Rupe’s ReVIEWS - Up to 2015

 
 

.Rupe’s Reviews are arranged in monthly order with the latest month at the top..........Within each month the latest gig is also at the top. That is only from October 2013. ...

 Tuesday 3rd February 2015; 9pm-11.30pm....
This month it is Bob 'Cougar' Newell leading the House Band, which is superb,... with some entertaining musicians. Azza Woodall (Voice & Harp), Dicky Baldwin... (Bass & laughter), Mike Wesson (Keys), Sam Kelly (Drums), Spencer Couzens... (Guitar), Pete Rudd (PA & Bass sub), and Rupe (Voice).... Get there early if you want a seat. But only musicians and their partners can go into the Functions Room before 8.40pm I promise you won't be disappointed. Rupe.
Fri 23rd...# The Repertoire Dogs (Classic Rock) @ Nettlebed Hall, Nr Henley on Thames; Doors 7.45pm, Band 9-11.30pm; £10 per head. 07885-678108.. ‘The Dogs’ are all seasoned performers including Mick Ralphs (Bad Company and Mott the Hoople), and Richard Hudson (The Strawbs and Hudson Ford). I nearly got to Nettlebed, but for the wobbly kerb in Henley High Street which is not straight at all! It sticks out into the road which I forgot and didn’t see clearly because it was dark! The result was two flat tyres on the near-side. I found a space right by the river so that the RAC man could park his van safely. I had to wait for nearly an hour. It was raining, so I crossed the road to the curry restaurant ‘Spice Merchant’. The place was very good. I told the manager my problem and he said I could sit at the bar. I could see my car from there. I asked for a ‘Diet Coke’, which he gave me free. I paid for the next one. When the RAC man arrived he worked very well and only took 30 minutes to do the job. Bear in mind that there were two punctures, my spare wheel and his RAC wheel. He had to make it fit properly, which it did. Then I had to drive 10 miles home with the van behind me. When we got there the RAC tyre had to be put back in the van. Sorry I didn’t get to your ‘Repertoire Dogs’ gig, but that is why. I hear that the audience was over 150 people. I will try to make it in the summer. Rupe.
Sat 3rd..# Serious Blues (Other) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe, Bucks HP13 6EQ; 9pm Very good Blues trio.
DECEMBER GIGS 2014...
Fri 19th Papa Truck (Chiltern Bluegrass) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe
NOVEMBER GIGS 2014...
Sat 22nd # West Africa Spectacular @ The Arts4every1 Centre, Desborough Road, Wycombe, HP11 2PU! Features djembe and dundun drumming, Ngoni (African stringed instrument), Fulani flute, songs and dance led by master drummer Sidiki Dembele plus local groups Africa Junction and The Hartbeats Vitae Drummers. All proceeds go to the Denifari Music School, Ivory Coast. Tickets £10 from www.arts4every1.com adults; £5 under 16's (£12/ £6.50 on the door). Doors/ bar open 7pm; show starts 7.30pm. What a wonderful this place was in the old church..............
TBC Sat 8th Pegasus Reunion 7; Les Payne & Friends + Support by Red Rock (Keir Hicks) @ Liberal Club, Queen Victoria Road, Wycombe; 7.30-12pm; Tickets £10
OCTOBER GIGS 2014...
Fri 24th Travelling Shoes (Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe This local band has been out of action for three years. They tell me this has been their last gig. What a shame it is for one of the best bands around, but health has to come first. Thank you Travelling Shoes for the pleasure you have given us.
SEPTEMBER GIGS 2014...
Fri 26th..# Phil Astles Blues Band @ The Red Lion, Penn Road, Knotty Green Excellent!;
Wed 17th..# Bob Malone Band (USA) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £9 Fantastic. All sorts of different songs.
AUGUST GIGS 2014...
Tues 5th..# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.20pm This is Rupe’s Blues Jam with friends. I can’t believe it. Over the evening we had an audience of about 40, and 28 musicians, of which 13 were singers, including me! Four of the singers were females, singing very good songs, some in a laid back way, Oh Yeah, Cool! The guys were also very good too! The number of singers were the most that we had ever had at The Nag’s Head, in Wycombe over 5 years, and in The Cross Keys in the last three years.; To be fair I had to make a band for all 12 singers apart from me. We usually allow the bands to do three songs, but when we got to the sixth band, around 10.40pm, I had to allow the other bands only two tunes. Even that did not allow our normal finish time of between 11.30pm - 11.45pm. Mick, the landlord, said we could we play longer than midnight. We finished at 12.30am with the House Band and me singing to about 8 other people. I was very tired, but this Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends was one of the very best ever. Everybody said so. Many thanks to you musicians and audience who were there. See you next time in Tuesday 2nd September.
JULY GIGS 2014...
Wed 9th...# Cherry Lee Mewis (Country Blues) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green, nr High Wycombe; 8.30pm This band is fantastic, so tight in their playing, and loads of originals. I wait to see them next time. Don’t miss them. One of my favourites.
Fri 4th...# Leroy Sears & Guests @ The Liberal Club, Queen Victoria Road, Wycombe 8pm; Upstairs in the Function Room. Bands are - DisFunk; Liz & Wendy vocals; Joe guitar; Sparky bass; Nobby drums; Mike Wesson keys. Ska, Reggae & Blues; Leroy, Nobby, Mike Wesson, Micheal Heatley, George Jack Zeeley Moon; Tony Dodd, Tony Dubinsky, Nobby, Patrick Molesworth. This was a fantastic gig with about five excellent bands.
MAY GIGS 2014...
Fri 30th;# The Rymatones @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe All very good, as usual.
Fri 9th... # The Roosters (Rock ‘n’ Roll) + DJ Jivin’ George @ The Hedsor Club, Hedsor Road, Bourne End; 8pm till late; £9 I live about one mile from The Hedsor Club, but I have never been to see it before. Very good.
Tue 6th..# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.20pm What a good this jam was
Sat 3rd...# Pegasus Reunion 6 with Les Payne and many others @ The Liberal Club, upstairs in the Function Hall, Queen Victoria Road, next to Swan Theatre, Wycombe Another superb gig from Les Payne and many others.
APRIL GIGS 2014...
Wed 16th..# Rag Mama Rag (20s-30s Acoustic Blues/ Rag) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5 rag-mama-rag.com/videos/This is a brilliant married duo who are British, but live in France. They come back to Britain to tour about 2-3 times a year. What a duo!
Sat 12th..# Tiny Tina Rock & Blues Band (Tina Turner Tribute) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe We all loved this gig with Tina and the band, even if it was a little bit to loud for this venue. This was Tina and band at their best.
Fri 11th..# Accelerate featuring Lizzie Fulton (4-piece Rock & Pop Band) @ The Chequers, High Street, Marlow; 9-12pm 01628-482053 www.eightraymusic.com/accelerate-band Lizzie is a Marlow girl and an excellent singer. With the very good young players in Accelerate, it was a most enjoyable evening.
Sat 5th..# Hazel O'Connor, Plus Support @ Arts4every1 Centre, Doors 7.30pm; Tickets £15 Adv. £17.50 on the door from Arts4every1.com, Ruby Moon and Counter Culture; Contact 01494-44517.Hazel had two musicians with her, one playing keys, the other saxophone. They all sang and played lovely songs. I enjoyed it, but it was difficult for me to hear the songs properly because of my deafness and the ex-church’s loud echoing.I stayed for about half an hour, then moved on to Oye Santana below.
Oye Santana (Tribute) @ The Liberal Club, Wycombe; doors 8pm, band 9pm; £6 This is the best I have heard them play. I think it is because of the large hall they were in but it was not too high. It wasn’t too loud either, but just right because of the big space.
Wed 2nd # Giles Hedley & the Aviators with Christophe Pélissié (Blues) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5 Giles Hedley ; The Aviators, Sam Kelly and Richard Sadler, with Christophe Pélissié play funky delta & chicago blues. Giles plays lapsteel, bottleneck slide guitar and harmonica. What wonderful sounds the four of them made. Wow!
