the gig itself started and
got our seats. We met up with one of Paula's friends, Silvie, who I had met
briefly on seeing the Messiah at Guildford cathedral some months ago, just
before Christmas in fact. It was nice to see her again, and she had reserved 3
seats for the three of us, which seemed logical. Our seats themselves were right
at the front, so the band could see us from the stage when they arrived a bit
Around 20 minutes or so later the Blues Band rolled in, and started to play a
medley of their songs, from past classics to relatively current hits. The gig
itself was divided into 2 parts, the first being the acoustic part and the
second being the electro part. While it's true to say I wasn't familiar with
most of their songs, they certainly had some classic ones which I had heard
occasionally before on the radio either over in Canada or elsewhere. I was
seriously amazed by the quality, though, of the songs and the live performances.
These guys have been around for years in the music biz.
While, admittedly, they are not the ideal clean-cut boy or girl band type image
that has been the case in the UK charts for many years now, it is great to see
people with talents such as these still very much around, recording new stuff
when they are ready to, without the 'luxuries' of the modern day Pop Idol.
I've certainly enjoyed my first two Blues Band gigs that I've attended so far
and hope to go to more of them in the future, as and when gigs are arranged
either close to where we are living in our respective parts of the country.
Felice for Alive2004