Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Welcome to Peter Clemon's Coventry Music Articles

This Post Remains on top as an introduction to the site. Scroll below for the latest posts.

This Blogspot is part of the Hobo (Coventry Music and Arts Magazine) archive run by Trev Teasdel.

Hobo was a Coventry music magazine c 1973 - 75 and the archives of the magazine and Hobo workshop and the general music scene of the 70's was originally on Vox blogs c 2007 until recently. Vox closed and the site is being redeveloped and rearranged here - it's still in progress so bear with us.

Photos of the Coventry Music Museum run by Pete Chambers
Do visit the museum if you are in Coventry - website

This Blog
This Hobo blogspot in particular  is for Peter Clemons Coventry music Scene articles for the Coventry Telegraph and beyond. Pete Clemons has a huge database of hundreds of gigs in Coventry from the 60's to the present. Both professional acts and local bands. He has had over 100 articles published in the Coventry Telegraph which, on his request, we've collated here and  have linked them with further material from the Hobo magazine archives.

NEW - Coventry Book Launch Documenting the Music and Entertainment Scene of 1970's by Ruth Cherrington. The Dirty Stop Outs Guide 1970's Coventry.
Available in Coventry from Waterstones and HMV or from Amazon UK here 

Hobo magazine and Workshop are well featured in the book as are many of the photos from the Hobo Archive pages here.Both Pete Chambers and Pete Clemons make a good contribution to the book as well.

  • Early posts on here - if you scroll right down - are Pete's Rock of Ages Posts - gigs in Cov through the ages since the early 60's to present.
  • Later posts are about important music venues in the city and their history.
  • Other posts are about Coventry bands from the 60's onwards.

Pete Clemons and Trev Teasdel at  BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire January 2016

Links to the other Hobo Coventry Music Archive sites 
Coventry Music Scene from Hobo - This is the Hub to all the sites below

Hobo - Coventry Music Archives This is the main Blogspot for the Coventry Music Archives from Hobo Magazine with archive material from HoboMagazine and other Coventry music magazines, feature articles and other documentation. This site is still in development.

Coventry Arts Umbrella Club
The archives of the Coventry Arts Umbrella Club which was opened in 1955 by the Goons and where some of the Two Tone musicians started out and literary figures like Phillip Larkin and much more. many Coventry bands played the Umbrella in the late 60's and early 70's. It also housed Coventry's first Folk Club.

Coventry Folk Club Scene 1970's  
This is the Hobo site for Coventry's longstanding and thriving Folk and Acoustic scene. It covers both folk archives from the 70's and features on some of the contemporary singer songwriters out there now along with Pete Willow's history of Coventry Folk Scene and pdf versions of  his 70's Folks Magazine 1979 / 80. Top names like Rod Felton, Dave Bennett, Kristy Gallacher, Pauline (Vickers) Black, Roger Williamson, Sean Cannon and many more.

Coventry Gigs 1960 to Present (This blogspot in fact!).

Coventry Discos, Venues, Music shops and Agencies / Studios etc.
A steadily progressing blog for a variety of other aspects of Coventry's music scene - the DJ's, Discos, Venues, Arts fests, record shops, studios, music agencies etc etc..

Coventry Musicians Who's Who 
This blog has an A to Z of Coventry musicians. It's not yet complete (if ever!) but there are many names and their bands on already. I will come back to it when the A to Z of bands is complete and add in names not on. Meanwhile if you are not on it - and you should be - or your friends and their bands or if your info is incorrect - do let us know at

Hobo A to Z of Coventry Bands and Artists
Meanwhile a huge A to Z of Coventry bands and artists can be found (again in development) here

Soft Machine

Soft Machine

by Pete Clemons

As I was growing up, like many, I was often derided for the kind of music that I listened to. You were often viewed as a bit of an oddball if you diversified away from what the normal media offered. It sounds bizarre now but even within the company of your own peers you could have been viewed as a bit strange for exploring other avenues from what they were listening to.

One band who, for me at least, certainly fitted into the latter category, were The Soft Machine. Yet for as long as I remember I have always enjoyed listening to them. For me, The Soft Machine’s music is timeless and this year see’s the current version of the band celebrating 50 years since the release of the debut Soft Machine album.

From their formation in 1966 the amount of personnel changes within the Soft Machine numbers, I am guessing, in the thirties. And a line-up that includes John Etheridge on guitar, Roy Babbington on bass, John Marshall drums and Theo Travis flute are about to take to the road to undertake an extensive U.S. and European tour.

