Thursday, January 26, 2012
A LONG-RUNNING blues club has found a new home after a two year search for a venue.
Walkern Music Club will be back up and running on Saturday week after its promoters secured a deal with The Times Club in Stevenage.
The club began in the 1980s and last took place in 2009 at The Timbers at Astwick after moving from its original home at Walkern Sports and Social Club. During those years it has hosted The Small Faces, The Yardbirds, Dr. Feelgood and Wilko Johnson among many blues and R&B acts.
Trevor Keeling, who has been a “punter, helper and promoter” of the club for over 15 years, talks to Venue about its history and future.
“Walkern Music was started by Mike Jackson and Walkern Sports and Social Club was its home until 2008 when, due to the parish council taking over the building and beginning a renovation programme, the venue ceased to exist.
“Mike died in September 2007 and myself and Richard Brown took over the reins – the three of us having been the promoters of Mayfest, a festival which ran for 13 successful years out at Brent Pelham.
“We relocated to The Timbers for the remainder of 2008 and 2009 but problems with the venue meant that we couldn’t continue there. The search was then on for a new suitable venue, eventually found, some two years later at The Times Club in Pin Green.”
Trevor said the aim for the resurrected club is to have a gig on the first Saturday of every month, with some of the best musicians on the circuit today and in the future. These begin with Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes on Febuary 4. Other acts booked include The Krissy Matthews Band, John Verity Band, Richie Milton And The Lowdown, with a highlight of the season - America artist Lazy Lester appearing in August.
“Lazy Lester was a major blues artist in the late 50s and early 60s with hit records including I’m a lover not a fighter and I hear you knocking amongst others.” Trevor said. “Still touring, in his seventies, with his Zydeco band it is a major coup for Walkern Music. His other appearances will include Jools Holland’s Later and Paul Jones radio show.”
Trevor certainly knows the blues scene, as a promoter of gigs at The Sailor in Hitchin every last Thursday of the month and the eleven-year strong Blues at The Red nights at The Red Lion in Stevenage every Sunday.
“I’ve always loved the blues and R&B since first hearing the Stones, The Who and other great bands in the sixties. From there I learnt more and more about the music that inspired these bands in the first place.
“I can say that I have had the privilege of meeting and talking and listening to some of the greatest names ever to play the music that I love.”
He said he and fellow promoter Richard hope The Times Club will be home to Walkern Music for years to come.
“We hope to form a long lasting relationship and we can continue for the years ahead to provide great music and artists.”