Friday, 25 April 2014

Playing The Blues - Interview with Blues Band Bassist Gary Fletcher

The Blues Band: Dave Kelly, Tom McGuinness,
Gary Fletcher, Paul Jones & Rob Townshend
The Blues Band featuring Paul Jones, Tom McGuinness, Dave Kelly, Gary Fletcher, and Rob Townshend have remained one of the most popular touring music acts since the 1970s.

I chatted with  Bass Guitarist Gary Fletcher last autumn who discussed the bands current shows and the release of a new CD/DVD package recorded back in 1980 .
“We're focusing on a DVD / CD package which has just been released by our label of a show we played at the Rock Palace in 1980, says Gary, “it did a lot for us in Germany although I don’t think our bit was broadcast in the UK. It bears no physical relationship to any of us now – except Paul!” 
Gary of course is referring to the ever youthful Paul Jones who is also well known for his work with 60s R n B band Manfred Mann along with fellow Blues Band guitarist Tom McGuinness. Both Paul and Tom decided to form the Blues Band in 1979 with Hughie Flint, Dave Kelly and Gary Fletcher. 
“Dave Kelly had a call from Tom McGuinness if he’d be interested in combining with Paul and him,” remembers Gary, “Dave and I were playing on a Sunday at The Bridge House over in Canning Town with a guy called Wilgar Campbell. We were driving back one night and Dave said he’d got a call from Tom saying "Do you know a bass player?" Dave put me in the frame, there was never an audition and I just turned up for the first rehearsal.” 
The popularity of The Blues Band has endured over the last 34 years, with only one change in the line-up when Rob Townshend replaced Hughie Flint in 1981. Over the years each individual member has also continued with solo projects.   
“Dave always says that a band that stays together travels separately and I think that’s very true," says Gary, "We don’t spend so much time when we’re not on stage or in the dressing room together, so we don’t get bored with each other to the point of it causing a descent”. 
“I’ve only really done live shows outside The Blues Band in my own right since 2004,” continues Gary, “before that I'd done a lot of recording projects, I finally plucked up the nerve to go live, I'd like to do more but it has to fit in around the Blues Band. I love doing it.”
The Blues Band tour across the UK at regular intervals, visit their official website for the latest tour dates. For the latest news on Gary Fletcher including solo releases and concert dates visit Gary's Official website.

A version of this interview previously appeared in The South Wales Argus supplement The Guide in November, 2013

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