In addition the band have dropped the ‘Legacy’ tag that they have used for at least the last ten years and recorded a new album, ‘Hidden Details’.

Soft Machine evolved from Kent based band The Wilde Flowers during 1966. Their initial line up consisted of Mike Ratledge keyboards, Robert Wyatt drums, Kevin Ayres bass and Daevid Allen guitar although Daevid left the band quite early on. From the start they were a band with no restrictions. Music began as rock based although later recordings drifted increasingly towards jazz.

As described by Robert Wyatt ‘we were musical misfits from Canterbury. At the time the band was formed I was the only drummer around and Mike Ratledge was the only keyboard player around. And there was nobody else around like Kevin Ayres – a unique guy. Had we have come from a big city then things might have been different as there may have been an abundance of musicians to pick from’. They had been ejected from local pubs due to the length of their hair.

They were all very experimental sorts of people and the idea was that they had to get themselves into a zone. Dig into a groove, if you like. With a receptive audience before them, ‘The Softs’ would take them all to another place. Robert Wyatt jokes that the idea was not to stop in case they got boo’d for what they were doing.

The band was influence by John Coltrane and his workouts. They shared this love for a mix of jazz and improvised rock which was not on predictable lines. Wyatt has since mentioned that the name ‘Soft Machine’ came courtesy of Mike. Although it seems that it was Kevin Ayres who got ‘the Softs’ their first deal with Chas Chandler.

And it was through this association that ‘The Softs’ toured the US with Jimi Hendrix during 1968. In fact it became two particularly difficult tours. Even the band’s debut album was recorded during their time in the US. The second tour even saw Andy Summers, later of the Police, briefly joining the trio. Such was the stress that toward the end of 1968 ‘The Softs’ had disbanded with Kevin Ayres skipping off to Spain.

However a month or so later, during December 1968, Robert and Mike reassembled the band with the addition of bass player Hugh Hopper who also doubled up on sax. Together they recorded the Soft Machine’s second album over February and March 1969. This record would be released in the September of the same year.

But the introduction of Hugh Hopper into the band would also be the beginning of ‘The Softs’ moving away from the song based music they had so far created. By April of 1969 Brian Hopper, the elder brother of Hugh, was appearing regularly on stage with Soft Machine playing sax.

At this point I would greatly recommend the heavily bootlegged ‘Live at Paradiso’ album. Recorded March 1969, for me it captures Soft Machine perfectly, right in between their past and what would become their immediate future.

Toward the end of 1969 alto sax and saxello player Elton Dean, who had been a member of the Keith Tippet band, was also appearing with the band as Brian Hopper moved away from the live performances.

During a 1997 interview Mike Ratledge gave an insight into this period: ‘Hugh, myself and Elton were pursuing a vaguely jazz-related direction. Robert was violently opposed to this, which is strange looking back on it because he was passionate about jazz. But he had defined ideas of what pop music was and what jazz was.’

Robert Wyatt has since said ‘To me, fusion jazz was the worst of both worlds. It was rock rhythms, played in a rather effete way, with noodling, very complicated solos on top.’

Regardless of what the private thoughts of this new direction were but Robert stayed long enough with the band to create what many consider their finest hours, this being the albums, ‘Third’ and ‘Fourth’. Robert Wyatt would ultimately leave Soft Machine during the middle of 1971.

Then began a period where a plethora of musicians passed through the ranks of Soft Machine. These would include Marshall and Babbington, from the current line-up along with composer Karl Jenkins who is more well-known nowadays for his classical work.

Yet despite these changes, whoever has been involved with Soft Machine, has consistently provided the listener with a challenge by their unusual jazz structures and free form improvisation. A form of music that simply sounded like no other did. As such I, for one, am really looking forward to hearing the new album. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Godiva Festival 2018

Godiva Festival 2018

Memories of a free festival………………

by Pete Clemons

Firstly, thanks to all those involved in creating this wonderful spectacle. One of the on stage announcements that resonated with me was how hard the stage crew had been working. Well beyond midnight each evening and they were back on it at 7:30am every morning. We in Coventry are blessed to have this event on our doorsteps.

The Friday evening was, I thought, very flat in terms of attendance. Despite being a glorious evening weather wise, audience numbers were noticeably down on previous years. But as the weekend progressed, the weather picked up, and in came the revellers, with Saturday and Sunday getting a sizeable crowd.