Tue 1st.. # Blues Jam with Rupe, Friends & Special Guest Rob Bibi @ The Cross Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.20pm.With 26 musicians, about 50 audience, and Robin Bibi, what can go wrong? Absolutely nothing. It was it was an excellent Blues Jam, several people told me, not just at the X-Keys but up to the 17th April.
MARCH GIGS 2014...
Wed 19th The Mafia (Blues Rock) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5 What can I say? This is one of our most local brilliant bands. I always try to see them. It is always a good gig.
Sat 15th Sidewinder @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe An unusual different band, but I really liked it.
Sat 8th Large Portion (Rock covers) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe 01494-524728 This band are way too loud, in a little venue. They have problems with hearing, just like me. Many people said they were way too loud.When I took my hearing aids out, and used my earplugs, I could hear all of songs!
Wed 5th # The Good Old Boys (Rock ‘n’ Roll) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5 This band of veterans are excellent. They play really good Rock ‘n’ Roll.Don’t miss them next time.
Tue 4th Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross Keys Function Room,Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.20pm.What a good gig this was. There were about 25 people at the X-Keys function room when I got there at 8.15pm! This has never happened before. It turned out that about 15 Marlow Singles Club had got there early.We had 29 musicians and about 45 to 50 audience, which was 75 to 80 people at my Blues Jam. This was the the highest number of people we have ever had.It was packed. There was good music with Bob Newell and the other musicians.A very good night.
FEBRUARY GIGS 2014...
Fri 28thPapa Truck @ The Belle VueI went to The Belle Vue last night to see Papa Truck. I had heard a lot about them and how good they were and I can say I wasn't disappointed. They are one of the best outfits I've seen in a long time and more importantly they were great fun to watch and to listen to and had the considerable audience on their feet all night, cant wait to see them again. If you haven't seen them before like I hadn't your missing a real treat.Thank You Andy Spivey.
Wed 19th Jason Manners ; 3 Buck Shirt @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5 I loved their gig with the songs they did.
Sat 15th
Shaky Ground (Americana) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe 01494-524728 This band does just what it says, brillant Americana.
Sat 1st The Feelgood Band (Rhythm & Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe Wow! I have never heard a band like this.
JANUARY GIGS 2014;
Thr 30th..# Reto’s Jam/ Open Mic @ The Stag, Heath End Road, Flackwell Heath;Reto’s band at the Stag was brilliant. I really enjoyed singing three songs at the end. Most pub people don’t know that I can sing very well!
Fri 24th...# The Repertoire Dogs with Elkie & Simon but not Mick Ralphs (Rock party) The Nettlebed Village Hall, Nettlebed; doors 8pm, band 9pm ‘til late; £10;This was the first time that I have been to this venue in Nettlebed. The Dogs had asked me to be on the door. I agreed. This venue is very good and has snacks, which I needed. It was a long way to go 17miles, but well worth it. The singing and instrument playing was superb pop/ rock/ soul. An enjoyable evening except for the torrential rain in both directions.
Sat 18th..# Steelyard Blues Band @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe ;This was the first time that this band has played at The Belle View. They were on tour and after this gig had to go to Hull or Sheffield! Their leader Sara was on vocals, keys, guitar and saxophone, which made the evening interesting. They played various styles, but mostly raw roots songs, which were very good. The audience liked them, I hope they come back to The Belle Vue.
Tue 7th...# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends, including Robin Bibi @ The Cross Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.30pm;What a fantastic gig this was, with Robin Bibi and 26 other musicians, and an audience of about the same number, so 50+ is really good. Landlord Mick agreed. This was an excellent evening, and in the top class of Rupe & Friend’s Blues Jams, including those five years at The Nag’s Head.;This is what Veronique e-mailed to me:-;Indeed this was a fantastic evening. I don't want to say it was the best jam I have been to so far as it would be terribly unfair to all your other very talented musician friends, but Robin was the star of the show last night. A truly amazing singer and guitarist. Thank you Veronique.
DECEMBER GIGS 2013
Sat 28th..# Brothers Groove @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe ;Oh no not again! Another example of bass & drums playing far to loud, making the guitar and vocals difficult to hear! There is no need for this in such a small venue. They were also playing the same rhythms in almost every song. My friends agreed. I drunk my pint and left. Two Non-Blondes (Pop/ Rock) @ The Junction, London Road, Wycombe; 9-12pm;When I got to The Junction there were several girls dancing and some of my male friends who had left the Belle Vue because of the noise. That says it all.
Fri 27th Mac (guitar) & Keith plus Mike Wesson (keys), Mike Newell (bass), Russell Chaney,Tony Dubinski (guitar) and the lovely Suzanne Rice (Rock) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe This band was put together for this gig. With these musicians you can’t go wrong.;What a good evening.
Sat 21st... # Solstice Party with Ruby Moon Band (Various) plus support by ‘Belle Vue Belles’ @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 8pm This band was composed of local musicians, but who had only played together a few times, so it was expected that there would a bit of jamming. There was, and it was very good. They also played a variety of songs which were also a bit different!This band was one of the quietest I have heard at the Belle Vue, or anywhere. The pub was packed and everybody loved what they were doing. We could hear all of the musicians too! This shows that the music doesn’t have to be loud, cutting out vocals, keyboards and lead guitars, by over loud bass and drums!
Sat 7th..# Bare Bones Boogie Band (British Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 9-11pm;Up to their usual funky, bluesy and rootsy songs. A very good evening.
Fri 6th
..# Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders @ Arts4every1, Desborough Road, Wycombe; Doors 7.30pm I really enjoyed this one as it was mostly acoustic, and therefore not to loud for us to hear all of the instruments and vocals. They were good songs too.;
Tue 3rd # Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross Keys Function Room, SpittalStreet, Marlow; 9-11.20pm I wanted to tell you that Barry loved the Blues Jam and could not believe such a place existed! There you go Rupe ....you are spreading a little bit of magic with your band.....he now wants to learn how to play the electric guitar!!! Your jam has always been a bit of heaven to me. Thank you Veronique.
NOVEMBER GIGS 2013
Wed 27th # Kilborn Alley Blues Band, USA @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5 01494-711485 Kilborn Alley;I have never seen this band before. They were USA and playing superb originals. Brilliant and a very good evening. If they come again, don’t miss them.
Sat 16th # Pegasus Re-union 5 - With Les Payne and Friends support by StealWorks and many others @ The Liberal Club, next to The Swan Theatre, Wycombe; 8-11pm What a good gig this was. All fantastic musicians, and a brilliant night. Les Payne was really good as were the other 12 musicians.
Wed 13th # Steve Simpson & Friends (Blues) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5 I’ve known Steve Simpson for quite a few years, and I love what he does with various bands and groups. Tonight this was a trio with Steve on guitar, vocals, mandolin and fiddle, Andy Winfield on guitar and vocals, and Malcolm Hoskins on bass, but no drums! What a good idea. The sound of these three were excellent with good original songs and some covers. All were sitting on stools. I really enjoyed this gig.
Fri 8th # Bitterroot (Country Rock) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe This band is based in High Wycombe. Line-up is Broni singer guitarist, Peter Stothart plays acoustic, resonator, lap steel and electric guitars sings, Sheila Riley bass, and Bob Pearce on drums. Bitterroot play covers and originals. It’s excellent music especially when Peter plays lap steel. Wow! This is a band which does not play too loud and I can hear all the music properly.Click on the blue Bitterroot link above for more information and to hear what they play.
Wed 6th # John James Newman @ The Ship, West Street, Marlow...John James Newman, father Sandy Newman and a box player made this a trio. John and Sandy play in a band called Marmalade which had a few hits back in the 60’s, when Sandy played for them. This was the best I’ve heard them playing, possibly because they are starting a tour after this gig.
