British Blues Exhibition travels north and south

In the space of a week (30th and 31st August and 3rd September), travelling versions of the British Blues Exhibition appeared in the Great British R & B Festival 2015 in Colne, Lancashire, and at the Boisdale Canary Wharf, a venue whose Patron of Music is Jools Holland. Photos from Colne are below:

The foyer of the British Stage at Colne hosted the exhibition for two days – and the chili from the eatery next to the stand is recommended for next year. A big thank you to the organisers and staff of the festival for their help and hospitality. Onto a briefer expedition to London:

The Boisdale Canary Wharf hosted the exhibition’s Briefcase Full of Blues on a night when Mike Vernon and the Mighty Combo were playing. Mike and his band played a well-paced succession of 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s Rhythm and Blues classics and some songs from Mike’s new album. Piano and keyboard master and Boisdale regular Eric Ranzoni was also present and showed off his new album at the exhibition. One play later, it proved to be a mix of covers and originals played on piano and with vocals, a barrelhouse delight reminiscent of Memphis Slim, Piano Red and Professor Longhair. For piano panache, look no further, seriously.

Thank you also to the staff of the Boisdale Canary Wharf.

Next up for the British Blues Exhibition is a Jo-Ann Kelly tribute night in Sevenoaks, Kent on 26th September, then, with a few appearances in Blues strongholds in hand, it’s off to schools, colleges and places where the word of the Blues needs to be newly noticed.

The British Blues Exhibition meets Chris Barber


We have had Chris Barber’s support for the British Blues Exhibition for some time, based on calls and emails. Yet to see the great man face to face has always been an aim. At his show on 29th July 2015, in Dartford, Kent, we met Chris and he signed the exhibition banner.


Chris took an interest in one or two of the exhibits we had brought along, and can be seen above browsing a 1955 copy of Melody Maker. Meeting Chris and talking with him in person as he readied himself to go and play, will always be one of the best moments in the history of the British Blues Exhibition.

This is an enjoyable article on Chris.


First public appearance for Briefcase British Blues Exhibition 27th June 2015


The debut public outing for the British Blues Exhibition will be in a cut-down form, its “Briefcase” version, where enough exhibits to provide a sample of British Blues history are popped into a suitcase or two (we have a vintage 1941 special for this very purpose) and taken on the road.

This road leads to an afternoon (2-5pm) at the Sevenoaks Summer Festival in Kent on 27th June 2015, and will be with Katie Bradley, herself a noted British Blues harmonica player and vocalist. The venue is The Anchor, a place where Sue Revell books Blues acts. Sue is one of the people who, as a result, has contributed to keeping the scene going.  Thus it is apt that the exhibition’s content will be leaning towards the women of British Blues.

More on Facebook here.

26th September 2015 will see another event worth mentioning as an evening takes place, again in Sevenoaks, in honour of the late British Blues vocalist Jo-Ann Kelly. More on Facebook here.