Jimmy Kemp: The opening act for the whole event on Friday evening. Such was the sparseness of audience initially that, at one point, Jimmy mentioned that he had played to more people in the city centre. Which was a pity as, for me, Jimmy was one of the highlights of the entire festival. His set included some own gems such as ‘Perfect Day’ and ‘If I Could Live My Life Again’. Then, instead of plugging more of his own music, he gave us a rendition of ‘Hey Jude’ as he thought we would enjoy it more.

Duck Thieves: From the sublime, we were then treated to a novelty band in the form of Duck Thieves. It has to be said that they were full of up lifting messages and with tunes such as ‘Why Should I Look Like Everyone Else’, ‘Make Babies or Get High’, ‘Dance Like a Duck Thief’ and ‘You Will Never Make it on your Own’ they certainly proved that they could keep hold of your attention. Not only that but they gave you a smile a second.

Matt Cattell: I only really know Matt through social media but he certainly wears his heart on his sleeve. And this enthusiasm has transcended into his song writing. His set was a mix of originals and covers that included several well-known tunes from the 90s such as ‘Lucky Man’ and ‘Wonderwall’. To say his audience shared Matt’s motivation would be an under-statement also.

Ollie Bond: I had never heard of him before but what a great account of himself he gave us. With songs like ‘Postcard from Paris’ and ‘Give it All’ he is certainly a singer songwriter that needs serious investigation.

Tony Christie: A lunch time like I never experienced before. I don’t mind admitting that when I first saw him announced I cringed. How wrong I was. This figure in the white suit was pure class. ‘Walk Like a Panther’, Avenues and Alleyways’, ‘Las Vegas’, ‘Reno’, ‘Daddy Don’t You Walk so Fast’, ‘Mario’ and ‘Amarillo’. They were all there and delivered immaculately. Maybe the sun was getting to me but I thoroughly enjoyed him.

The Ellipses: The opening act for the whole Godiva festival two years ago on the main stage. This time an acoustic set on the BBC CWR stage. ‘Voice of the Potential Me’, ‘Easy Going’ and ‘Cold Cactus’ displayed their strong effectiveness for song writing. But then they stick in a medley, which I get why, but I personally would prefer to hear more of their own original material.

Gospability: There is something about a gospel group that is just so uplifting. Even to a heathen like myself. They finished on their take of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Say a Little Prayer’ which had me unashamedly dabbing my eyes afterwards. My sunglasses, saving me, from further embarrassment.

Hazel O’Connor: Not her first time on the main stage. With an audience visibly swelling Hazel and her backing band, The Subterraneans, delivered an incredibly powerful, composed and polished performance. Her set included the classics ‘Eighth Day’ and ‘Will You’.

Neville Staple Band: An extraordinarily brave performance in what must have been the most difficult of circumstances. The atmosphere from the stage permeated within the audience. It was charged in there. ‘A Message to You Rudi’ was given a whole new poignancy. Amongst others, ‘Ghost Town’, ‘Monkey Man’ and other tunes followed. Not quite sure how Neville and the band pulled that performance off. It must have been emotionally shattering.

The thing about the majority of the bands and artists I have mentioned is that, in the main, music is not their full time career. What makes it all the more remarkable to me is that music is a passion that they fulfil in their spare time. And the music they are creating is their own. It is what burns inside them. Many weekends and weekdays they can be found playing the pubs and clubs in the region. So please continue to give them your invaluable support.

The Godiva festival is without doubt the jewel in the crown of Coventry City’s council. It acts as a showcase for much of the city’s amazing talent. And it is quite possibly the biggest stage they will ever appear on. And this, in turn, may even lead to greater things for them. Long may ‘the Godiva’ continue to be an important date on the city’s calendar.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Irish Rock – The Briefest of Histories

Irish Rock – The Briefest of Histories

by Pete Clemons

Yes I married into an Irish family (or they married into me) and I have visited the south on many occasions. Additionally, I worked north of the border for a considerable amount of time. But I have never lived in Ireland permanently. And, as such, I have never experienced any of the day to day challenges. So this is written with no real knowledge of life as it actually was in Ireland.

Ireland, as we know, has this invisible border which separates the north from the republic. Yet one aspect that really does unite this wonderful country is its music. Particular, and in more recent years, it’s rock music. And cites such as Belfast, Dublin, Limerick and Cork each produced pioneers of this scene that has played its part in changing Ireland.

Van Morrison was born in East Belfast. Van’s father had been a ship builder and, like many ship workers of the 1950s, had access to imported goods from America. These goods included records and he amassed a large collection of jazz and blues recordings. Encouraged by his father, Van absorbed this music.

