Review: Alfie Ibbotson’s Popular Beat Combo – BJs Rock In The Blues at The Minstrel, Chorley: 3rd July

Posted on: Monday, Jul 7, 2014


Review for ‘ALFIE IBBOTSON’S POPULAR BEAT COMBO’ @ BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, The Minstrel, Chorley – 3.7.14

Another great Thursday evening at BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, at the Minstrel in Chorley, hosted by ‘Rock Guru’ Lucas Campbell.

Tonight a move away from the norm with the Alfie Ibbotson’s Popular Beat Combo. It was ‘bring on a party’ atmosphere with a mix of covers as diverse as Bowie to the Beatles or Free to Soft Cell.

The band are from the Preston area with front man Tony Wardle giving amazing vocals and harmonica, Paul Mason on guitar, Charlie Pearson on bass and the joker in the pack Ian Massey on drums.

The evening kicked off with a great rendition of Cream’s ‘White Room’ then onto ‘Jealousy’ with Tony bringing in his harmonica skills. With some rock and some soul we moved on to a bit of R&B with a John Lee Hooker number, again with Tony on harp.

The Stone’s ‘Brown Sugar’ followed, with plenty of dancing, then ‘Get Back’, a good Beatles cover. Leaning towards pop rock the band played a couple of Bowie numbers, some more Beatles and finished off the first set with a raise the roof Who track ‘Can’t Explain’.

The second set gave us ‘Fire And Water’ a class Free track leading into ‘Summertime Blues’. They did a great take of Thin Lizzy’s, ‘Don’t Believe A Word’, before moving on to a bit of rock ‘n roll. A great bit of nostalgia followed with Spencer Davies’s, ‘Keep On Running’ then to a complete change with ‘Tainted Love’ by Soft Cell, lots of audience participation on this one!

Moving back in time, a rockin’ version of the Everly Brothers, ‘Price Of Love’ followed by a couple of Wilson Pickett numbers and some more Beatles. To finish the evening a bit of Motown madness, which was especially enjoyed by the dancers!!

For the encore they played some classic rock with ‘Too Hot To Handle’, Deep Purple’s ‘Hush’ and the finale of Free’s ‘The Hunter’.

Certainly not a ‘blues’ band, but the Combo gave great entertainment with a mix of pop rock, blues rock and soul and provided a great evening of music.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive

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