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Durham Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival Returns!

By Published June 09, 2017

Durham Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival is back at the fabulous Gala Theatre on Saturday 17th June!

Information about tickets can be found at the bottom of the article. Here's some information about this year's line-up:

Dr Feelgood -  Formed on Canvey Island in Essex in the early 1970s Dr. Feelgood remains one of the most popular and exciting live rhythm and blues acts in the world. The raw and uncompromising style of their performance resulted in the album Stupidity that immediately went to the number one position in the U.K. charts.

Dr. Feelgood have also enjoyed global success with a string of hit singles including Roxette, Back in the Night, Milk and Alcohol, Down at the Doctors, She Does it Right, Going Back Home and See You Later Alligator - which gave the group their first gold record.

The last album to feature Lee Brilleaux  - Down at the Doctors, was recorded live at the Dr. Feelgood Music Bar on Canvey Island, (now the site of the Oysterfleet Hotel) just two months before he died.

The current line up features the rhythm section Kevin Morris on drums and Phil Mitchell on bass, both 29 years in the band and Steve Walwyn on guitar who has been with the band for 23 years.  Vocalist Robert Kane (formerly of the Animals) is the most recent addition – joining in 1999.

Recent releases include a DVD - Live in London and CD Repeat Prescription - a collection of some of the bands most enduring songs but with a fresh approach.

Julien Temple’s film Oil City Confidential released on 2nd February 2010 tells the story of the bands formative years featuring the Wilko Johnson era.

May 2011 saw the digitally re – mastered re release of Chessmasters originally released in 2000 on EMI Records … the band’s tribute to the Chess label, home to many of the finest blues artists of the 20th century and the first Dr Feelgood album to feature Robert on vocals.

The band continues to tour extensively throughout the World.



Aynsley Lister - When explosive natural ability collides with fiery, emotionally charged compositions, the result is Aynsley Lister; an incredible guitarist whose brand of blues-based rock delivers contemporary song writing fuelled with the kind of heart and soul that’s missing from so much modern music.

Whether passionately writing and recording his own material or mesmerising audiences at his live shows one thing is abundantly clear: music is hard-wired to his DNA and flows from his fingertips like sonic bolts of lightning. With over 100,000 albums sold, lashings of critical acclaim and years of high profile touring, Lister’s resumé speaks for itself and firmly secures his position as a leading light in the resurgence of British blues-infused music.

In hindsight, it's clear Aynsley was born to be a musician. As a child he was hypnotised by his dad's old guitar and at the age of eight was finally gifted his very own. The moment he held that first six-string the outcome was inevitable; he was going to be a guitarist. Blessed with the coolest dad in town, regularly spinning Hendrix, Cream, Fleetwood Mac and a whole host of bewitching blues for his spellbound son, Aynsley taught himself to play with relentless dedication and a precociously attuned ear, spending hours copying his favourite records note for note. Peter Green, Albert King, Clapton and Kossoff weren't just his heroes; they became his teachers.

Blazing a trail in a bar band from the age of 13 honed his skills and in 1998 Thomas Ruf signed Aynsley to his label, hooking him up with Stevie Ray Vaughan's producer Jim Gaines to record his self titled debut disc, kicking off a successful relationship with Ruf Records that saw him release 7 albums and 2 DVD's in ten years. Their influence, coupled with his dynamite live shows and intense touring schedule, earned high profile support slots with established artists like Walter Trout, John Mayall and Robert Cray, whilst rousing festival appearances alongside artists like the Fun Lovin' Criminals cemented his standing as an artist whose work, although rooted in blues, transcended the genre with a fiery modern sound. In 2007 Aynsley was the only British artist to be named in Classic Rock magazine's "Top 10 Contemporary Blues Artists", alongside John Mayer and Joe Bonamassa.

In 2008 Aynsley's huge crossover potential saw him sign to Manhaton Records and the following year released 'Equilibrium', an album that exposed Lister in his best ever form and stormed into Classic Rock’s Top 50 Albums of 2009. The subsequent tour saw Aynsley playing to sold out shows to over 16,000 people whilst opening for the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd, after which he and his band relocated to the Tower Arts Centre and with the tape rolling, nailed a cracking rendition of their high-octane live set to produce the storming 'Tower Sessions' record, which was consequently voted ‘Best Live Album’ in the 2011 Blues Matters Writers Poll.