Tue 5th...# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-12pm Rupe said:- This was an excellent Blues Jam and definitely in our top 10, if not 3. There were 26 musicians including the house band, and almost as many in the audience. Bob Newell depped in the House Band for Phil Astles on guitar & vocals, and at the start played three of his own originals. They were excellent. Bob do come back soon Big Azza depped on vocals ‘harp’ for Ronnie Ryan, because he retired from the House Band. Azza is very good too. ;Add on Peter Stothart singing and playing his lap-steel guitar, but not on a regular basis. See Bitterroot review above. ;Then two drummers who have never been before, Kevin Oaten to dep for Sam Kelly, and David Quinton of Arts4every1. Both are excellent.Then there are the other 21 musicians. Everybody gets to play. We started at 9pm and finished at Midnight with me singing a couple of songs.Oh! There was a birthday party in the bar, for someone in the Marlow Sennheiser office. Five of the girls and two boys came in and danced for some of the second half. That doesn’t happen very often!This is what some people e-mailed me.“ Hiya Rupe, Just wanted to say that tonight was a fantastic night. They are all so good but tonight was probably a favourite of mine. I had a fantastic evening, the music was out of this world. I could honestly say that if I had popped my clogs listening to all your mates tonight I’d have had the best send off ever! .......I did not stop smiling all night...so much so that my jaw still aches!” Thank you Veronique.“Hi, Rupe...bloomin' good night at Marlow! Thanks for letting me play so much. Lovely girls !!” Thank you Keith (bassist).“ Rupe Enjoyed last night despite jet lag that required me to leave at 11.50pm. Well it was a 13-hour flight... No doubt run into you at a gig this month. Thanks again for last night.” Thank you Michael (bassist).
Sat 2nd # The Big Blue (Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe I have seen this band more than 4 times. The guitarist and singer is Stuart Bligh. He is strongly influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and the bands Led Zepelin, Cream. He has his own way of playing which is brilliant, and a really good voice to sing the songs he does. His bass and drummer are both first class. The audience had much more appreciation for the band than it usually does.You should not miss this band next time.
OCTOBER GIGS 2013
Wed 2nd # The Blues Factory @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane Holmer Green; £5 This was an excellent gig for both the songs they chose and the way they played them. With Phil Astles (guitar , vocals), Ron Ryan (keys, harp , vocals), John Mackay (bass & vocals) and Dave Quinton (drums) you can’t go wrong. I loved their playing. All of them have played in Rupe & Friends Blues Jam
Tue 1st # Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross-Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.30pm Well what can I say. I arrived at the venue 8.30pm, with both our lead guitarist/ vocalist, and our bassist not there. It turned out that it was all for reasonable reasons, and they both sent me e-mails. The problem was my iCloud was not sending or receiving any e-mails after Monday 9pm.Ronnie Ryan filled Phil’s position by bringing his guitar, as well as his voice and ‘harp’. Pete Rudd filled the bass playing...It turned out to be a very good session, as usual. There were 18 musicians and 25 others as audience. Yes we had enough singers when Phil Davies came in and did a good job. The others after Ronnie and Phil were Robin, Andy, Neal and me. I didn’t sing in September, because with my ear infection I couldn’t hear my voice! Now it’s cured & I finished the October Jam with two of my favourite Willie Dixon songs, ‘My Babe’, and ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover’. With Sam Kelly and the band behind me, I really loved singing these songs again.
SEPTEMBER GIGS 2013 , Tue 3rd
# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross-Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.20pm.Thanks Rupe for a great evening yesterday. Top. Ben Hodgson. (‘Harp’)
Wed 4th # Dusty, Ronnie Ryan, Phil Berry , Steve Simpson unplugged & unhinged and acoustic. Special guests - The Hallelujah Trails, Jeremy , Anna @ Dusty’s, HG Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green.A very good gig with excellent acoustic guitars, bassist and vocals. The Hallelujah Trails duo were fantastic with their originals and cool too when they played with the other musicians!
Fri 13th # KnotFest - Storm Warning (Blues) @ The Red Lion, Penn Road, Knotty Green.For me this was the only gig to go to on this evening. We have known each other for a long time, except for the American singer/ ‘harp’ player, but I have not seen them for two years or more. I made the right decision. They played excellent, cool, and real blues. I liked the whole sound which was not loud, but most enjoyable.
Sat 14th # The New Shakers (Rock) @ The Prince of Wales, Mill/ Station Road, Marlow.Another band that I have not heard for a long time, but who were in Paul Sharman’s band, The Shakers. Paul was bassist and singer, but died about two years ago. God bless him.These guys decided to make a come back with Dave West on lead guitar, Dave Rogers moving onto bass instead of rhythm guitar and the drummer Pete Thompson. They could all sing and played really good Rock’n’Roll, R&B, Blues. Wow! Come and see them in Marlow.I have played on and off, at Dave West’s Jams starting about 25 years ago. Great fun.
Sat 21st # Bold as Love (Hendrix tribute) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe.TJ Johnson is the leader of this Hendrix tribute band and what a leader he is. The rhythm section had to do a great deal of work to support TJ. The bassist was Andy Hodge and the drummer Tonna Punn. With Natalie, his daughter, on backing vocals and tambourine, they created some incredible sounds. Yes it was quite loud in the last five songs, but not as loud as many bands. I was standing about a metre from the loud-speakers for some time with no problems!Why can’t all bands get the volume right, especially in small venues?P.S.- I have known TJ for several years. He, Sam Kelly and Jim Reece started the Nag’s Head Blues Jam on Thursday 25th October 2008. They played three Jams then moved on to a London venue. Sam said to me “You know everybody, so why don’t you put a band together.”I did, and Rupe’s first Blues Jam was on Thursday 7th February 2008.I am the only one who has been at all of Rupe’s Blues Jams..It is good that Sam Kelly has played more than any one, except me, at my Blues Jam!..Thanks Sam..
Sat 28th.. Grapevine Blues Band @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe.A very good band playing Blues and 60s R&B. I liked it very much, but some people said the keyboards were way too loud when doing his instrumental. I had to agree. This is one of the smallest venues around..I can remember that several years ago three female friends of mine came to see a Grapevine gig at the Marlow Donkey and really liked it (no keys). At the next gig, when the keyboards were introduced, the band was much louder. My friends didn’t come back to see Grapevine, all those years ago. The keys player is an excellent musician, but please don’t play so loud. I think the band would like that too!..
AUGUST GIGS 2013..
Fri 2nd..# Movin On (Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..I have never heard this band before. I got to this gig two songs before the interval, so I missed Rollin’ and Tumbling in the first half. Second set was really good, and I particularly liked ‘Good Times Roll’, ’Just Like A Woman’, ‘Walking Blues’ and ‘Drinking Muddy Water’. The last two of these were merged into one song. Even better, both of the two guitarists, Steve Kiraly , Cliff Gater were playing slide guitar off each other. It was brilliant! Rhythm section of Badger Smith (Drums), and Sheila Riley (Bass), were on the spot. Add in Alex Rae on sax, and what a good sound they all made. The rhythms they were playing were funky and it was not too loud. Cliff Gater who sang most of the songs, was a pleasure to listen to. I look forward to seeing them again..
Sat 3rd..# Splash The Cash (Country) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..Better than ever..Tue 6th..# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross-Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.20pm..As good as ever. We had 27 musicians and almost the same number of audience..Loads of good bluesy music. Everybody happy.
Wed 7th..# Cherry Lee Mewis Band (Blues Originals) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Club, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green..I have seen this band a few times but only as a trio, all are singers plus acoustic guitar, double bass, and ‘harp’. At this gig they added a resonator guitar player, so all the stringed instruments were electro-acoustic. With Cherry’s vocals the overall sound was superb and not too loud. I particularly liked it when both of the guitarists were playing slide. A very good gig...
Sat 10th.. Justine's Big Birthday Eclectic Acoustic Carousel (Africa Junction, BBZ Allstars, Bob Newell and more...) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..I’ve known Justine for quite a while, but never seen her with her drumming band..Something really different. Brilliant.,
Fri 16th..# Steph Willis (Acoustic duo) @ The Chequers, High Street, Marlow..The band at the first venue was crap. I left after 3 songs and one pint..I discovered that Steph Willis was at the Chequers, playing guitar and singing. She also had a bloke on one of those box drums. It was terrific. She had so much energy, excellent voice, and she chose some very good songs..Steph knows me and I spoke to her afterwards saying how much I enjoyed the gig. She apologised to me for not sending me her gigs list!..
