Tag Archives: The Red Room

The Ealing Blues Festival 2013

SAT 20 / SUN 21 JULY 2013

In 2012, the great John Mayall whose contribution to British Blues is without question,  stated in Classic Blues Magazine: “Ealing is obviously the foundation and starting point of everything” Good reason, for Ealing council to double the size of The Ealing Blues Festival to two days. Bundles of top quality blues, beautiful surroundings, great food with an entry of a Fiver!

Dr. Feelgood
Storming out of Canvey Island in the mid-70’s, Feelgood’s brand of minimalist Rhythm’n’Blues was entirely at odds with Prog/ Stadium Rock and Disco music which were in vogue at the time.  Needless to say, they found success, scoring a #1 album with ‘Stupidity’ and a chart hit with ‘Milk & Alcohol’. A major influence on Joe Strummer of the Clash, they paved the way for the ‘New Wave’ movement. Sadly founder member Lee Brilleaux died in 1994, but thankfully the musicians in Dr Feelgood at the time of his death decided to continue his legacy and they will comprise the line–up performing at the Ealing Blues Festival.
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For more background on Dr Feelgood you can watch OIL CITY CONFIDENTIAL that tells the story of the band through the eyes of their original legendary guitarist, Wilko Johnson. Any links to West London will not be obvious….. However, why are Dr. Feelgood so important to Ealing? Because, prior to moving to Canvey Island, founder Lee Brilleaux went to school at Oaklands in Hanwell and Ealing Grammar School. He lived a stones throw from the first Marshall Amp shop in Hanwell.  There is no doubt he would have heard stories of the great Harmonica player Cyril Davies who helped inspire the first generation of British R & B that met together at the Ealing Club in 1962. The influence on both harmonica players…..Chicago Blues. 

Robert Hokum & The Devil Drives
Founder and host musician of the Ealing Blues Festival since its inception in 1987, Ealing’s Robert Hokum is an established figure on the blues circuit. A versatile musician, (Blues Matters magazine has described him as ‘very talented ….. consummate style & technique’) he performs all styles of blues from the 1920’s to the present day and has even been known to rap. This year he plays with a new band ‘The Devil Drives’ which promises to be the funkiest that he has ever gigged with. And, in common with Dr Feelgood’s founder, Lee Brilleaux, he also went to school at Oaklands in Hanwell and Ealing Grammar.
Robert Hokum shreds with Marshall amp copy
Never The Bride
Fronted by vocalist Nikki Lambourn and multi-instrumentalist Catherine ‘Been’ Feeney, Never The Bride have been described by DJ Bob Harris as ‘one of the best live bands in Britain’. The Who’s Roger Daltrey has described Nikki as ‘the best female rock singer since Janis Joplin’ and Catherine has worked with many top musicians including The Who, ZZTop, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton and Paul Rodgers.

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Classic Rock – Blues Magazine said, ’Northsyde … a tight-knit unit who display excellent musicianship individually. Jules (Fothergill) is the best lead guitarist you’ve never heard of, while Lorna (Fothergill)’s voice is a match for any blues-rock vocalist male or female. Ian Mauricio’s fluid bass and Hayden Doyle’s powerful drumming perfectly underpinned the whole’.

Northsyde Jules & Lorna

And, members of the band have lived / worked in Ealing (the birthplace of British Rhythm’n’Blues!)

The Spikedrivers
This Anglo/American/Irish trio are undisputedly one of the most accomplished roots/blues bands around. Rock solid rhythms, impeccable harmonies and virtuoso slide guitar make their blend of delta blues & gospel some of the best music of this genre that you will ever hear.

Spikedrivers by Tim Calloway03

Sam Kelly & Friends
Drummer Sam Kelly has worked with Chaka Khan, Dr John, Ben E. King, Robert Plant, The Foundations, Gordon Haskell, Billy Ocean, Desmond Dekker, Eddie Floyd, Roger Chapman, Michelle Shocked, Stan Webb, Gary Moore and Otis Taylor………… to name but a few.   In particular, with Mick Ralphs Blues Band, Paul Jones, Imelda May, Robben Ford, Andy Fairweather Low and Chris Barber. He’s also been awarded Blues in Britain’s ‘Blues Drummer of The Year’ five times. What more can we say?


Gary Fletcher Band
Gary Fletcher is best known to Blues fans as the bassist with ‘The Blues Band’ which features Radio 2’s Paul Jones on vocals. He is also a prolific songwriter in his own right and will be performing his own music in a very ‘rootsy’ style at this gig. His band will feature the amazing ‘Blues Fiddle’ playing of Tom Leary.

GF close up at mic gtr in air 4 med res

John O’Leary / Alan Glen All Star Blues Revue Harmonica aces O’Leary and Glen have been doing their bit to promote Ealing’s Blues Heritage with their tributes to Ealing Blues Club founder & harmonica player Cyril Davies. They play some of the most authentic Chicago style blues that you will hear this side of ‘the pond’. For the Ealing Festival they will play in ‘Revue’ style featuring a series of guest musicians including guitar virtuoso Papa George and female vocalist Ali Maas.

John O'Leary - Alan Glen Blues Revue copy

Babajack are the powerful roots percussion and vocals of Becky Tate and the slide style and growling ‘winebox’ guitars & rack harp of Trevor Steger. Their sound is ‘infused with blues, but not limited by it’. Their sound is influenced by the early blues ethos of playing homemade instruments:  the semi-acoustic ‘winebox’ guitars, Becky’s cajon (box drum) and the stomp were all made by Trevor. Blues Matters said, ‘One of the most exciting blues, roots, folk outfits in the UK’.


