Warrington Blues Club on the rise


By Glen Screeton

ROBIN Bradshaw, organiser of the Warrington Blues Club has done it again with a third successful evening show at the Grappenhall Community Centre.

Temporary works in the building certainly didn’t put off an almost sell out crowd of 130 and by the time I arrived it was standing room only for the 2 bands, namely Shade Tree Mechanics and Blue Dog Hooch. If the reader is not too familiar with the Blues then the unique and often amusing band names will give you a clue of what the music genre is, but novices will quickly find that in these days of accepted audience chatter a quiet but appreciative audience is prefered. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the hushed tones of an attic folk club but people had come to watch a performance and there were also many musicians present to witness the talents of their equals and didn’t really want to hear what was circulating on social media!

Shade Tree Mechanics

Shade Tree Mechanics

So at 8pm prompt Robin introduced Shade Tree Mechanics, a 3 piece band of Guitar/Vocal, Bass and Drums and it’s fair to say that ( like myself ) they are more mature musicians who are enjoying what they do with very little ego. Throughout their 1 hour set they played songs from well known Blues artists and even played some instrumentals which I haven’t seen since the days of Old Grey Whistle Test, but the gentle shuffle of the snare and skills of the haunting slide guitar were evident. As a bonus and in between numbers, the likeable and self-deprecating frontman entertained us with stories of his own CD’s that can’t even sell out of a bargain bin in a charity shop apparently! Ironically when he played those songs I thought they were the best numbers with a more traditional blues sound and overall it was an enjoyable performance that was well received.

At 9pm the interval and band changeover took place and there was some lively chat about the performance and benefits of the slide and national guitar at the busy bar before Robin introduced the second band of the evening – Blue Dog Hooch. This was a 5 piece band from Lancashire consisting of Lead Vocals, Guitar, Drum, Bass and a Saxophone which is nice to see and always reminds me of a smoky night in Ronnie Scotts Jazz club in London many moons ago. Weekends are always busy for myself and I had to dash to see another local band in action, but not before witnessing the first 3 numbers from this experienced outfit and Robin was kind enough to post additional videos on the Warrington Blues Club Facebook site. Personally, I felt Blue Dog Hooch were more of a rocky blues band with numbers from Stevie Ray Vaughan and even a rendition of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock and Roll’ in the mix and the vocalist managed to achieve Robert Plant’s high pitch comfortably. I have no doubt the band went down well towards the end of the evening and the organisation was a credit to Robin and his team and I’m certain the next one in April will be equally well attended. I know I won’t be booking any other bands  that night and I would advise buying your tickets in advance, but in the meantime why not follow @warringtonbluesclub on Facebook and keep up with what’s happening on the Blues scene.


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