Well the dust has barely settled and the musical echoes barely dissipated following a fantastic Leeds Blues Club night on Friday. We were treated to an absolute stonker of an evening in the company of guitar virtuoso John Montana, accompanied by legendary bass player Craig Fletcher (yes, he once of Barclay James Harvest!) and the dynamic drum work of Ian Firth. Right from the start the guys were engaging with the audience, John managed to shake hands with everyone in the room while carrying on playing his hammer ons and pull offs and the banter between songs and between band members just felt naturally warm and genuine. There is no doubt that this trio totally understood what Leeds Blues Club is all about and they appeared to have themselves a great time into the bargain.
This gig started the new year at Leeds Blues Club with a bang as we head into a busy period of events. In less than 3 weeks time we have a visit from Hard Stairs. For me this is one of this year’s programme’s most outstanding events. Hard Stairs categorize themselves as ‘Garage Blues’ but they are so much more than that with a repertoire of rootsy and edgy blues rock and some raw, emotional vibes. You need to listen the their album ‘Bigger Blues’ which was rated by many critics as their album of the year and then buy a ticket to come and see them at the Cross Keys on 1st March.
Following swiftly on just 3 weeks after that we have an appearance from one of the biggest bands on the current blues scene – Big Wolf Band. Two times finalists in 2023 and 2024 for UK Blues Awards Band of the Year. Their powerful blues rock rhythms are bound to raise the roof at the Cross Keys and they are kicking off our biggest weekend yet with Friday night at the Cross Keys before rolling into Saturday and heading over to Boom on Millwright Street to open up the stage on Saturday afternoon for Beastie Fest. The Big Wolf Band have very generously volunteered to stay overnight in Leeds and be a part of our big charity event for our recently departed friend and inspiration Steve Beastie. That means a double opportunity to see this outstanding band and very nearly a whole weekend of high quality music.
It would be great if we could get all our members to come out to support the whole weekend. Big Wolf Band pretty well sell out everywhere they play so make sure you order a ticket either via the club if you are a member or via Ents24 for non-members. Links on the website.
Just an update as well on our 2024 programme. Unfortunately Wily Bo Walker and E.D Brayshaw have had to cancel their planned appearance on 24th May but instead I am delighted to announce that Mark Harrison is picking up the May slot on the 31st and bringing his own style of acoustic roots blues to the Cross Keys. Mark has been nominated in the 2024 UK Blues Awards as Acoustic Artist of the Year and his fine song writing, deft guitar picking and witty banter will make for a memorable evening.
Thank you all for your support. Please continue to buy tickets and come along to all our gigs. Putting on live music events continues to be challenging and venues are disappearing all the time leaving fewer places for artists to perform. Please also help us to promote our events through following us on Facebook and Instagram and sharing our posts helping to get us out to more people.