The Proof feat. Paul Cox & Roger Cotton
Paul Cox is regarded on the Blues circuit as one of the country’s best ‘blue-eyed soul’ singers. Keyboardist / guitarist Roger Cotton is an accomplished recording studio producer and as a musician has worked with the likes of John Mayall and Carlos Santana. Together as the backbone of ‘The Proof’ they make grooves at the classier end of the blues spectrum.

The Proof Poster-A4-125dpi

Dale Storr New Orleans Big Band Dale Storr is one of the top boogie / barrelhouse piano players around and is a walking encyclopaedia of the New Orleans keyboard styles of Dr. John, Allen Toussaint & Professor Longhair. His New Orleans Big Band features the sax of Kim Storr and trumpet of Ian Sanderson. The drummer is Dave Raeburn, formerly of The Hoax. Expect a full-on gumbo of swampy, funky, swinging grooves in the Louisiana style.

Dale Storr

The Blue Bishops A rock-blues supergroup with an impeccable pedigree, musicians in the band having worked with: Bill Wyman, Argent, The Kinks, The Zombies, Joan Armatrading amongst others. Their most recent album ‘In The Red’ was produced by John Leckie (George Harrison, Radiohead, Muse etc.) and Stuart Epps (Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Paul Rogers etc).

Blue Bishops

Rabbit Foot
Rabbit Foot are Jamie Morgan – guitar/vocals and Carla Veigas drums/vocals. Inspired by visions and experiences of wall to wall dancing, sweaty people, shamanic, ecstatic, of old bands playing Willie Dixon tunes and THAT old West Memphis sound, dirty and raw yet so exact and exciting, of raw emotions and the absolute need to sing and play, dance and shout to remain free. Music undomesticated married to music modern. Two people – two singers, guitar playing rhythm, lead and counterpoint, three African Bass Drums produce a sound they like to describe as “Primal and unique, like Tom Waits throws a party for Nina Simone at a Juke Joint transported to West Africa…” – but with more guitar!

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Jules Carter Trio Every blues Festival has to have a ‘power trio’ style band that play in the style of Cream, Hendrix & Stevie Ray Vaughn and The Jules Carter Trio is one of the best at it. They also do some fine versions of Steely Dan songs (no mean feat for a trio!).

The Chairs Local band the Chairs represent the ‘new breed’ of young musicians maintaining the legacy of sleazy but melodic blues-rock.

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Glorious Fools Doug Melbourne (keys/vocals) and Nigel Appleton (guitar/percussion/vocals) perform inventive re-interpretations of the music of John Martyn.

The Geoff Garbow Blues Band feat. Emily Lee ‘House Band’ of the recently revived ‘Ealing Blues Club’, the Geoff Garbow Band play straight no-nonsense roadhouse blues/rock. Special guest is up and coming young singer/songwriter Emily Lee.

Geoff Garbow Blues Band

Jeff Griffin & Bob Harris at The Ealing Club

On 17th March 2012, Paul Goodwin from Hayes FM made a series of interviews with key figures who came to Ealing for the Blue Plaque ceremony. Many had experienced the earliest days of BRITISH RHYTHM AND BLUES and were deeply inspired by Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies.

Interviews with Bob Harris and Jeff Griffin whose eminent careers have brought them into contact with some of the most influential pop and rock acts are now available through this website.

Highlights include the following:

Bob Harris
Pictured here in his Old Grey Whistle Test days at the BBC, Bob spoke of his personal connection to Alexis Korner and paid tribute to the music he pioneered.

When discussing the influence of the Club on British Music, Bob Harris states the following:

“This particular venue was the springboard for some of the great careers we have seen in British Music” Whispering Bob Harris
(Minute 2.25)

Jeff Griffin
Former BBC radio producer Jeff Griffin whose credits include producing LIVE AID and the BBC IN CONCERT series. Jeff fondly remembers his long association with Alexis and his times visiting the Ealing Club itself.

Jimi Hendrix at the BBC: Just one of Jeff Griffin's Radio credits

Jeff Griffin, producer of LIVEAID

“The Ealing club is probably one of the most important parts of our popular music heritage” Jeff Griffin (Minute 10.30)

Listen to Bob Harris and Jeff Griffin at the Ealing Club Blue Plaque Ceremony here:

The Ealing Club Blue Plaque Review 2011

Thanks to everyone who has helped getting live music going at the original venue of the Ealing Club, the place where Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies originally started “British Rhythm and Blues” in March 1962.

The British Rhythm and Blues Boom of 1962, took inspiration directly from the Black American blues singers of America, used amplified guitars, pounding rhythms from the drums and new singing/performance styles that continue to permeate through the world of rock and pop music today.

In 2012, lets hope for more music across the borough and beyond!

[tubepress mode=”playlist” playlistValue=”264E6E2A875DBD75″]

Thanks to all the musicians who gave up their time to entertain and raise the money:
The Blue Plaque is being handcrafted, at time of writing!

Thanks especially to: The Guvnors/Luge/Jump66/Brace Yourself/W7 Edge/Earwicker/The Copycats/Bolaji Blues Band/Swamprock Djs/The Fallen Heroes/Norrie Burnett/Doc Stenson/Ramon Goose/Geoff Garbow/Acoustic Cavemen/The Iconics/Don Craine/Ali McKenzie/Delta Macloud/Terry Marshall….may you all return on a regular basis to the Red Room and other venues throughout Ealing.

Thanks also to Prof. Roberta Schwartz, Dept of Musicology, University of Kansas, Nick Warburton, Andy Neill, Harry Shapiro, Fery Asgari, Wally Marshall and all those veterans who actually saw the likes of Blues Incorporated, The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, John Mayall, The Who, Jeff Beck and many more emerge from the club.

Thanks to the local press, Ealing Gazette, Ealing Today, Best of Ealing and Larry Vidal at Hayes FM.