Live review: Forty4 at BJs Rock In The Blues, The Minstrel, Chorley: Thursday, 5th March

Posted on: Saturday, Mar 7, 2015


Review for FORTY4 @ BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, The Minstrel, Chorley – 5/3/15

Bringing in some of the best music to BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club at the Minstrel in Chorley, were the incredible blues funksters FORTY4. A welcome return of this class, five piece blues funk band from Merseyside, who give their own individual take on blues classics and self penned works, providing a whole show of excellent ‘Rhythm and Groove’.

Fronting the band on vocals and lead guitar was Neil Partington, with the excellent Paul Starkey also on lead guitar. The magic man on keys was Glen Lewis, with the rhythm section of Bill Price on bass and Nick Lauro on drums.

The evening kicked off with some fiery guitar work from Neil and Paul, on ‘I’m Going Down’, followed closely by a great funky version of Lee Dorsey’s ‘Get Out Of My Life Woman’, with superb piano input from Glen. They played an excellent ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ in a true Forty4 style, with some more classic blues on T Bone walkers ‘T Bone Shuffle’, brilliant!

Some self penned pure funk with ‘Feels So Good’ , then bringing in a touch of ‘reggae’ before the Howlin Wolf classic and name sake of the band ‘Forty Four’. With amazing guitar work ‘in the school of Clapton’ from Paul it gives a sound that would take a lot of beating!

To finish off the first set, a bit of ‘rock n’ roll’ ‘Taking My Love’, an up tempo good old R&B number, although put together by Forty4.

The second set was equally varied with ‘Pack It Up’ bringing together a bit of jazz, a bit of funk with that New Orleans feel. Like a blast from the past, although written by the guys, ‘Keep The Meter Running’ provided a great funky feel with some ace drum work from Nick and bass lines from Bill.

A dash of swing, showcasing the piano boogie talents of Glen, then moving onto a touch of the blues funk master Freddie King with ‘Big Legged Woman’. It was then the pure magic of Clapton’s ‘Old Love’ with Paul in his element and finishing off the set the Ray Charles ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ and some rockabilly ‘I Believe I’m In Love With You’.

It’s wonderful to have such talented musicians all in one band and even more so, to have them play at a local club. Their album, ’44 Minutes’, recorded in 2013, is still fresh and sound bites can be heard at

ROSY GREERĀ – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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