Saturday, May 27, 2006


The original Ska Reggae band the “Owterzeds” took the ‘Love Apple’ at Bradford by storm, with a high powered performance which had the crowd dancing and calling for more. The stage just managed to accommodate all eight members of the band, which included a three piece brass section. Promoting their current CD “Owter Zeds”, this was a show to forget your worries and be carried along on a wave of enjoyment and fun. It would be impossible to be a ‘Man of Stone’ and not have the foot manically tapping during a “Owterzeds” gig, hopefully more regular gigs will follow for this wonderful band of entertainers.


After spending the day in the recording studio with Eddi Reader of Fairground Attraction fame, Boo returned to the New Roscoe in Leeds to demonstrate why he is acknowledged as a peerless performer. This unassuming person off stage has a confidence on stage, which makes the audience feel he is singing to them on a one to one basis. In a faultless set he performed many of his classics, including ‘Graceland’, ‘59 Yards’, ‘Bell, Book and Candle’ and the hit written for Eddi Reader ‘Patience of Angels’. With references to the now vanished “The Duchess” music venue in Leeds, Boo obviously has a soft spot for Leeds, which hopefully will see a return very soon.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


With dark wood panelled ceilings, signs from the London & North Western Railway and the Lock Keepers Cottage, the Railway Inn at Rodley, provided the perfect venue for one of Yorkshire’s favourite folk bands. John Birkby’s distinctive voice and guitar skills, Paul Flannery keeping everything together on keyboards, and the multi-talented Ian Fairbairn on mandolin, fiddle and guitar, make it very easy to understand why Aiken's Drum have remained so popular over the years. As the sepia photographs of stream trains, Rodley village and canal barges looked down, Aiken's Drum enthralled new and old fans alike with an evening of classic songs from their vast repertoire, including ‘Grand Central Station’, ‘Isle of St Helena’ and ‘Diamantina Drover’. The musical talents of the band, including Ian Faibairn showing his versatility by playing three different instruments during one song, the warm friendly atmosphere of the audience and surroundings, gave the evening the feel of a stress free oasis after a working day.

Monday, May 15, 2006


After struggling through a long illness, Charlie Speed came back to The New Roscoe for the first time this year, looking fitter and healthier than he has done for a long time. From playing the first chord of the night to the last, Charlie was back to his best, and gave the crowd what they wanted, and much more besides. Playing tracks from his last album “Sugarhills”, including Sleep And Me Apart, and Coffee, Tea and Coke to the Charlie Speed classics, “Ten Years Old” and “Walk Away”, this was Charlie and his band performing at a level that very few bands can aspire to. With arguably the regions best drummer in Roy Whyke, Bass guitarist Jon Short, Jon Burr on Harps and the brilliant Johnnie Hardcastle on Guitars and Lap Steel, this is a formidable line up that knits tightly to Charlie’s guitar skills and vocals, the music fans of Leeds will be cheering today, knowing that Charlie Speed is back!

A film of the Charlie Speed Band performing live at The New Roscoe in July 2005 is scheduled for summer 2006 release on DVD. This gig was a very special celebration of Charlie's return from illness and times when he it was thought he'd never perform again! The band were hot and Charlie, even though he had to sit down from time to time to conserve his energy levels, still managed to rock the house! It was a great night, captured for posterity on DVD and due for release in summer 2006 on Sugarfree Records.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Acoustic fans are welcoming the news of the formation of “The Quite Rebellion” acoustic club, which is to be based at Oceans eleven in Leeds. The first night will be on Wednesday May 10th with the award-winning Shaun T Hunter, topping the bill following the successful launch of his new CD ‘The Great Departure’, also performing on the opening night is Leeds Music Awards finalist, the innovative and unique Micky P Kerr and the thoroughly chilled out singer-songwriter Ric Neale. Admission is only £4-00 and the doors open at 8-00pm. The second of this exciting venture, will be on Wednesday June 7th when the brilliant Stuart Negus will be showing why his popularity is spreading far and wide.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


“Absolutely fantastic festival” enthused Leeds Blues Festival promoter Nigel Morris, who continued “Everyone has had a great time, the bands, the venues and the audiences. Next year we’ll be back even bigger and better” Leeds music supporter Paul Schofield added “This festival has been wanted in Leeds for years, Colne and Burnley have great Blues festivals, hopefully Leeds can now be added to them”

The legendary Michael Messer closed the eight hour blues marathon at the Mixing Tin, which included the most energetic performance seen at the festival via “The Revelator Band”, the Bluesy- Jazzy sound from local singer-songwriter Sam Payne, plus storming sets from James O’Hara, Speakeasy Blues Band with lead singer Jon White in superb form, The Lightnin’ Rods, the Welsh T Band and Crosscut Saw. With fringe events at the Duck and Drake, the Grove Inn and the Sela Bar, this has been a “Blues” festival weekend to remember, and proved Leeds can attract the top quality performers, such as Lyndon Anderson, Dr Brown, Neil Dalton and Michael Messer.

On behalf of everyone who played or attended the festival, can I put on record a very big “THANK YOU” to Nigel Morris and Alex Eden of Crossscut Saw, for making this event happen, you did us proud. As plans are already being formulated for next year’s event, it should be, Leeds Blues heaven in 2007.

Monday, May 01, 2006


The opulent surroundings of the Baroque bar, provided the main stage for the first day of the 2006 Leeds Blues Festival. The evening burst in to action with Leeds’ very own favourites Euclid Avenue, who set the quality benchmark for the rest of the evening. After an acclaimed appearance at the recent Burnley Blues festival, Lyndon Anderson followed, and showed the audience why his soulful voice attracts fans from far and wide. With fan’s clamouring for the best vantage points in a now packed venue, the immaculately turned out Dr Brown and his Blues band, rattled off song after quick-fire song, to prove why many feel Dr Brown is the best front-man on the circuit. Regular visitors to Leeds, the Lowdown Blues band, had people dancing in any available space as Mick Agnew gave his usual dynamic performance. The evening concluded with a set by the Neil Dalton band, who gave a stunning and unique performance of country and delta blues at its very best, and thus ensuring the first day of the festival, will remain in the memories of the “Blues” fans of Leeds for a very long time.