Sunday, 13 March 2011

Paul Jones & The Blues Band - The Music Hall Aberdeen - 17/02/2011

This night was special for me on many levels.
Back in my wild bass playing days, my band The Outlaws covered a number of tracks from the ‘Official Bootleg’ album…the first release by The Blues Band in 1979.
The band has a rich pedigree...

Paul Jones, vocalist/harmonica, just celebrated the 25th anniversary of his Blues Show on Radio 2.
He was front man for Manfred Mann and recorded many well-known hits…The Mighty Quinn/Do Wah Diddy/Pretty Flamingo/5-4-3-2-1/My Name Is Jack/Come Tomorrow…the list goes on.

Brian Jones offered Paul the gig with The Rolling Stones and he turned it down… the position was subsequently filled by Mick Jagger.
Paul has performed live or recorded with legendary artist such as Memphis Slim, Alexis Korner, Henry Gray, Alvin "Youngblood" Hart, Susan Tedeschi, Eric Bibb, Otis and Grand Tina Turner.
Paul also fronts the reformed and renamed Manfreds.

Dave Kelly is a respected slide player in blues circles. In New York, he jammed with Muddy Waters.  He became a friend to Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker, and toured in their bands.


Tom McGuiness
In the early 1960’s, Tom shared the stage in The Roosters with none other than Eric Clapton.
He joined Manfred Mann in 1964 and stayed with them until they disbanded in 1969.

In 1970, with drummer Hughie Flint and singer-songwriters Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle, he formed McGuiness Flint, and 'When I'm Dead and Gone' hit No. 1 in the charts.
His book on the music business, 'So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star?' is still essential reading for any aspiring pop musician.
Tom is also a current member of The Manfreds.

The Blues Band drummer, Rob Townsend, along with Roger Chapman and Charlie Whitney, formed Family. They were one of Britain's most creative and original bands, with an instrumental line-up which included flute and violin – unheard of in those early guitar, bass & drums days.

After seven great albums and four hit singles, Family broke up and Rob joined the duo Medicine Head, with whom he enjoyed more chart success. Upon their demise, he was soon back in the top ten with piano-playing balladeer Peter Skellern.

Rob joined British tours with legendary guitarist Duane Eddy and bluesman Memphis Slim.
He is also in the current line-up of The Manfreds.

Gary Fletcher, The Blues Band bassist, met Dave Kelly in late ’78 when they both played in a band put together by Wilgar Campbell, the ex-Rory Gallagher drummer, called The Wildcats.
He also leads his own band, The Gary Fletcher Band.

Gary is unique, as he plays left handed basses strung right handed.

I was in a privileged position on this night, as I was invited to join the band on-stage during their sound check to get some unique images, although Gary was missing as he arrived late.

The plan was to also get some backstage non-action portraits, but Dave Kelly was suffering with a knee injury and was still in a great deal of pain following an operation, so the portrait shoot didn’t happen.
Dave also spent the entire show seated on stage.
I subsequently learned that Dave spent the following morning in A&E at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to drain fluid from the badly swollen right knee.

He had to drive from Aberdeen to Glasgow that day for their next gig…what a trouper!
I spent some time in the Green Room with the band before the show and enjoyed a coffee and chat with these perfect gentlemen.

Here are some of my favourite images from the night…

Sound check

   The Show 

One final note on ettiquette...I normally wear all black, usually a black t-shirt and jeans. Tonight's concert was a seated/tabled affair.

I always try to dress apropriately, so wore a suit and shirt on this occasion. Remember, you are in full view of the audience and they will always remember the small details.

I also avoid shooting from centre stage on these occasions.
The Music Hall has a very high stage...the audience are there to watch the show, not the photographer, so I stay to the left and right of the stage.

Time permitting, I will walk all the way around the back of the audience to swop sides.

There were no time restrictions tonight, as I was there by invitation to shoot the entire show.
My self imposed brief was 'Do what you like, but don't piss anybody off'.

I still chose to observe the three song rule and shot the remainder of the show discreetly, either from the side wings, or from the sound board with a 400mm lens.

A big thank you to Lari, the tour manager for making me feel welcome.
Thanks also to the lovely Shirley from the Merchandise stall for the coffee and introductions, and Adam on the sound desk, not forgetting Gilly Taylor from GTA for making everything possible.

The Official Blues Band  website

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steve Great post ~ love these guys ~ 30+ years a fan and concert attendee! Also been listening to R2 show from the start. regards Joan