Firstly, a Happy New Year to you all. It Is hard to argue that most of us will be happy to leave 2023 behind which has been memorable for being a pretty miserable year for most people in the UK with continued cost of living pressures, increasing world instability and continued environmental damage creating a negative effect on most of our lives. That combined with the recent passing of one of the main influences at Leeds Blues Club, our Beastie; well I for one am determined to look forward to hopefully better times than the sadness and misery of 2023.
Thankfully for those of us who love live music there is an outlet for us to forget about the outside world for a few hours and enjoy watching and listening to some talented musicians display their craft in a nice environment and with warm and friendly company. That is the ambition of Leeds Blues Club and in this our second year, 2024 we believe that we have got a programme of events that is genuinely brilliant and offers something for everyone.
We are kicking off our 2024 programme on Friday February 9th with the blues rock trio of John Montana. John is a guitarist of some class and whose music crosses over into rock, funk soul and psychedelia too. It will be a high energy start to the year that’s for certain. Don’t forget as a member if you email me with your ticket requirements you can pay and collect the tickets on the door and save yourself the booking fee as well as request seats so don’t hang around, give yourself something to look forward to.
On the weekend prior to this from 2nd to 4th February there is a big weekend of high quality music in Blackpool at the UK Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival. The line up over the weekend is phenomenal and includes many of the acts that have either played for us or who will be appearing this coming year including Mississippi MacDonald, Tom Killner, D.C Blues, Catfish as well as John Montana who is warming up ahead of his Leeds visit the following week! Other highlights at Blackpool include the wonderful Elles Bailey, a young man who I believe has a massive future – Connor Selby and ‘the one that got away’ from us – Brave Rival who always put on a great show. I will be there for the whole weekend so if any of you are planning to go then please email me and maybe we can arrange to meet up there. Tickets for this are available from www.ukbluesfestival.co.uk
We are also hoping to announce soon details of another big event that we are involved with – ‘Beastie Fest.’ As you know from my last news item, we very sadly lost our great friend, inspiration and mentor Steve Beastie who died from cancer on Boxing Day. In his memory we are putting on a big weekend with some great acts who have offered to play to show their love and support to Beastie who has done so much to help promote live blues and rock music. We are currently in discussions with Beastie’s family on the schedule and format for this and hope to announce the details soon. It is safe to say that the artists who have already committed to this will make it a very special event, that’s for sure.
Some other highlights for 2024 include the return of Tom Killner who went down a storm last time when he played for us and will be playing at the Cross Keys again in April on his new album tour as well as kicking off our big Christmas party night in December. Catfish who many of you will be familiar with are also scheduled to make an appearance for us in September and that is one definitely not to be missed.
We hope that as members you will try and get to as many of our gigs as possible this coming year. We very much appreciate your support but what would be fantastic is for the bands to play to full houses at all our events. Not only does it help to create the atmosphere it also helps us to continue to attract the best bands on the circuit and help to make Leeds Blues Club a venue that everyone wants to come to. So please set yourselves a new year’s resolution to get out and support live music. Even bands and artists that you may never have heard of – you never know they may well become your new favourite. If you come on your own, you will be in good company and there will always be people to talk to. If you can bring some family and friends along then that would be brilliant too.
Thanks again for your ongoing support and let’s make 2024 a year to remember.