Fri 23rd..# Brickhouse (Rock with Reto) @ The Royal British Legion, St Mary Street, Wycombe; Beer Festival from midday; music 3 sessions, 8-12pm!.Reto has put together this excellent band with two acoustic guitars, him and Steve. This means that bass Pete, and drums Sparky, don’t need to play too loud, and they don’t. It is just the the right volume so I can hear the vocals, and all the instruments including Caroline on saxophone, whom everybody likes to hear.I am a bit deaf, but only as expected for my age. Brickhouse volume is only a little above what I was playing on drums in 1963-66 with John Renbourn on lead guitar when he was at Farnham Arts School, and other students. I was still at school in the 5th-6th form. He is still going. In the holidays we played to audiences of 100-150 at the gigs, and getting £5 each, which was half of the average weekly wage. Wow..I really like Brickhouse.
Sat 24th..# Burn 20th Anniversary (Rock Classics) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..This band was totally at the opposite end of the sound spectrum from the one above, way too loud. The Belle Vue is one of the smallest venues around. Without me asking, Alan the licensee, mouthed that it was very loud. I had to lip-read because I could not hear him two feet away. He had his ear-plugs in, I had my hearing aids, both protecting our ears. Several other people told me it was to loud, and a few stayed outside the pub. The lead guitar and drummer were too loud sometimes, but this was because the singer and the bassist were well over the top. Both the singer’s shouting and the bassist loud playing would put them both into the top three loudest musicians that I have ever heard in the last 50 years..I came in the interval and talked to many friends, but when the second set started, I heard two songs, while finishing my pint. I went to a pub which didn’t have a band!..I won’t be going to see this line-up again...Do musicians playing at high volumes wear ear-plugs when they are playing?..If so they should get lessons on how to work PA and amplifiers..
JULY GIGS 2013..
Tue 2nd JULY..# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross-Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.20pm..“This gig was really good - it is so nice to go somewhere and feel "at home". Your jams are so relaxed, with such a warm ambiance. Everyone is so nice and friendly and the music is a real treat!”..Thank you Veronique...
Sat 6th..# Bitter Pills (Pop Rock with Reto’s new band , 2 Non Blondes) @ Derehams Inn Beer Festival, Derehams Lane, Loudwater; 9-11.30pm..As I got out my car, opposite the pub, I knew this would be a top class gig, as I could hear the band. The line-up was Reto Keiderling (guitar & vocals), Spencer Couzens (guitar), Pete Wilkinson (bass), Pete Keiderling (drums), Caroline Priestly (Saxophone) and Ben (harmonica). As I’ve said before you can’t go wrong with a line-up like this. The songs they did were well chosen, very well played and not to loud at all, probably because outside. They had a large number of rocking good songs, and then got the Two Non Blonds (Suzie & Ria) to sing about five songs like 'Nut Bush City Limits', before they went to another gig. Then Bitter Pills went on playing to midnight, when the venue switched off the electricity! There were 200 people or more. What an excellent evening this was. I hope they will they will play next year...
Wed 10th..# The Monday Band (Blues originals , covers), with Papa George (electric resonator guitars & vocals), Steve Simpson (guitar, vocals & mandolin), Pete Stroud (bass & backing vocals), Sam Kelly (drums, singing & dancing) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green..I’ve known these guys for years. They are top class national Bluesmen, whom we don’t get to see so often because the Nag’s Head is no more. They play original songs by Papa George and Steve Simpson as well as some Blues covers. They are internationally known, and work so well together. This gig is probably in my top three gigs in 2013. Please come back soon...
Sat 13th..# Teaser (Rock covers) 10.30-11.45 @ The Dashwood Arms, Charity Fest, Old Oxford Road, Piddington A40 west of West Wycombe..This was the last band to play on Saturday. It was awesome. The songs they did were very good and the sound was too. It was not too loud, as it was outside, and I could hear all the instruments. They got people up and dancing, even me at one point! The Whipjack crew were there, so I enjoyed talking to them and others. It was a very enjoyable evening altogether...
Sun 14th..# Reto and Friends; Splash the Cash; Tiny Tina Rock & Blues Band @ The Squirrel, Penn Street Beer Festival..# StealWorks (Rock , Blues Covers) @ The Hit or Miss Penn Street Beer Festival; 6-8.30pm..It was good fun at both the Squirrel and the Hit or Miss, especially when Tiny Tina got 2 other females, and two young boys dancing in her manic style at the Hit Or Miss. Hilariously funny...
JUNE GIGS 2013..
Sat 1st # 3 Bar Fire (Rock, Soul, Rhythm 'n' Blues, Rock 'n' Roll, Blues, Pop) @ Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 9-11.30pm This gig was a duo of Derek Timms on guitar and vocals, with Graham Walker on drums. Just the two of them made some great sounds and were playing at a sensible volume. They played a variety of covers and a few originals. Some of the ones I liked were “Call Me The Breeze” JJ Cale, “Summertime Blues” Eddie Cochran, “Come On In My Kitchen” & “Crossroads” Robert Johnson, “Baby What You Want Me To Do?” Jimmy Reed, “Hoochie Coochie Man” Willie Dixon played first by Muddy Waters. It was a superb gig. Thanks Guys...
Tue 4th..# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross-Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.30pm. The line-up this month was Phil Astles (vox & guitar), Ronnie Ryan (vox & harp), Dicky Baldwin (bass), Sam Kelly (drums), Mike Wesson (keys) and Rupe (vox). Matt Jones was depping on guitar, he did a good job...One of the best Blues Jams with Rupe & Friends at the Cross Keys, Marlow. Smiles all round. What more can I say? Thanks to all of the 25 musicians who were there, and the audience, which was more than that. Thanks to all the ‘Marlow Girls’, shown below, and other people like Yvonne, who came from quite a distance. Please do come again to the July 2nd Jam...
Fri 7th..# BBZ Allstars @ Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 9-11.30pm..I was pleased to hear that Steve BBZ had got over his sore throat. The band played very well, as usual, and some very good songs. For me, it was best to listen to them at the back off this very small pub, because the rhythm section was a bit to loud. When you get to my age, all of you who listen to loud music will know what I mean!..
Wed 12th..# Grapevine Blues Duo @ The Ship, West Street, Marlow..This was the first time I’ve heard this duo, although I have heard the full 4/5-piece band on and off for about 15 years. The duo is Dr Ika (Eeka) from Georgia on guitar, and Mike Chase on vocals and harp/ guitar. The sound was excellent, not at all loud, and very good to listen to. Probably because of a good set-up on the PA, and lower volume than most bands. They played some blues classics such as ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’, ‘Love You Like A Man’, ‘Stormy Monday’ and an original by Mike ‘Blind Black Woman’. It was a pity that I was probably the only one in the pub who came to listen to the music!..
Fri 14th..# Custard Cream (Classic Rock) @ The Chequers, High Street, Marlow..Another first, which was the first time this band had played at The Chequers, having only recently been created. They did what they say on the blue link above...They were playing all sorts of Rock-Blues. I was pleased to hear a few blues songs from way back in the last century. The sound was good, and comfortably loud, not painfully loud! I look forward to hearing them again...
Sat 15th..# The Robin Bibi Band (Blues) @ The Cookham Village Fair, Cookham Moor, Maidenhead; The Village Fair is from 11am to 4pm; Robin Bibi 2.45-4pm..This gig is organised by the Cookham Scouts. I wanted to go and see the band but not in torrential rain! From my house about two miles away, I kept an eye on the Thames valley for a bit of blue sky. It came about 3.20pm so I went to Cookham...I was there for the last half-hour and enjoyed it. The music was excellent, as usual. Robin did his usual disappearance from where the band were (in a marque), into the pub about 50 metres away! The sound engineers, whom I knew also, had a small marque. They needed it! It was a pity that the rain spoiled much of the fun, and income for the scouts...