At this time but further south, Dublin still had its own music scene made up of traditional and folk. But as this American music filtered through the country the youth wanted to hear it and play it. However, the church began to actively preach against jazz and rock ‘n’ roll.

As such, during the 50s and 60s, the Showbands emerged. The Showbands played the length and breadth of Ireland. And these Showbands proved to be very good as a learning curve for the musicians to develop their craft. But the dances were overseen by the clergy and no alcohol was provided.

The downside to being in a Showband was that the musicians involved had to play other people’s music and there was not the scope for original material. And this led to Van Morrison, who had by now toured Ireland and Europe with a Showband, forming Them in 1964.

Them quickly gained a name for themselves and secured a residency at Belfast’s Maritime Club. In no time at all the Belfast blues club was born. It was a very underground scene and Them produced some excellent original songs. Its all documented in a track called ‘The Story of Them’.

But still Van Morrison felt constrained. This time, with the ‘pop music’ he saw that Them were making. So, during 1967, Van left the band and went to America to launch a solo career with Them continuing as a band.

By now though the spread of pop music had filtered out to cities like Limerick where, during 1965, The Intentions, later Granny’s Intentions, had formed. The Intentions have a long history of their own but the one constant was vocalist Johnny Duhan. Ger Tuohy, Cha Haran, Guido di Vito were just some of the other musicians important within the story of The Intentions. Coventry resident and renowned violinist, Joe O’Donnell, was also once a member of this band.

Back in Belfast and the void that had been created by Van Morrison leaving was filled by a musician who was born 250 miles south of Belfast, in the city of Cork. And that was Rory Gallagher who took his band Taste to Belfast. Incidentally, Rory Gallagher was apparently the first musician to own a Fender Stratocaster in Ireland. Taste took over the Maritime Club and began uniting people.

The reputation of Taste, who had also been born out of the Showband scene, spread rapidly. So much so that they were invited to play at the Isle of Wight festival in 1969. Taste was outstanding. Their performance was one of the highlights of the entire festival. So much so that Rory was becoming known in his own right and soon after the Isle of Wight success, the band split and Rory formed his own band.

Meanwhile in Dublin and Phil Lynott was causing a stir. Phil was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother and a Caribbean father and was raised in Ireland after his mother returned to her family in Dublin.

Guitarist Eric Bell, had also been born in East Belfast, had been visiting Dublin with thoughts on forming a band when he came across Phil and Brian Downey at the Countdown Club where both were playing in a band called Orphanage. Brian was a really good drummer while Phil had a great voice and was developing his stage presence.

Brian Downey had also been a part of the Belfast Blues scene and knew Eric well. And when these two forces hooked up together and Thin Lizzy were born. Writing a mix of original songs, that included a hint of the Belfast Blues, Thin Lizzy soon found themselves been signed to Decca Records in London.

Ironically though, it was the reworking of an old Irish folk song that gave Thin Lizzy their first major hit with ‘Whiskey in the Jar’. Of course, Phil Lynott would become more prominent within the band.

Van Morrison was, by now, in New York forging a series of albums like Astral Weeks that were chock full of songs with Irish themes. Despite of his ambitions Van never really lost sight of his roots.

Despite this rise of the rock scene the Showbands still continued to play on both sides of the border. But July 1975 saw Irish music hit a terrible low as 3 members of the Miami Showband lost their lives in a dreadful assault.

The result of this incident being that the Belfast scene dried up and the city ceased to be a music hub. All apart from Rory Gallagher who kept the flame alive by continuing to play the city as often as possible and whenever he could. Dublin also suffered. It had plenty of rock bands but no real scene as such.

That was, however, until Bob Geldof and his acquaintances began to emerge during 1976. On the UK mainland, 1976/77 was the period of punk rock and swept along with this Bob along with Garry Roberts, Pete Briquette, Johnnie Fingers, Gerry Cott and Simon Crowe formed the Boomtown Rats.

Belfast also found itself being sucked into the punk rock tide after effectively becoming a ghost town as far as music went and one man, Terri Hooley, had made the brave move of opening the Good Vibrations record shop in the city centre. Terri believed that music therapy was the answer. Good Vibrations first became a meeting place for the like-minded music listeners and then a record label. An enthusiastic punk scene followed.

A ‘battle of the bands’ held at the Queens Hall during June 1978 saw the The Undertones, from Derry, steal the show from a Belfast band called Still Little Fingers. Stiff Little Fingers, I am guessing, would have been the favourites to win as they had already been picked up by John Peel. There was no doubt though that The Undertones lead singer Feargal Sharkey had a unique voice. Of course, a band as good as SLF, was always going to break through at some point. And they did with their songs that characterised Belfast at that time. There also grew a bit of tension between the two bands. 