Aynsley is currently touring his latest album, Home, which is out now on his own label, Straight Talkin’ Records. The album has featured in recent issues of Guitarist Magazine, Classic Rock, Blues Matters and HiFi Magazines among many others and has received some of his greatest reviews yet!



Kyla Brox Band - Kyla's voice remains a stunning example of the soul singer's art: turning up the heat by degrees, lulling and charming before unleashing emotional catharsis, and blurring the distinction between pleasure and pain like the soul greats of old. Whether fronting the mighty Kyla Brox Band, or harnessing undiluted soul power in a duo with musical and life partner Danny Blomeley, Kyla Brox is without doubt the most authentic UK blues and soul singer of her generation. 

Born in Lancashire in 1980, she was exposed to the passion of Afro-American music at first-hand from her blues singing father, Victor. She traces her interest in singing from age three, partly from a desire to be closer to her charismatic but distant dad. She was the late product of the marriage between Victor (Caiaphas in the original cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar) and Annette (the 'maid by the fire' in the same), and, unlike her elder sisters, gifted but non-professional singers, she didn't spend her formative years in the back of a touring van under a cloud of cannabis smoke.

Kyla joined the family business in 1992, singing with Victor onstage at Band On The Wall at the age of 12, and performing with his regular touring group shortly afterwards. The core of the Kyla Brox Band go back to this remarkable unit, nominally the Victor Brox Blues Train, but known as 'the child slavery band' for the extreme youth of the players. As well as Kyla (13, but could pass for 21), it contained bassist Danny Blomeley (13, but could pass for eight), and drummer Phil Considine (19), both Kyla Brox Band mainstays.

A two month stay at Victor's house in France at the age of 16 was a period of growth and development. Then, in 2000, she accompanied her father on an extensive tour of Australia. Blomeley had left the Blues Train to travel the world, and, to ease the blow, he promised to find Victor some dates in Australia. Kyla, just turned 20, found herself singing risque blues songs to hard men in mining camps in remote parts of the outback. This was the trip that transformed the novice singer into a seasoned soul belle.

Back in Manchester in 2001, Kyla and Danny formed a duo, occasionally augmented by old members of the child slavery band: the Kyla Brox Band was born! They plied their trade in Victor's old stomping grounds in North West pubs and clubs, before a career-making performance at Colne Blues Festival in 2002 sealed Kyla's reputation as the first lady of the British blues.

The line of development can be traced through Kyla's six albums. From the 2003 debut Window, where the tone is summery and romantic, to the acoustic Grey Sky Blue (2009), where hopes and longings are freighted with deeper emotions, via the blues/soul calling card Beware (2003), the band triumph Coming Home (2004) and the more introspective Gone (2007). The songs have developed too: the team of Brox/Blomeley have grown into a potent songwriting force, writing in the blues/soul idiom with an individual, nicely personal touch. In an age of conveyer belt pop stars and emote-by-rote singers, Kyla Brox is the real deal.


Debbie Bond - Singer, guitar player and songwriter Debbie Bond has been paying her dues in the Alabama backwoods for over 30 years.

Influenced by the famed sounds of Muscleshoals, her impressive musical story includes years of performing with older traditional Alabama blues musicians, including Johnny Shines, Sam Lay, Eddie Kirkland and Willie King. Her immersion in Alabama blues has deeply flavored her guitar playing, soulful voice and original song writing - yet her sound is contemporary and original, incorporating soul, blues, and jazz influences.

Her latest recordings have received critical acclaim in the US and Europe and should propel her career allowing her to step out of the shadows of those great musicians now passed she played with most of her career. 


Albany Down - is Paul Muir on vocals, guitarist Paul Turley, drummer Donna Peters and bassist Billy Dedman and they have recorded a brace of albums with producer Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, INME, Super Furry Animals).

They now step up to the plate with12 original well-crafted songs on their formidable new album “Not Over Yet”. Traditionally a band’s second album is regarded as being problematical but Albany Down have turned that notion on its head, taking all that was good on “South of the City”, honing their song writing craft and revelling in Greg Haver’s powerful production.

