Review: After Hours Blues Band – The Fishwick Ramblers, Preston

Posted on: Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

After Hours Blues Band – The Fishwick Ramblers, Preston

22nd September, 2012

I was delighted when I heard of a new blues venue by word of mouth from my good friend Rosy Greer from the Lancashire Blues Archive. I went to investigate and found that After Hours were on the bill  – what could be better.

This trio of brilliant musicians have been playing their blues for several years and are one of the most talked about bands on the Preston blues circuit today. Lee Wharton, lead guitar and lead vocal, is an exceptional guitarist from the school of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vahghan – if there was such a school. They gave us a mix of covers plus several of their original works. Doug Long on bass guitar and modern double bass, is a stalwart of the blues scene here in the North West plays a mean, clean bass and not a bad vocalist either; the other half of this very tight rhythm section is Ann Batty, she joined the band in 2011 she worked her socks off –  just brilliant.

Then there was another surprise when After Hours finished their first set and a young man was introduced to the stage by Dr Bob – step forward Alex Danson, a singer acoustic/ guitarist making his debut. He received a warm welcome and then introduced his first song, a Dylan number. Five songs later he was an instant success. This young man had a maturity about him and he has the talent to go on from this and prove himself in this competitive blues market good luck Alex. This new venue will need supporting every month if it is to be a success putting acts on like this is a hell of a start-  “watch this space”, there’s more to come.

Keith Blackledge – national & international music reviewer

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