BluesClub congregate at The Chichester Inn in Chichester on Saturday, January 28 at 8.30pm (tickets on 01243 783185).
The band brings together: Robbie McIntosh (guitar – Mark Knopfler, Paul McCartney’s band, Norah Jones, Tom Jones); Guy Fletcher (keyboards – Mark Knopfler’s right-hand man since joining Dire Straits in 1983, Roxy Music); Danny Cummings (drums – Mark Knopfler’s drummer, Dire Straits); William Topley (vocals – The Blessing), Peter Hope-Evans (harp/Jews harp – Medicine Head, Pete Townshend); and Alan Rogan (bass – guitar technician for the Rolling Stones, Joe Walsh and Pete Townshend).
“I started the band about 20 years ago,” says Alan. “I was wanting to get Peter Hope-Evans out there playing.
“My real job is that I work for Pete Townshend, and I got to know Peter (Hope-Evans) because he has played on Pete’s solo albums.
“Peter was sitting there doing not much at all, so I formed the first line-up of the band and then the second line-up.
“Everything has to be fitted around our real jobs, but we have had this line-up since 2011, and it is great to have these guys together in the band.
“For the last couple of years, we have probably done maybe half a dozen gigs a year.
“We just try to fit them in when we can. Half a dozen gigs a year, and we are very busy. Two gigs in January, and that’s a tour!
“The songs are songs that Peter and I pick.
“They are not obscure blues songs, but we do blues covers, all really good covers. Our album has just come out… in 2011! We recorded it in a day.”
Alan has worked for Pete Townshend for about 40 years, and he worked with the Stones in the 1980s, from 81-89.
“I had a great time. They were really easy going.
“The thing is that they just love playing.
“Keith (Richards) will do a song 70s times, 30 times in the studio just to play, not a new song so much as an old one, just to get the cobwebs off.”
Inevitably, the business has changed hugely down the years: “Now it is all totally different. I can’t keep up with the kids today. They are all digitally inclined. I am not ! And I am proud of it. But things move on. There are so many players that are technicians now and are really good.”
But the BluesClub keeps on going – performers united by a passion for the blues of America from the 1930s to the 70s,
The set list often includes songs from artists as varied as Leadbelly, Son House and Charley Patton to Slim Harpo, Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal and Canned Heat.
Tickets also available from the venue or on www.rootsaroundtheworld.com. More information on www.bluesclubband.com.
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