The band’s big Zeppelin-influenced sound draws from the same British blues-rock well, that gave Zeppelin a head start all those years ago and later was rediscovered by Joe Bonamassa. But it’s the resonant substance of the band’s own songs and their exuberant style that gives the new album its edge.

The debut album, “South Of The City”, clearly showcased what the band were capable of - ranging from the superbly arranged ‘Mercy’ to the low-down dirty, slide-led blues epic of the title track.

“Not Over Yet” finds Albany Down playing to their strengths as they explore the full scope of their musical dynamics to match their fast rising song craft. And where vocalist Paul Muir could previously have been compared to the likes of Paul Rodgers, he stamps his own personality on this album, while guitarist Paul Turley adds his own passionate performance as part of a sparkling mix.

Albany Down are a band that runs on pure adrenalin, unrelenting energy and raw emotion. “Not Over Yet” is a landmark album full of their strongest songs, lingering melodies and great playing. They save their best for last on the epic “The Working Man”, a song for our times. The band’s stellar performance showcases vocalist Muir’s full range, and features a defining guitar solo from Paul Turley. You can pay this track no better compliment than to say it sits effortlessly with any major song from the classic rock era, and would surely light up contemporary rock radio.


Brian Rawson Band - is a Glasgow-based, contemporary blues band and have appeared at a number of Blues festivals throughout the UK and Ireland including; "HRH Blues", The Maryport Blues Festival, The Dereham Blues Festival and the Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival in Northern Ireland and are scheduled to appear at the Maryport and Stafford Blues Festivals this summer as well as venues throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.

To date, they've appeared artists such as; Coco Montoya, Jo Harman, Simon McBride, Ryan McGarvey, Virgil & The Accelerators, Buck & Evans, Pat McManus, The Brew and Wishbone Ash and will be promoting their forthcoming CD, "Hard to Believe", at the gigs and festivals they are scheduled to appear at throughout the UK and Ireland over the coming months.



Blues Cafe Acoustic Stage

Husky Tones -  punk blues style favours the common rawness, simplicity and emotion shared between the punk and blues genres. Live it is delivered by the unique set up of a female drummer singer Victoria Bourne and guitarist Chris Harper.

Their approach to punk blues mirrors what they love as audience members: inventive, individual and fully aware of tradition without being a slave to it. African and punk drumming patterns as a basis, fuzz boxes, guitar through guitar and bass amp this is how the Husky Tones create their ‘full sound’. Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Time for a Change’ in 2015 they have been making new friends and fans performing around the UK and songs from the album have been played on national (BBC Radio Two) and international radio.

They have built a reputation for intense live shows performing at places such as London’s 100 Club and Blues Kitchen, Brighton’s Latest Bar, The Fleece in Bristol and national UK festivals.


Mike Ross - Fuzzed up, fierce and full frontal fiery attack coupled with sexy smooth slidin' southern soul from this Northern force of nature! Mike and his band cut up sharp and fast like a revved up Allman Brothers Band with a point to prove and an un-damn-missable groove! - Mojo Magazine Born and raised in the Great North but living these days down in the Southland with a steady mind and a thoroughbred plan, Mike writes soul wrenchin', riff bustin' songs that will make you want to share the tale This winding road leads from England to Europe before jumping the Atlantic to New York, detouring way down south to Memphis and New Orleans via Clarksdale Mississippi and Nashville Tennessee, soaking up every scent and sound along the way before fetching up on the shores of Sussex with a lifetimes worth of tales to share. Mike takes listeners on a uniquely detailed and image packed history tour of the history of the music of the music he loves to play, beginning in the Mississippi Delta at the beginning of the 20th century and finishing up right back in the present moment with his powerful emotive voice and intoxicating virtuosic guitar playing carrying you every inch of the way.

To experience Mike playing solo or with the 4 piece band egging him on is to see why one reviewer declared him 'soaked in soul & burnt in blues' Mike's first solo album (the Americana tinged 'Spindrift') was released in 2014 to critical acclaim and shows a more introspective side to Mike's songwriting and performing. Recorded over 3 days in Brighton's Metway studio the drums, bass, vocals & acoustic guitar were all laid down live, with minimal electric guitar and backing vocals carefully overlaid which help contribute to the stripped back authentic feel of the record.