Good Vibrations first single release was that by a local band with the name of Rudi and a song titled ‘Big Time’. But it didn’t stop there as the label came to greater attention when they signed up The Undertones who scored big with their debut single ‘Teenage Kicks’. Famously, spurred on by SLF getting airplay, The Undertones contacted the John Peel show direct and he fell for the song big time. Such was its popularity that ‘Teenage Kicks’ was reissued by the bigger Sire label that was a part of the Warner Bros. Music Group. A new energy had now returned to Northern Ireland.

Simultaneously, in Dublin, a band from the Clontarf area of the city, U2, namely Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen were also creating a stir as their songs exposed the wounds of Irelands past. As their music spread it connected with the people of America which of course is a country built on a good deal of Irish immigration. The rise of U2 is the stuff of legend. As was, of course, what Bob Geldof achieved during the 1980’s with the concert he organised where it seemed that, when the call came, no one could it down.

Looking back now, it’s incredible to think that the musically minded people of Ireland could write some of the music while entrenched in the culture that they found themselves. But in the main, the music they did write and perform refused to be defined by the sectarianism that existed. And depending on your tastes, Ireland went from strength to strength, with regards to its place in music. Thankfully, as a whole, Ireland had at last found itself and the rest, as they say, is history…………….

Footnote: During one visit to Dublin around 1978, I was invited to watch a band rehearse. They just happened to be playing downstairs in the bar I was having a drink in. The lad I was with, who was also working in the bar, was enthused about them but, after watching the rehearsal I was less than impressed. Soon after returning home, the band I had watched rehearse, U2, were touring the UK, playing the General Wolfe and the 77 club in Nuneaton. 

Them - Baby Please Don't Go

Taste - Blister on the Moon

Teenage Kicks The Undertones

P is for Paddy - Joe O'Connells Shkayla

Thin Lizzie - Whisky in the Jar

Where the Streets Have no Name - U2

I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats

Monday, August 20, 2018

Wandering John Reunion Concert 2010

Wandering John Reunion Concert 2010.

The main site for Wandering John, formed in Coventry 1969 HERE

Wandering John, the popular and charismatic but short lived blues / rock band formed in 1969 and by 1971 had gone but the band made a huge impact on the Coventry Music Scene, so much so that 40 years later when they reformed for a one off gig, the venue was packed!

The concert, recorded for DVD and Youtube by Nomad, Gordon Smith of Lyme Regis TV was in memory of their manager Dave Sullivan and the proceeds went to Macmillan Cancer Care. Organised by Julie Sullivan and featuring guests who had been associated with the band in the past,such as Neol Davies (later of The Selecter),Tim James of Ra Ho Tep, Tim Healey on Mixing desk, Cliff Wagstaff on set up, John Westacott (of Whistler and Urge) on harmonica with Last Fair Deal, and Trev Teasdel with performance poetry and introductions.

Pete Clemons from his 2010 Coventry Telegraph article - 

Article by Pete Chambers

Wandering John back on to stage for Dave
EVERYONE seems to be reforming nowadays – giving music lovers the chance to see a band that they may have missed.

Well, one band I never thought I would ever get to see is the fabled 70s band Wandering John.

As luck would have it, these guys too have caught the come-back trend and on September 4 (doors open at 6.30pm); they reform for a one-off gig at The Sphinx Club in Stoke.

The gig is organised by Julie Sullivan in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care. Her husband Dave was the band’s manager, and his funeral was the spark that reunited the legendary Coventry band.

Julie said: “It was at the funeral of my husband, Dave Sullivan, last September. Ade Taylor, the bass player suggested to friends that the band should get together again in Dave’s memory.

“The gig will be for the Macmillan charity who helped us when Dave was ill with mouth cancer. Dave also wrote a poem that Wandering John developed and played regularly – Image of Ezra.”

The band held court in the area from the late 60s to the early 70s, as many local bands went through the motions these guys took it for real, playing blues infused rock.

They played their last gig at the Lanch in 1970, it was recorded, but because of the sound quality it has never seen the light of day.

A new live recording is promised for the 4th. Three of the original members will take part at the gig, that’s, Ade Taylor (bass), John Alderson, (lead guitar, playing currently with the Travelling Riverside Blues Band) and John Gravenor (singer) with replacement drummer Paul Hayes from Coventry.