Fri 21st..# Paul Morris & The Revelators (Slide-led Delta Blues & Boogie) @ Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 9-11.30pm..Way too loud. I left the Belle Vue in 20 minutes after drinking my pint. I wish I hadn’t bought any beer! This band was giving me tinnitus on the first song they did! The songs were boring, and the riffs all sounding the same. I won’t ever go to see this band again...The Midnight Rebel Band featuring Beth Emily Morris (60s-10s/ Pop, Rock & Soul) @ The Wooburn Club, Wooburn Green..This band was quite loud, but playing in a big venue, so it was not harmful. We could talk quite easily at the back end of the club. They played some good songs and got the few girls up and dancing...
Sat 22nd June..# The South Side (Original Rock) @ Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 9-11.15pm..I’ve known this band for a long time. They play original songs, and some covers in their own style. Their songs were really good and we wanted more at the end...This band does care about the volume and asked me if it was OK. Yes it was! They had turned the sound down because of The Belle Vue’s size. The bass and drums weren’t too loud, and I could stand taking photos right next to the small PA speakers, without any problems. That was strange, because the vocals were much easier for me to hear. Good PA set-up, yeah!..
Wed 26th..# The Under Covers (Acoustic) @ The Ship, West Street, Marlow 01628-484360
I went to see this duo again. They have so much energy put into their songs. Yes they did The William Tell overture, by Rossini, whose overtures I love. A Brilliant highlight. This was preceded by a Mozart tune which we all know, but I couldn’t remember the name...
Thr 27th..# Bonnie Raitt (Blues/ Rock/ Soul) @ The Royal Albert Hall, London...What can I say, apart from amazing, brilliant, excellent? I was sitting in the circle, which is the highest seats. We couldn’t see much but we could hear the sound. Bonnie and her band played for two hours, including encores. Bonnie has a fantastic voice. Wow!..
Fri 28th..# Phil Astles Band (Blues) @ The Three Horseshoes, The Common, Flackwell Heath; ; 9-11.30pm..This is always a very good gig with Phil Astles, Ronnie Ryan and Alex Rae, and others. You can hear them at Rupe & Friend’s Blues Jam on Tuesday 2nd July. Don’t miss it!..Phil & Ronnie are in Rupe’s House Band, and Alex on sax also comes to play...
Tuesday 2nd April 2013..# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross-Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow..This was a brilliant evening and everybody said so. Smiles all round. There were 30 musicians and over 55 altogether.The place was packed, so landlord Mick will be removing a few of the tables for the next Blues Jam, so the Marlow girls can dance...The volume was not as loud as the Jam in March, which was good. The only thing that annoyed me was that I forgot to take any photos drrrrrr! This was probably because I was a little under the weather, but I did sing three songs at the end, which I think were appreciated...Thank you everybody who helped making it such a good time...Rupe’s Blues Jam with Friends is alway on the 1st Tuesday of the Month...Do come along. I promise you won’t be disappointed...
Wed 3rd..# Jason Manners 3 Buck Shirt @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane Holmer Green; £5..This is a Reading based band. I got there for the second set, as usual. It was another brilliant and funky Blues gig. The songs they played are rarely heard. ‘Crazy 'bout an automobile’ by Ry Cooder, ‘Willing’ and ‘Dixie Chicken’ by Little Feat, and a Kenyan ‘Blues’ sang in their language, wow!..Don’t miss this band next time. Excellent.
Thr 4th..# Reto and Friends did this Adam Budd’s Acoustic Jam-Night @ The Three Horseshoes, The Common, Flackwell Heath...This gig was a last minute one because the leader of the duo, who were booked to play, phoned Adam to say he was on holiday!..I’m pleased I went to this Jam because it will be probably the best one I like on the 1st Thursday of the month. I don’t know the names of all the musicians, but I enjoyed hearing it all with Reto and Steve on guitar & vocals, Big Azza on harp and singing, Hector Gomez & Adam singing, Caroline on sax, all good musians, and several more. Let’s hope that Reto will make the 1st Thursday his regular jam...
Sat 6th..# Ward 4 @ (Rock ‘n’ Roll) @ The Hobgoblin, High Street, Wycombe..I got to the Hobgoblin about 4-5 songs before the interval, which is good for me! What excellent Rock ‘n’ Roll sounds from this band, particularly from the lead guitarist, who set down the rhythm for the band along with the drummer, who also sang. Both he and the lead singer had real R’n’R voices. I’ve known this band for a long time, but have not heard them for a year or three, and forgotten how good they are. Ward 4 played songs rarely heard these days, but I enjoyed singing along to them. Ward 4 are a Wycombe based band, so if you see them listed on my website or flyers, do go to see them...
Sat 13th # Robin Bibi Band (Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..What a brilliant gig with loads of Blues songs, and more. I arrived at the pub and went to get a beer at the lower section. Robin was walking towards me, as he has wireless guitar to his amplifier. This is one of the things he does. When he recognised me, he put his hat on my head, smiles all round. Then he got on to a table, as usual, so I took a few photos. The songs Robin sings are very good, playing a lot of slide and other effects, but the one I liked the best this time was his version of Alison Krauss’s ‘Down To The River To Play’, with all of Robin’s trio singing his song, and several of the audience too. What a superb gig...
Thr 18th..# Jimmy James & The Blue Flames @ The Cross Keys, Spittall Street, Marlow..They play on 3rd Thursday of the month...The musicians in this band vary, as many do, but this was the best combination I have heard of them, and the only photographs I have. Guitarist Jimmy was playing some sort of ES 335 guitar but I don’t think it was a Gibson. He also had no pedals or effects, but the sounds he produced were very mellow and not too loud, with good riffs and excellent solos. Jimmy lead the band into each song with good rhythm for the singer Lauren. She sang ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ normally sung by males, and Etta James’ ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, as if she meant it. There were other songs of the same genre too. Lauren is a superb singer of Blues, R&B, R’n’R, and others. The drummer Dan Taylor, whom I have known for a long time as leader of ‘The Small Fakers’, was excellent as always. Bassist was Len was very good too. This band is based in Maidenhead & Cookham...I talked to Jimmy, Lauren and Dan after the gig and they all said that they want to come to play at the next Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross-Keys Function Room, Marlow. Tuesday 7th May..Let’s hope they do!..I look forward to hearing them...
Fri 26th..# Lewis Cohen & Son Maxwell (Acoustic Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe. Winter’s End Beer Festival 26th-28th..I love acoustic Blues and this is what these two play. Both sing, Lewis plays guitar and Son Maxwell plays blues ‘harp’. They play excellent acoustic Blues, and tonight was no exception. I enjoyed it all...I have known these two guys for a very long time and had the pleasure of them backing me sometimes, Lewis in The Kickback years ago, and Son Maxwell was a founder member of Rupe & Friends in the Nag’s Head House Blues Band, for about 4 years...
FRIDAY 1st MARCH 2013..# Rockfall @ The Green Dragon, Blind Lane, Flackwell Heath; 8.30pm..This was a good band on it’s second gig at The Dragon. They played a number of various covers very well and not too loud. I’d go to see them again...
Sat 2nd..# BrickHouse (Rock with Reto) @ The Cherry Tree, Straight Bit, Flackwell Heath..With the line-up Reto has in this band he can’t go wrong. They were Reto (guitar vocals), Sparky Dalton (bass), Pete (drums), Caroline (sax) Ben (harp). There were around 100 people at this gig, and the band got several of them up and dancing. There was a young man who played several songs with the band which were really good. It was good to hear both guitarists playing amplified acoustic guitars. I like that. The gig was brilliant and I really enjoyed it...
Tue 5th..# Blues Jam with Rupe & Friends @ The Cross-Keys Function Room, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.20pm..Yes I know it’s my Jam, but I hope I am not biased. Everybody there thoroughly enjoyed it. We had 20 musicians, including the house band, with a total attendance just below 40. There were several singers as well, and it was smiles all round. It was also rocking and a few people wanted to dance near the end, so we will have to take out a couple of tables for next time. The Function Room is about one year old. It has excellent decor with about 45 seats. The sound is brilliant, and will not damage your ears. The musicians are very good to excellent..I know that some of you do not like the Cross Keys, but that’s because some of it is weekend drunkenness, and various other incidents, which have happened in the pub, and away from it!...You only need to go into the bar when you want a drink or the toilet. In any case there are only a few young men playing pool in the bar on Tuesdays...When you are in the Functions Room you are on another brilliant planet. So don’t be worried about being there on the First Tuesday of the month...We need a much larger audience, if we are to be viable for the venue, so do come and support us.
