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Alive 9


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
here ...

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
later on.

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

Alive 9