I asked Ade Taylor about his Wandering John memories.

He said: “May 16, 1970, we were offered a gig in Walsall supporting Black Sabbath. Alas the gig was cancelled, so we played the Woolpack, Rugby instead! It would have been a prestigious gig, if it had come off. Then we played in the old Cathedral ruins. A sort of mini-festival, August 29, 1970.”


So what can we expect on the night of September 4th?

Ade said: “The audience are in for a treat. Proper music, Blues, Blues/Rock. A mixture of covers and Wandering John’s penned songs. “Our splinter band called Last Fair Deal, will be performing some acoustic, Delta type Blues, during the interval. Guest musicians who have been invited include Trev Teasdel, Tim James of Ra-Ho -Tep fame, and, Neol Davis of Selecter fame.”

Wandering John Set List 2010

Here is the concert on youtube thanks to Nomad,Gordon Smith.

Part 1

Last Fair Deal - Country Blues - 

With Neol Davies of The Selecter


Julie and Dave Sullivan -managers

Dave Sullivan

John Gravenor

John Alderson

Wandering John 1969

John Gravenor

Last Fair Deal

Ade Taylor

At the concert. The band and friends on the right John Alderson and Trev Teasdel

DVD Cover

Nomad - Gordon Smith - who filmed the concert

Trev Teasdel with performance Poetry - photo by Pete Clemons

Monday, August 13, 2018

Canned Heat - by Pete Clemons

Canned Heat - by Pete Clemons.

Canned Heat are a rock band that came out of Los Angeles and who specialise in good time boogie music. They are famed for their arrangements of old blues recordings as well as creating some original classics. The nucleus of the original band was made up of Bob Hite, Al Wilson with guitarist Henry Vestine joining as the initial jug band began to evolve into a full group.

That was back in 1966 when they performed songs like ‘Dust My Broom’ and ‘Rolling and Tumbling’. In addition to his distinctive guitar and harmonica playing, Al Wilson also had an unusual yet effective singing voice. And it is his that you hear on the bands biggest selling hit singles.

Famously, Canned Heat appeared at the now legendary Woodstock festival in 1969 where one of their hits ‘Going up the Country’ was even described as the festivals anthem. The bands 52 year history is an epic story in itself with a succession of musicians passing through the ranks, including those mentioned above who are, sadly, no longer being with us.

Yet still Canned Heat continues to thrill and delight audiences. And recently, in Leamington Spa, that’s exactly what happened as the Heat belted out a tremendous gig. It had everything from the obvious hits, extended work outs, improvisation and soloing. The set dipped into and pulled out songs from all the classic albums. And the sound, once it settled, was simply throbbing.

Locally, it has been a few years visited our area. I remember seeing a ‘Naughty Rhythms’ tour involving Canned Heat, Dr Feelgood and others at the Spa Centre during 2001but before that it had been the 1970s when Canned Heat last visited us.

Nowadays, Canned Heat feature two, almost, original band members, in Adolfo 'Fito' de la Parra on drums and Larry 'The Mole' Taylor on bass and guitar who have each been associated with the band for 51 of those 52 years. Completing the band are relative newcomers John Paulus on guitar and bass and Dale Spaulding on guitar and harmonica. And between them they managed to work up, what was initially a seated audience, to one that was up on their feet dancing.

The concert opened with the amazing groove that is ‘On the Road Again’, a song adapted by Al Wilson. John Paulus, bravely took on the vocal part with Derek Spaulding accompanying him on harmonica. This was followed by an Al Wilson original ‘Time Was’.

Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, the Canned Heat set included ‘Don’t Know Where She Went’, ‘Going up the Country’, ‘Future Blues’, ‘So Sad the World’s in a Tangle’, ‘Rolling and Tumbling’ and of course ‘Let’s Work together’ where Larry Taylor switched from bass to slide guitar. They even had time to include a wonderful Harvey Mandel composition ‘Cristo Redentor’.

The night was wound down with one of the bands more epic explorations. A Larry Taylor composition called ‘Fried Hockey Boogie’, where, each of the individual band members get an opportunity to stretch out and express themselves individually. The gig was finally wrapped up with their version of ‘Crying Won’t Help You’.

If I had a slight reservation it would have been that I would have preferred to hear ‘On the road Again’ after the sound had settled down. That small gripe aside, the whole thing had been very engaging.

Boogie music has a pretty sound, it might even turn your head around, sang Bob Hite in 1968. It certainly did just that in Leamington.