From: Bottleneck Blues [john_at_bottleneckblues_dot_com]
18 January 2007 11:00
Welcome to yet another year!!........Whoda thought
it.....The Bottleneck is in its 11th year (right now I feel as though I'm in my
111th!) & 2006 was our best year yet for attendances...........Thank you
sorry there's been no gig info of late but I've just got back from Morocco (what
a dump! It was 1967/8 when I was last there, boy we pay a high price for
the packaging industry) & contracted a very pleasant virus that gave me a
free night in hospital, total deafness, loss of voice (cut out the cheering)
& numerous other nasty symptoms.....I'm able to sit up now so thought I
ought to bash this out.
you may be aware we have no venue in Maidstone for two or three months as Ciaran
is refurbishing the premises. I won't pre-empt (is that
right?) anything but C. is taking out the stage & putting pew seating
into the premises to make it a full-blown dance /disco venue which may not
be suitable for the club. I'm going to have a meeting to view the plans
& hope that we can still continue to use Mu Mu.....we've been there 10 yrs
& Sarah & Ciaran have looked after us well in that time but the music
has always been the most important part of the formula so it must be
accommodated properly. I certainly don't blame Ciaran as I am the only
live music promoter left there now (the Country/Folk/Salsa boys have gone the
way of all flesh ~ a sad reflection on the live music scene) & he can't make
it pay on just one ~ or two ~ Bottleneck gigs a month. Nothing ever stays the
same so I'll keep you informed. I am aware that we have a loyal &
sizeable Maidstone fan-base & I'll do everything I can to continue.
Rochester is unaffected.
have a great programme of artists lined up for 2007.........some you
know........some you don't........kicking off with The Harry Skinner Blues Band
at The Roffen, Rochester on Tues 30th
Jan. Followed by The Eugene "Hideaway"
Bridges Band in Rochester on Tues 27th Feb
& from New York The Groanbox Boys
(other act TBC) on Tues 27th March
these acts can be found by simply typing their names into Google where you'll
find some fascinating stuff........like biogs. photos, sound-bites & gig
have a lot of forward bookings for all these gigs so don't delay.........my NY
resolution is to NOT loose booking details this year....my forfeit will be to
listen to Posh Spice's latest album (How Can a Poor Girl Survive on $1m a Week
Without Mascara) all the way through!!
Some news :---- Geoff
Achison's career in The States is about to
take off in 2007......watch this space! The classic "Souldiggers" line-up
(Sam Kelly, Dave Clarke & Paul Jobson) is
straining at the leash for his late June/early July UK tour. He may be
doing some very special "OZ" gigs in the UK with
Derrin Nauendorf & Jeff Lang
at the end of the "Souldiggers" tour (which may included The
Souldiggers) but nothing is yet confirmed.
Toby Walker's profile continues to grow with nominations for numerous awards
& his elevation up the "billing" ladder. He's playing some very big
festivals & venues now & I can't wait to see him again
(with Mike Dowling) in May
has been nominated for "Best Album"
& "Best Artist" in The States both of which he richly deserves. I
still get a kick out of his W.S & The Workers album & am trying to put a
band together when he comes over in Sept. to replicate numbers off this
album.........well, I have actually put the band together.....more info on this
later in the year.
Arthur Chisnell's funeral was last Friday in Mortlake. A sad passing of
someone you've probably never heard of. Without Arthur there probably
would never have been a Bottleneck Blues Club. He was one of my main
influences, in fact he spurred me on (unbeknown to him at the time) in the 80s
when I nearly got a club up & running with the late, great
Alexis Korner (he popped it too so don't go into
business with me!)......who he? Arthur founded Eel Pie Island ~ he
helped, found, encouraged, dozens of London based blues bands in the 60s &
gave Tony "Duster" Bennett, my old mate Peter Davis (bass) & myself (on
terrible lead guitar) our first paid gig supporting The Stones in (I think)
about '64. Eel Pie Island was truly a magical place....the list of artists
that played there is far to long to do justice to here (well here's a few ~
The Stones, Paul Jones, Ginger Baker, John Baldry, Cyril Davies, Rod
Stewart, Buddy Guy, Memphis Slim, Dick Heckstall-Smith etc.
So so long Arthur Chisnell.
You used to pack 'em in at The
We all loved the sprung floor.
And now you've passed through the final
With apologies to
folks, that'll do for now........have to get back into my Iron Lung for a few
hours.......anybody got some WD40...I'm wheezing a bit!
Bye for now,,,,,,,,,,let me out, let me
John "Mustafa Djinn"