Wed 6th..# The Good Old Boys @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane Holmer Green; £5 Brilliant Rock and Roll as usual...
Fri 8th..# Brock & the Badgers @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe...Bass & Drums were much too loud. Several people agreed with me!..
Sat 9th..# Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash @ Arts4every1, Old St Johns Church, Desborough Road, Wycombe..I knew the name of this band, but not much more. After I got used to the sound in a big echoey ex-church, I quite enjoyed it...
Thr 14th..# Reto & Friends Blues/ R’n’R Jam with Rupe @ The Cross Keys, Spittle Street, Marlow..Reto’s Blues Band is a very good quartet consisting of Reto on guitar & lead vocals, Spence on guitar, Sparky on bass, and Pete on drums. The house-band played for about 30 minutes with Ken (harp) joining in. There were only three others to jam... Alan on guitar, David on drums and me singing. Then Big Azza arrived so I asked him to sing and play on harp. He did five songs, with Alan replacing Spence, and one song with me. David played with the three songs I did, and Ken played harp on two of them. Then even Couger Bob Newell showed up and did one song. This jam was one of Reto’s best...
Sat 16th..# Tiny Tina Rock & Blues Band @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow..What a Rocking good gig this was with Tiny Tina & her band. They have got a very good sound of Tina Turner’s songs and others from the 50s onwards. This band is a really good gig. Do go to see her when she is near you...
Wed 20th..# Rag Mama Rag (Acoustic Blues) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane Holmer Green..This is the very best acoustic Blues I have heard in the 2000’s, which is why this duo comes to Dusty’s at least once a year. They are English, but live in France, and come over about four times a year to tour in England. Ashley Dow sings and plays acoustic guitar, resonators & Weissenborn lap-steel. The Weissenborn sound is fantastic. Deborah Dow plays excellent ‘harp’, washboard, spoons and backing vocals. This is a top class 30‘s Rag/ Blues including Robert Johnson and Leadbelly...
Fri 22nd..# Rev Ferriday & Owen (Acoustic Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..This local duo were superb and really good to listen to acoustic blues rather than electric. Catch them if you can...
Sat 23rd..# Big Knight Out, featuring Big Azza (Rhythm Blues) @ The Three Horseshoes, Flackwell Heath..This was the third blues gig this week with Big Azza and three friends, playing both originals and covers. Again it was most enjoyable gig and not too loud. He will be back sometime soon from his home in Devon...
Thr 28th.
.# The Debris (Matt Bond & Dan Taylor of the Small Fakers) @ The Cross Keys, Spittall Street, Marlow; 9pm-2am...When you’ve got two Small Fakers in your trio you can’t go wrong. I don’t know the name of the third player, but he was just as good as Matt. They both could sing and they swapped guitar and bass for one session. Everybody loved it.....
Fri 29th..# JamTransformer @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..I went to the Beaconsfield Arms without having a pint, because I didn’t see any friends, and the band was way too loud...Then I went to The Bell Vue, where the band was even louder!..All I could hear was the bass player and drummer playing way to loud. Vocals and the guitarist singer I could not hear! All the people to whom I spoke agreed with me...We were all hiding behind the upper bar. It’s a pity because when they started out it was nothing like the volume at this gig. I won’t be going to see this band again...
Sat 30th..# XcS (Reggae) @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11pm & DJ ‘ti 2.30am..I got there about 10.30pm during the interval. I don’t know why venues have loud music playing on the PA, during this time. People want to talk to each other, so the music should be background music, instead of the same volume as the bands, which means everyone is shouting at each other. The same thing happens at some other venues...XcS second set was very good and loud, but not of the ear damaging kind! This was probably because the pub was packed. They could have turned the vocal microphones up a bit. They went on to 12.10pm which must be a record at The X-Keys, before the DJ came on. I enjoyed jigging about to the sounds of XcS as did most of the people near the band...
Fri 1st February 2013..# The Rymatones (Buddy tribute & other 50s classics, to commemorate the anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death on February 3rd 1957, aged 22) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..This is a brilliant band. I’ve been listening to them for the last 2-3 years since they started, and they have got the real feel of Buddy Holly and The Crickets. I bought the ‘Buddy Holly Story’ vinyl album about 1961 or ’62 when I was a teenager. It was one of the first five albums I bought, and very popular among teenagers. We all loved Buddy Holly’s music...Thanks guys. I look forward to hearing you soon...
Thr 7th..# The Blues Associates BluesJam @ The Cross Keys, Spittle Street, Marlow..As usual I got to this gig around 10pm. I’m pleased I did, because my friends in Short Fuse had taken over the second half of this Jam. They live in southern Spain. Steve Coleridge is on bass, vocals & ‘harp’. His brilliant drummer is from the USA, and is also a great singer. The lead guitarist is from Argentina. Steve has also recruited local guitarist Dave Poulton of ‘Splash The Cash’ and ‘Rupe’s Nag’s Blues Band’. Excellent Blues. Don’t miss them...
Sat 9th.
.# Big Azza’s Delta Goove (Blues) @ The Three Horseshoes, Flackwell Heath..The Sunday jam has stopped because lack of support, but there may be gigs like the one above. This was an excellent Blues gig in a pleasant venue, with a good crowd attending. Big Azza sang several songs and also played his ‘harp’. Lead guitarist was Phil Astles, who also sang some songs. Rhythm section was Mike Newell on bass and Noel Wood on drums. There were special guests too with Sheila Riley on bass, Alex Rae on sax, a friend of Azzas on ‘harp’, and landlord Adam Budd singing a few songs. Not only were the songs played and sang well, but the sound was excellent, balanced and not too loud. Azza told me that they had to re-set the sound after the first couple of songs, before I got there. I look forward to hearing some more gigs in this venue...
Wed 13th..# Short Fuse Blues (Acoustic Duo) @ The Ship, West Street, Marlow..Brilliant!
Thr 14th..# Reto & Friends Blues Jam with Rupe, and Short Fuse Blues @ The Cross Keys, Spittle Street, Marlow. Fantastic! Short Fuse, Rupe, Pamela and the other musicians made it a most enjoyable gig...
Sat 16th..# Short Fuse Blues @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..I couldn’t get to this one as I was at a 60th Birthday Party near Guildford...
Wed 20th..# Rollo Markee & the Tail Shakers @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane Holmer Green; £5..Excellent Blues-Swing band with an authentic 1950's/60's sound, with Rollo on ‘Harp’ & Vocals, upright bass, Jazz guitar & drums. I don’t know their names...Rupe....Rupe’s Comments:-
JANUARY GIGS 2013..
Fri 4th Jan
..# Me, My Wife & Irene who is Mark (Acoustic covers & originals) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe 01494-524728..I had not seen this band before, and arrived during the interval, as usual. Several people told me how good the singer (Sarah) was, but could not hear her properly because the voice mic was not turned up enough. After they did their first song in the second set, I agreed. So I spoke to the band, saying that ‘I had my hearing aids on, but could not hear the vocals. Please turn the microphone up’. They took my advice, and what a difference it made. This trio are superb, and worked really well together to support a brilliant singer. Everybody enjoyed it. It was a very pleasant experience to have a much quieter sound than most other bands I could name...
Sat 5th Jan..# Built For Comfort @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..I have seen this band 3 or 4 times before, and I like the funky Blues/ R&B..songs they do. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them playing John Lee Hooker’s ‘Dimples’, which I can play, and other songs that you never hear. I look forward to hearing this band again soon...
Sun 6th Jan..# Afternoon Jam @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 4-8pm..I have only been to this gig once before, about four years ago. There were loads of musicians I know there, and a few I had played with. The music was very good, but I stayed for only one pint of beer, because it was way too loud. I asked about six musicians what they thought. All of them agreed with me, and some said it was normal! So why do they attend gigs that are too loud, and damaging their hearing..????...Despite me wearing my hearing aids which protect my ears, this gig caused me tinnitus for an hour, so I won’t be going there again...There were two little girls, of about 4 and 6 years old. Their mother gave both of them ear-protectors. This should tell you all you need to know, about the sound level at this gig. They left shortly after I arrived, probably for bed-time....
