The John Angus Blues Band and Gus Glynn Band in Warrington: A night of high quality blues

Live Review

John Angus Blues Band. Photo by Terry Marland.

By Terry Marland, Rock At Night Manchester

Live Review: John Angus Blues Band and Gus Glynn Band – Warrington Blues Club event at the Bell House Old Barn, Warrington, UK – Friday 19th April 2024

Warrington Blues Club was relaunched in October 2023 under the stewardship of local music enthusiast Robin Bradshaw. The club runs gigs bi-monthly in the local community centre that is fronted by the quaint Bell House Old Barn. It’s an excellent venue that offers free parking, a wide choice of cask ales and seating for over 100.

Tonight they have two class bands on the bill and with ticket prices, a bargain at £10:00 (for USA readers that’s about $12:30) there’s not much to complain about.

Gus Glynn Band

Gus Glynn Band. Photo by Terry Marland.

Formed in 2016 the Gus Glynn Band is a three piece from Cheshire whose music spans a wide range of genres including Blues, Rock, Jazz and Rockabilly. Their latest album Paint It Blue was released earlier this year and tonight they play the whole album, in sequence, from start to finish. Listening to it live in this intimate setting only emphasises the quality of the release.

The band is a tight outfit and playing alongside Glynn is Pete Attwood on bass and Mark Kavanagh on drums.

Opening with the title track from the album (“Paint It Blue”) the band displays their potent Blues credentials with a melancholic guitar and sombre lyrics. Elsewhere in the set the rockabilly reverb on the wonderful ‘Walk the Walk” overlaid with Glyn’s rich vocals evokes shades of Chris Issacs and Dick Dale.

Gus Glynn Band. Photo by Terry Marland.

The only cover on the album goes back to 1937 and a sublime take on Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain”.

For me a set highlight is “The Divide”. Opening with poignant lyrics that give way to an extended and affecting guitar solo that lasts for ten minutes and receives, probably, the longest round of applause of the set.

After band introductions they play a jazz infused “The Sweet Life” which concludes the album segment before closing their performance with a rowdy cover of “Going Down ”, a song originally made famous by Freddie King.

The band has produced a captivating set delivered with precision and style that sets the bar high for the rest of the evening.

For more information including future concerts and videos from the latest album visit https://www.gusglynn.com

The John Angus Blues Band

John Angus of the John Angus Blues Band. Photo by Terry Marland.

After a short break The John Angus Blues Band takes to the stage. The current line up consists of leader John Angus on lead vocals and guitar, Bram Duckworth on lead guitar, Tim Hopkins on bass, Andy Hurley on drums, Stewart Spiers on harmonica and Adam Hutchins on keys.

Their set tonight is compiled totally of self-penned songs with the band playing their January album release It’s High Time almost in its entirety.

The opening number from their back catalogue is “Throw it all Away” featuring distinctive harmonica and scintillating guitar which is the perfect accompaniment to John Angus’s bluesy vocals. This is quality stuff and sets a template for the rest of the evening.

Bram Duckworth and John Angus Blues Band. Photo by Terry Marland.

The melancholic “Sinners” is the first track from the new album that currently nestles at No. 8 in the UK Blues chart, and again features blistering guitar from the always excellent Duckworth, accompanied by deft work from Hutchins on keys.

In between tracks Angus muses with the crowd on diverse topics including the recent album release, the merits of the Gibson Flying V and the advantages of playing intimate gigs like this evening. Apparently a recent festival gig was fraught with problems emphasising that bigger isn’t always better

“That’s my Honey”, the opening track on the new album, reflects humour in the lyrics with the wonderful lines ”Wicked frown and a pretty face. When she chose me I knew she had taste”

As the set progresses there are more tracks from the new album that are well appreciated by the crowd including rousing versions of “Hey Mama” and “Life’s What You Make It”. In particular “Big Fish Little Pond” goes down well and has the audience joining in with a John Angus orchestrated sing along.

Bram Duckworth of the John Angus Blues Band. Photo by Terry Marland.

John Angus and his band are a stellar act who have delivered a rock solid performance that has been enthusiastically received by the Warrington Blues Club audience. More details and live performance videos are available here https://www.johnangusbluesband.co.uk/

A massive thanks to Robin Bradshaw and his team for relaunching Warrington Blues Club. There is a special vibe about this set-up that is warm and attracts an audience of genuine music lovers. The Club is certainly playing its part in the quest to Keep The Blues Alive.

You can get more details about the club and future shows on their Facebook page. 

PHOTO GALLERY

 

Terry Marland

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