Mike's new album 'Jenny's Place' has just been released in early 2016 and boasts a fuller and more muscular set of performances including some exciting musical collaborations such as vocals from Dominique Noiret (She Said!) & Aloma Reid, piano from Davey James, harmonica from Wandering' Wilf Taylor and saxophone from Jules Lawrence.


Dr Blue - is a proper bluesman, the real deal.  He was once reviewed as ‘the bastard son of Tom Waits and Howling’ Wolf’ which remains his favourite description of himself!  A regular at the Edinburgh Fringe and Glastonbury, he also spends a lot of time touring in Australia and New Zealand with his stand up comedian wife and as musical director with the Poetry Army.  His new album ‘Silent Man’ is due for release later this year.


AJK James - plays Welsh blues and sings songs about time travel and the sea. His hobbies include transactional physics, growing beards and eating.

George Shuvlin and the Radars - First played together in 1995. This band consisted of lead guitarist George Lamb. A veteran of the North East blues-rock scene, George first came to prominence in the 1970s as a member of the hugely successful North East-based  ‘Southbound’. He went on to play with various bands and do considerable session work. This included recording with Jimmy Nail, writing a hit for Kiki Dee, and playing in the Eurythmics support band for their last world tour. Bassist Stu Burlison played in the 70s band ‘Gin House’, supporting Free, The Who, Genesis and David Bowie, amongst others. He was a member of the legendary North East band ‘Brass Alley’, whose drummer, Pick Withers, went on to join Dire Straits.

The Shovlins quickly established themselves as one of the leading blues bands in the North East, an area renowned for producing excellent blues performers and bands. This line-up played high profile gigs – supporting Canned Heat, John Mayall,( a two night support, followed by George doing a solo support for the John Mayall Band), Savoy Brown, the original Blues Brothers, Walter Trout, Roger Chapman and Coco Montoya, amongst others. They featured as guests on the Tyne Tees Television Arts programme @theLive, excerpts of which are available on YouTube. Their debut CD ‘Got Blues if You Want it....’(Mystic Records) has re-emerged as a highly sought-after blues recording.

After a hugely successful performance at the Stanley Blues Festival in 2005 the band went their separate ways. But in February 2014 George Shovlin, George Lamb and Stu Burlison reformed the band. In this band, Ian Hamilton has been replaced on drums by Kev Scott. Kev, who was a founder member of the important Sunderland-based ‘Smalltown Heroes, with whom he released two albums and five singles, has also toured with the Jeff Healy band, Stranglers, Little Angels, Terrorvision, Thunder, the Beat, the Dammed and Erasure, amongst others, played all over the world as drummer in the Toy Dolls and has gigged most of the big music venues in Britain and Europe, as well as doing significant studio work. He is an excellent addition to the band and brings great depth and experience to their sound.
Since reforming, the band has played live on a number of digital blues radio programmes, including Bishop FM and Wall to Wall Blues. The bands CDs, ‘Got Blues…..If You Want It’ and the ‘George Shovlin and The Radars’ EP, released in February 2015, have been featured on numerous Blues radio programmes and the band has regularly featured in the IBBA monthly Top-Fifty charts. The new album, ‘Unconditionally live’, was released in February 2016. The band went on to play 12 blues festivals in 2015, including The Great British Rock and Blues Festival, Skegness, The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne, Maryport, Durham, Diggle, Arbroath and Fife Jazz and Blues Festival.
 It is this band, which is now ‘George Shovlin and the Radars’.

The band has been re-invigorated by the break in their career. Although always remaining friends, each member needed space and time after a busy, but not always well-rewarded 10 years. But they are back now, with a hunger, excitement and ambition to become the most powerful British blues band to emerge for years….and they are well on the way to achieving that.



For more information on Durham Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival 7, the artists and how to book tickets, please visit http://www.durhambluesfestival.co.uk/index.html or call 01472 349 222

Read 778 times Last modified on Friday, 09 June 2017 12:18
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