Wed 9th Jan..# Dusty’s Heroes @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5..I go to Dusty’s quite often because it has very good music. This time it was Dusty playing with a band, from Reading, but I don’t know their name. I knew most of the songs they played, but not the titles. It was a mix of classic funk, soul, rock and blues. Dusty and the other guitarist played off each other, and the sounds were really good. The keys, bass and drums were excellent with their supporting role and solos, but that’s not all.There were also two guest singers. Di came on twice in the second set and sang four songs with real feeling for the lyrics. Yeah!..Ron Ryan, who helps with running Dusty’s, did two songs brilliantly. I have never heard him singing these before, but it was superb...What a good evening it was...
Thursday 10th January..Rupe’s Blues Band @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.15pm...In one day I put together a brilliant band of players to cover for Reto’s band. All are excellent musicians who have played in The Nag’s Head House Band in the last five years. They are:- Phil Astles (guitar & vocals), Spencer Couzens (guitar), Sam Kelly (drums), Dicky Baldwin (bass), Ron Ryan (keys & vocals), and Rupe (vocals & electro-acoustic guitar). You can’t go wrong with a band like this. We also had an additional 11 jam musicians to make the evening interesting, and it was. This must be a record for the X-Keys Blues Jam Nights...Everybody enjoyed it, smiles all round, and all the House Band told me, in no uncertain terms, that they really wanted to do it again...Maybe we can get a monthly Blues Jam at this venue!..
Wednesday 16th January..# Undercovers Acoustic Duo (Acoustic duo) @ The Ship, West Street, Marlow..The Ship in West Street, Marlow has re-started it’s Wednesday acoustic gigs with different acts each week. I went to see this one with the Undercovers acoustic duo..They sang all-sorts of songs very well. I think the very best one was an instrumental near the end, and I couldn’t believe what they were playing. It was The William Tell overture, by Rossini, whose overtures I love. A Brilliant highlight, and everyone stopped talking. It was most famously known as the theme music for The Lone Ranger in radio and television shows, more than 45 years ago...I am going to hear these guys again...
Wed 30th..# Moscow City Ballet performing The Nutcracker @ The Swan Theatre, Saint Mary Street, Wycombe; 7.30pm; £24-35/ concessions £2 off...We’ve been for last two years to see The Siberian ballet perform Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet. They were brilliant. That’s why Pat, Katie and I are going again... www.wycombeswan.co.uk
GIGS 2012..
Thr 6th Dec 2012...# The Ealing Club Xmas Party @ The Red Room, Ealing Broadway...This is an invitation from Robert Hokum of ‘The Guvnors’, who also organises the Ealing Blues Festival...If anybody wishes to visit the most hallowed ground in British Blues, this is the premises where Alexis Korner started the British electric blues scene in 1962...I saw Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies, Dick Hextall-Smith and others, several times at The Ricky Tick Club in a pub on the Guildford by-pass in 1963. I can’t remember the name, but it is still there. Robert Hokum has reminded me that it was The Wooden Bridge...
Saturday 8th December 2012..# Brickhouse (Reto’s new band) @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.30pm..Having seen Brickhouse playing at my local, The Green Dragon, Flackwell Heath, on Friday 30th November, which I think was their first gig, I just had to go to the Cross Keys in Marlow this Saturday. Reto played acoustic guitar and sang, Sparky Dalton was on bass and vocals, Reto’s brother Pete Keiderling was on drums, and Caroline Priestly was on sax. This combination, and the songs they did were brilliant. With her sax playing Caroline gave a new edge to one of Reto’s bands. Everybody liked this rocking good gig...
Wed 12th December..# Cherry Lee Mewis Band (Original Blues) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane Holmer Green..This is a really good band who play blues originals and tour in USA. It was the first time I had heard this trio with a drummer. He did make a significant difference, and feel, to what the band were playing. Excellent Blues...
Thursday 13th December..# Reto’s Blues Jam @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.15pm will have as The House Band with Sparkie Dalton, and Caroline Priestley, plus Pete Wilkinson on drums. Mike Wesson on keys, and Spencer Couzens on joint lead guitar (both playing in Rupe’s Nag’s Head Blues Band). Wow! What a good line-up...I got there after the start, and my clip-board was needed. Mike and Caroline didn’t make it, but there were nine musicians/ singers in addition to the 4-piece band, which must be a record for the X-Keys. The jammers were Mike Turner, Alan Skipper (guitars), Steve Coleridge (bass, vocals & harp), Dave (R’n’R songs), Keith McLarty (bass), Martyn Mauger (drums), Ben and Ken (harps), and Rupe (electro-acoustic guitar & vocals). It was a very good night and everybody who wanted to play did so, as I said they would. There is still need for more musicians especially singers. There was also a larger audience than usual, but even more supporters would be appreciated, and make for a better evening. The landlord was very happy with this jam. ...I will be helping Reto in his next Jam, and probably others, which will now, always be on the 2nd Thursday of the month...The next one is on Thursday 10th January 2013...Whether you are a singer, player or gig-goer please try to be there and support us...Thank you...P.S. - Reto has a very good jam at The Stag, Flackwell Heath on the last Thursday of the month. The next one will be on...
Thr 27th..# Acoustic Jam with Reto & Friends @ The Stag, Flackwell Heath..
Fri 14th..# Brock & The Badgers (Blues-Rock) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 4-7pm 01494-524728..I have never heard this band live before. The band was very good and I enjoyed the lead guitarist’s playing and singing, but the volume was just about bearable, for this small venue, if you were in the back bar...
Thr 20th..# The Blues Associates Blues Jam @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.15pm I got there late, in the interval, during which I was talking to several people who knew me. When the second set started, everybody including me, musicians, and the audience were saying that they were way too loud. Even the landlord asked me if it was too loud. He said that they were quieter in the first set. We all all agreed...Several people (about 8) left the pub just after they started the second set...I stayed for two songs, just long enough to finish my pint. I had tinnitus after their first song...
Fri 21st..# BBZ All-Stars (End of the World Party) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe..An excellent gig. I enjoyed the playing, the songs, and the whole situation. The place was packed. Another good BBZ gig...
Sat 22nd..# The Kez (Pop/Rock) @ The Wooburn Club, Wooburn Green; 8-11.45pm..I have never heard this band before, but I have listened to them on Lemonrock...This 3-piece band sounded like a 4-piece (rhythm guitar missing), and what I heard was very much like the sounds I heard in the originals 60s and 70s...Everybody liked them, and were dancing or singing, or both, which I was at the end. It is a band I would seriously consider to play, if I was going to have a party. ..
NOVEMBER GIGS 2012..
Wed 14th November 2012..# Red Wine Serenaders (Amazing Italian Blues, Soul, Roots) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane Holmer Green; £5..Mac has met this band in France, and told me how good they are. He went, and I took a car-load too. ..This gig was nothing short of wonderful brilliance!..
Thr 15th..# Grapevine Blues Band Blues Jam @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.15pm 01628-482522...I got there around 10.40pm after having fallen asleep until 10.20pm. As soon as I walked in the band wanted me to sing. I got a beer first and then sang two songs by Leadbelly & Jimmy Reed which went down well...Mike Chase said that they were told it was a gig, not a jam!..
Fri 16th..# JamTransformer (Modern Rock) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe Way too loud in this small venue, and I considered the volume to be ear damaging. I have seen them at the Nag’s Blues Loft and they were alright, because it is a much bigger space. I told Alan, but I wish I hadn’t bought a beer, so I could have left sooner. When I had finished I went to see..
# Oye Santana (The Music of Carlos Santana) @ Chequers, High Street, Marlow...Their usual dynamic performance, and I caught the last 30 minutes. Loud, but thankfully, not so much as to cause damage to your ears...
