The Blues Blasters are a Stockport-based outfit, who tend to restrict
their gigs to that area of the country. However, unlike many bands that
choose not to travel far, they possess considerable ability and put on a
very entertaining show. It was fitting therefore that their first visit
to the Warrington club attracted such a large audience.
began the first set with three numbers penned by the band’s
singer/harmonica player, Chris Gee: the fast-moving “Louisiana 12 Bar”,
“Big City, Small Town” (a medium-paced shuffle) and the upbeat rocker,
“Honey (You Should See Me Now)”. “Route 66” led the way to another
couple of fine, original numbers: the heavier-rocking “Rollin’ Stone”
and “Love Me Just A Little”, which featured some lovely piano from Paul
Minshull. The slow blues, “Full-time Lover”, allowed lead guitarist John
Brett to strut his stuff, while “Ain’t No Place like Home”, with its
boogie-woogie beat, was embellished by some tasty harp work from Chris
Gee. “Oh, Carol” then promoted John Dickinson to lead guitarist before
the set ended in shuffle mode.
The second set opened with a superb version of “You Never Can
Tell” and the original boogie, “You’re Humbuggin’ Me”, one of many
numbers that appear on the band’s most recent CD. A helping of western
swing saw John Brett switch to slide guitar, which he retained for a
fast-moving portion of rock and roll. They were contrasted with a slow
and bluesy number, with John Dickinson back on lead guitar. The bouncing
“Learn To Treat Me Right” was followed by a splendid shuffle that
featured a catchy bass line from Andy Schemet and some fine interplay
between Brett and Minshull. The rocking “Voodoo Man” made way for the
swinging “Old Time Boogie”, two more helpings of rock and roll and a
foot-tapping instrumental. The set was concluded with SRV’s “The House
Is Rockin’”, which delivered more great keyboard playing and culminated
in a fine harp solo. Special mention should also be given to drummer,
Henry Quick, who was impeccable throughout the show.
It was a very enjoyable way to start 2008 at Warrington and the
band fully lived up to their billing description coined by MC and
Promoter, Ray O’Hare, ‘blues with a smile’.
1 Response to “Review: The Blues Blasters
at Warrington RnB Club: 25 Jan 2008”
This was the first time I'd ever seen The Blues Blasters. To
my undying shame, I have to confess I'd never actually heard the name
before. Well I have now! Once seen, never forgotten. During many years
earning a living behind the scenes on live concerts, I've toured with some
world renowned musicians, including Jeff Beck, Marl Knopfler, Nils Lofgren,
Genesis, Level 42 - I could go on. I even worked with the Fabulous
Thunderbirds at their peak in the late 80's, so I know how good it gets.
All I can say is that I was absolutely blown away by this
band. For that is what they truly are - a band. The Blues
Blasters songs are carefully selected, the pace never lets up, the rhythm
section is as tight as I've ever come across and all the lead instruments
are superbly played. What's even more impressive is their addictive sense of
fun and what really did it for me was how effortless this seasoned bunch of
troubadours made it all look. Last time I enjoyed a band this much, Ry
Cooder was out front, John Hiatt's band provided the backing and 2,600 fans
were crammed into a hot and sweaty Manchester Apollo.
Enough already. If you want an unforgettable night out, bring
your mates, wives, girlfriends, neighbours and invite that bloke across the
street who you never really liked. Oh, and bring your dancing shoes too!
Thank you chaps, it was an absolute delight.
Steve Swithin - now just another punter......
BJ’s Blues Club at the Hop Pocket,
Chorley. Thursday April 26th 2007
One of the most popular
bands to perform at BJ’s Blues Club (and quite rightly so!).
Is it their musicianship,
charisma, professionalism or stage antics that make them so irresistible? I
would suggest all the above actually!
Starting off (as always)
with the guitar of John Brett and ‘Lousiana 12 bar’ the Bluesblasters launched
into a tirade of rockin’ blues that had the very enthusiastic and knowledgeable
blues audience rocking with the band every step of the way.
I’m not going mention the
whole set list, but my personal favourite is the Fabulous Thunderbird’s number
‘Full time lover’ featuring the awesome lead guitar of John Brett. Apart from
the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Chuck Berry,I should mention that the majority of
the high calibre Bluesblasters material is actually self-penned by Chris Gee.
The band consists of the
rather quiet (but nonetheless magnificent) John Dickinson on rhythm guitar, Andy
Schemet on bass guitar/backing vocals & fun, the small but potent force of Henry
Quick on drums, Paul Minshull on world class keyboards, Chris (Wizz) Gee on
absolute supreme vocals/harmonica and John Brett on stunning lead guitar and
It’s easy to get carried
away with superlatives during a review, but the Bluesblasters lend themselves to
superlatives. Even though their two cd’s are excellent (my 3 year old dances to
nothing else!) the stage show of the Bluesblasters just has to be experienced.
What really strikes me about
the Bluesblasters is that they look they’re just having a bit of a laugh on
stage. However, when you’re that good, you simply make it look easy!
Another new band another success, the BB'S brought their
own brand of rockin blues to the kings and did they rock, yes they did. They put
some self penned numbers in and kept the sounds chugging away, the
audience were on the dance floor shaking a leg or two as the band relentlessly
played rockin tunes without losing the pace once. Normally with blues bands they
lapse into the slow numbers but not these lads, two numbers self penned which
stood out were Red Red Eyes and the final number which was a good semi slow ballady
type called Always Missing You..A very pleasing debut and well worth a
The popular blues band returned with a foot stompin toe tappin finger crackin gig. All the numbers played were up tempo and catchy and the piano player must have been on something as he was heard on every number. Its good to see a band enjoying themselves and also good to see people on the dance floor. Although not a blues fan myself this kind of blues suits me
I call it good time blues. The band left to cheers from the crowd and that says enough for me.
Jan 06 Blues Blasters
A brilliant six piece band comprising of Chris
(Wizz) Gee on vocals/harmonica, Andy Schemet bass, Henry Quick drums, John Brett
guitar, John Dickinson guitar and Paul Minshull on keyboards. Between them they
have 150 years of gigging experience. Their vast experience showed in the two
sets as most of the songs they performed were penned by themselves, and very
good too. Starting with "Louisiana 12 Bar, "Big City Small Town" and "Honey You
Should See Me Now" they followed with a great song by Lightning Hopkins
"Nothing But The Blues". Also in this first set we were treated to some great
songs from The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Chuck Berry and others. As the first set
drew to a close more and more folk came in and sat eagerly awaiting the start of
the next set. The lads got underway with a great Chuck Berry song "Never Can
Tell" after which they went into overdrive, with more from The Thunderbirds and
lots more of their own songs. "Mercury Blues" by James Harman featured Johnny on
slide guitar along with the Thunderbirds "Why Get Up". "Red Red Eyes" "She's
Ready Now" and "4 Time Boogie" all their own songs were excellent. As they
finished for the night, the band members in turn walk off stage whilst playing
"My Heart Is Always Missing You" leaving Chris to finish it alone, great end to
a great night. Come back soon, Cheers
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT ROBBIE
COLTRANE HAS IN HIS CAR STEREO:
Taking time out before going onstage,Maryport,Lake District,UK