The definitive documentary on the beginnings of British Rhythm and Blues is currently available on BBC I Player. Featuring interviews from Keith Richards, BB King, Champion Jack, Paul Jones (Manfred Mann) it summarises how the Blues arrived in Britain and it’s subsequent return to US audiences…..look out for Marshall stacks (developed in Hanwell (Ealing Borough) Blues Incorporated and Ealing.
Many other bands that grew up in the area and were influenced by those Blues beginnings do not get a mention…e.g. The Who.
Blues Britannia: Can Blue Men Sing the Whites (Currently on BBC I Player)
The Ealing Club does get a mention and there’s even some pictures of those steps, where musicians have recently started to return. It is here, Keith Richards first heard Alexis Korner, call out the words “Dooji Wooji”. Korner’s band, Blues Incorporated, then blasted into their own interpretation of the Duke Ellington classic.
Keith Richards was just one of the musicians who would “cut their teeth” in 1962/63 at Ealing. Eric Clapton came to sing in the intervals and a young Pete Townshend absorbed the sounds of Graham Bond, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. In 1964, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and The Who would be just a couple of bands to play the club, but not before the early success of Manfred Mann (the first British band from Southern England to break the US market)
The Ealing Club is featured in this BBC4 documentary at minute 25 onwards.