Sat 17th..# Whipjack (Rock classics) @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.15pm; DJ ‘til 2.30am 01628-482522 www.whipjack.co.uk I had been in London from 1-8pm, for a family christening. The tube trains and platforms were packed by hundreds on the way back. It took us one hour to get from South Kensington to Marylebone (8 stations) on the way home, with about 15 minutes to get off the Piccadilly line at the Piccadilly platform! When I got home I went out to another gig, for one pint. Then I moved on to this Whipjack gig, and caught about the last hour, to nearly Midnight. It really got all the girls dancing, and a few of the guys. I was pleased to be invited to be backing singer in the chorus of Honky Tonk Woman and play tambourine...Got some good photos too!..
Thr 22nd..# Jimi James & The Blue Flames Blues Jam @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow; 9-11.15pm 01628-482522..The band, who’s guitarist and singer came to jam two Thursdays ago, said this gig was not a jam! After I pointed this out to the landlord, around 10.30pm, they did get a few players up. Two musicians friends of mine were fed up after waiting so long, so we went to O’Donaghue’s...
Fri 23rd..# The Repertoire Dogs (Pop-Rock Party Band), support by Jess & The Gents including Nick Heyward and Sam Brown @ Old Luxters Barn, Dudley Lane, Hambleden, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 6JW; £10, Doors open 7.30pm, support on at 8.15pm, ‘The Dogs’ on at 9.15pm to about 11.30pm...This was a very good gig all round. Jess and The Gents were much more interesting than last May, because they had a greater variety of songs. The sound system was much clearer than ever before, so we could hear the singers at the back of the barn, and all of ‘The Dogs’ were on very good form. It was also possibly the best attendance I’ve seen there, with over 100. Don’t miss the next one in May... www.therepertoiredogs.co.uk www.oldluxtersbarn.co.uk
Wed 28th..# Giles Hedley & The Aviators + Christophe Pellisie @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5.. www.gileshedley.com/index.htm BRILLIANT!..
OCTOBER GIGS 2012..
Wed 3rd..# The (Legendary) Mafia, Chris Dennis, Mark Freeman and John Mackay (above) @ Dusty’s, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett Lane, Holmer Green; £5..This is one of our very best local bands. What a fantastic gig this was with brilliant 50s-60s R&B, Blues, and Rock ‘n’ Roll songs. The Venue was filled to capacity. I brought three friends along and we all enjoyed what they played, as did everybody there...One of the best parts for me was, the usual ‘audience participation’ song, ‘You Can’t Judge A Book by Looking At The Cover’, John Mackay got me up, with others, to play percussion. I was on tambourine. John also invited me to sing the last verse of this Bo Diddley song written by Willie Dixon, which he never sings, and is one of my favourites. I really enjoyed doing this, which made my evening.For me, and many others, these guys are a ‘Must Not Miss Gig’...Chris & Mark have been playing with the tribute band ‘The Rolling Stoned’ for a several years, and have played at The Rolling Stones parties. They have just returned from a tour in Germany...This is why they only play about three gigs a year as The Mafia..So don’t miss the next one!..
Thr 25th..# The Blues Associates Blues Jam @ The Cross Keys, Spittal Street, Marlow.. 9-11.15pm 01628-48252 I’d Rather Go Blind..This was a very good gig with this Guildford based band, who are all good musicians...I caught all the second set which went up to mid- night and enjoyed it apart from the fact that it was a might too loud, especially the bass. This is a blues jam-night, so get down there for their next one. There were four jammers there, of which three play at Rupe’s Blues Jam...
Sat 27th October 2012..# Beth & The Black Cat Bones (Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe 01494-524728.....# King Rollo’s Fusion in Blues @ Arts4every1, Desborough Road, Wycombe; Doors Open 7pm; Tickets £10 phone 01494-445517/ 07926-002047..Listen to King Rollo on this link www.king-rollo.co.uk/listen_now.php And this - www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc_iG3qYknU&feature=player_ King Rollo – troubadour of the blues and creator of the stage-show ‘John Doe – A Story Of The Blues' www.king-rollo.co.uk/productions_johndoe.php Lives in the West Country....Laurent Mouflier, awarded Best Blues Harp in 2005 by Blues Matters Magazine.. www.myspace.com/laurentmouflier Ruby Stevens - Soul and Blues diva from Chichester. www.facebook.com/olivia.stevens.167 Ian Roberts – Drummer and percussionist...I saw King Rollo solo two or three times about 10 years ago, at The Antelope in Wycombe. He is a superb acoustic Blues singer and guitar player, with an authentic sound and feel to what he plays. He is also a good raconteur, and altogether very entertaining. I bought a CD from him and he gave me another one free! They were very good, and I learned some of the country-blues songs on them...Do support this gig, otherwise you won’t see the likes of him for a long time....
SEPTEMBER GIGS 2012...
Thr 13th..# Lightnin’ Willie & The Poor Boys (USA - Rockin’ Good Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe; 9pm...It went on to midnight!..The Poor Boys are, Nobby Richards on Drums, Aaron McRobbie on Bass, and Giles King on ‘Harp’...I saw them Monday 3rd Sept @ The Jericho Tavern, Oxford - Brilliant...I saw them again on Thursday 13th September @ The Belle Vue. It was fantastic and one of the best gigs I have been to this year... www.lightninwillie.com
Sat 29th September 2012..# 3AM (Blues) @ The Belle Vue, Gordon Road, Wycombe - Excellent with their new singer Laura Long. Their original songs were very good, and got the girls up dancing, and me jigging about a bit too. I look forward to hearing them with their keyboards player. I wish I’d gone to the 3AM gig earlier, and not the Groundhogs!..
Sun 15th July 2012..# Paul Simon playing the whole of Graceland and more in Hyde Park...I discovered him back in 1963, when I won a copy of the ‘Paul Simon Song Book’ on vinyl, in a quiz at The Army & Navy store Guildford. I also won a prize for my then girlfriend and my brother. After I started playing guitar in 1977 I learned some of Paul Simon’s songs from that 1963 album. His songs had a big influence on me. Last year I saw him live, for the first time, at The Round House, when my son Tom was lucky enough to get us free tickets to his gig there during the July Apple-Mac iTunes month...I went to this concert with my wife Pat, and our children Katie and Tom, in their 30s. It was brilliant and up there with the very best I’ve been to....
Fri 13th January..Hi Rupe – Happy New Year to you mate!...Not sure if you’re aware already, but the four of us in The Small Fakers (Small Faces tribute band) also now play as Holy Moly, with Mollie Marriott, the daughter of Small faces and Humble Pie lead singer Steve Marriott, on lead vocals for us...We play a mix of 60s and 70s rock, soul, funk and RnB covers by folks like Etta James, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Beatles, The Temptations, The Meters, Booker T & The MGs, Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll, Creedence Clearwater Revival etc....Anyway, we’re playing Jagz in Ascot next Friday (Jan 13th)...Are you able to put the word around for us mate? Will stick you +1 on the guest list of course if you want to come along yourself?..Many thanks,Dan...
Fri 13th January..# Holy Moly (60s/70s Rock/Soul/Funk/R&B) @ Jagz, Station Hill, Ascot; 8pm; £7 book a table 01344-87800..Holy Moly + Support : Morrison

HOLY MOLY featuring Mollie Marriott Mollie (25), daughter of Steve Marriott (Small Faces) followed on in the family tradition by going on stage early. Her first record deal was as a member of girl band D2M at the age of 12. Since then, she has recorded with Joe Brown, Dean Rees, Sweet Felicity Arkwright, The Tsunami Appeal for Mod Aid where she sang lead vocal on the single Afterglow. She has also done backing vocals for P.P.Arnold and Oasis. Mollie sang at the Astoria London tribute to her late father Steve performing with Paul Weller, Zak Starkey & Deborah Bonham. The band will be familiar to some, as they normally play together as the SMALL FAKERS. They have played over 200 gigs around the country in the past 4 years as the only tribute to 60s mod icons the Small Faces. Although there's an all too obvious link with the Small Faces, HOLY MOLY will be playing a soul-tinged set of songs including killer tracks from Dusty Springfield, Etta James, The Beatles and The Spencer Davis Group.......