2016

Hi Swampers ……… Following a fairly quiet winter of hibernation, apart from a last minute duo gig at Skegness, where it was great to see old and new friends, plans are now being made for the rest of this year….

We are already booked to play at what are new venues for us….. including 100 club in London, and Whitby and Ilfracombe blues festivals….We are looking forward to introducing a few new hearts and minds to the wonderful world of Blue Swamp!!

In addition, we will also be doing selected gigs under the name ‘The Blues Folk, where our sound will be enhanced by the addition of legendary American guitarist, Jerry Donohue….. the Master of the Bends!!……. We did a couple of gigs with Jerry in 2015, including the Great British Folk Festival ….. and are all keen to do more!!

A few dates are being finalised…. but any interested promoters should contact John

All in all, it should be a good year!! ……Hope to share some of it with you!!

the Blog is back!!

Hi All……

I returned from our tour with a terminal case of man flu!!….We enjoyed our time away, with gigs in Redcar, Scarborough, Oxford, Leicester and Llangollen…..the highlight being the wine and chocolate party in the early hours, on the patio of the Paragon Hotel in Scarborough!!

We thank all the venues for their hospitality… and just wish we could have persuaded a few more people to brave the streets of Leicester on a Tuesday night!!

We have, unfortunately, had to cancel our Scottish gigs…… but hope we can re-schedule them soon!!

October is the time for us to sort out gigs for next year!! ….Watch this space!!

It’s been a while!! ….

.. but my blog is back!! 2015 promises to be a great year out here in the Swamp.. Our new studio album ‘VOODOO SOUP’, will be released towards the end of January… This coincides with a busy weekend of gigs… Friday 23rd sees us breaking new ground, when we play at the HOP POLE in BROMSGROVE … After a night in the Travelodge, we move on to the BRAZZENOSE ARMS in CROPREDY, Oxfordshire…… The weekend culminates in an appearance at the British Rock and Blues Festival in SKEGNESS (at the time of writing, we are due to perform at 10.30 on the Sunday night)… It’s a busy few days (especially for Jim, who does the lion’s share of the driving!!), but no complaints from us!!

A great chance to bring the BLUE SWAMP experience to a new audience, make new friends, catch up with old ones … and hopefully sell a few copies of VOODOO SOUP!! … Recorded at the Sound Loft on Leigh, we are all happy with the end result … and think you will be as well!!!

September up date….

Hi Swampers …Mikes pretty busy preparing this weeks show over at Point FM Radio for Rhyl and the North Wales Coast on 103.1FM !! yes he’s now officially a DJ with his own show “The Big Mike Blues Show” check it out every Tuesday 7:30 pm.

Anyway I thought I would drop in to give you an update,

new songs are on the boil and we will be recording in September, some new shows have been added (check our gig guide).
We are looking forward to seeing old friends over at Docherty’s Hotel and Bar and The Muskateer Music Venue
shows in Poland anad Italy are planed for next year and we’ve got a slot at The Great British Rock and Blues Festival,Skegness, 2015 .  We would also like to thank Flemming over at Marks Music in Denmark for adding us to his roster
http://www.marskmusic.net/artister.html….. Stay cool speak soon…..Johnny

Finally recovered…

….from our run of gigs over the Easter weekend…Friday saw us at Pleuchies Howff , and the usual warm and enthusiastic welcome from Lilliput Bob and the Dumfries Posse. This really is a great gig , and host David , a musician himself , one of the most vocal supporters of live music  in Scotland.

Our first trip to the  Isle of Bute on Saturday , was far more than we could have even hoped for. Bute is a beautiful Island , and from the trip on the ferry , to the wonderful hotel built by Oliver Cromwells shore battery , to the great organisation by Richard Snape , this was a very special gig. The sell out audience  took us to their hearts , and the band responded in kind reaching heights I never knew we were capable of. We even performed ” Life is What You Live ” , a song that we rehearsed for the first time during the sound check.  It was a bit like walking a tight rope without a safety net, but, although we may have stumbled  we did not fall. Thanks Isle of Bute can’t wait to see you again.

Sunday Night Backstage at The Green hotel in Kinross gave us all that we could have expected from the evening. David Mundell runs what must be one of the best venues to play in the whole of the U.K.  Despite the non appearance of a sound man , we managed to cobble things together between us and the well attended gig saw the band demonstrate what it is like to be ” road tight “. David Mundell and the Green’s hospitality was as per usual , second to none.

A long , long drive on Sunday saw us appear as the final band at Nantwich Jazz and Blues Festival. The Crown Ballroom is a great looking venue , though the stairs are a real ball ache!.  The band did one long set and left having made even  more new friends.

All in all it was a fantastic Easter , and special mention must go to Jim for doing the lion’s share of the driving. Jim and Big Vern were astounding. Their understanding has really developed over the last few months and they have evolved into the tightest rhythm section around , and that’s  without even mentioning their vocal work and Vern’s increasing harmonica skills.

Roll on Guisborough Blues Festival .  We are appearing at 1pm on Sunday the 4th of May .

Incidentally , my new Radio Show : The Big Mike Blues Show starts on the 29th April 2014 at 7pm broadcasting on Point FM 103.1 in North Wales and Worldwide via www.pointfm.co.uk

Busy, busy,busy!!

I’ve unforgivably been neglecting this blog for a while now…. but we have been very busy… Check our gig pages!!

Scarborough blues festival was particularly good, as was Prestatyn blues club…… Our night there was sponsored by Point FM., and as a result of our gig I have been asked to present a weekly show on this N Wales station, provisionally called ‘the Big Mike Show’ …. Available in the N Wales coastal area, and also online!

Easter sees us with another busy few days….. starting with a second appearance for our friends at Pleuchies Howff in Dumfries….. then taking in the Isle of Bute and Kinross, before finishing up on Easter Monday at the Nantwich Jazz and Blues Festival….. Hope to see some of you!! If not…. have a good Easter!!

Last Weekend!!

Three great gigs, at three very different venues… Friday took us to the Goin’ Up the Country Roots and Blues Club, in Worthenbury N Wales. A sell out audience at this extremely well run club. Deserves to be looked at as a model for just how a blues club can thrive in the current climate!

Saturday saw us in the idyllic setting of the High Cross Inn, Broughton in Furness, where Phil and Liz showed us their unparalleled hospitality, and we laughed long into the night with the warm and knowledgeable audience!

Maryport audiences have always known how to enjoy themselves, and Sunday afternoon at the Naval club was no exception… A great atmosphere, and a chance to catch up with old friends…. and make new ones!!

The band is sounding really good at the moment, and we are all happy with the direction we are taking. We are all looking forward to a glut of gigs in April.

The only negative is that we are finding it hard to find the time to work on the new album!!

Next live date is 22 March in Middlesborough, on a bill with Chantelle McGregor, and the wonderful Canadian guitarist/singer, Harry Manx

Hi Swampers

Things are fairly quiet at the moment!! …. In the planning stages for the new album … I have just recovered from a vicious chest infection and am looking forward to breathing some of that fresh sea air!

At the ed of the month (28th)… we are playing for the first time at the well respected ‘Goin Up The Country’ Blues/roots club nr Wrexham…. this is immediately followed by gigs at the High Cross Inn Broughton in Furness, and at Maryport Naval Club on the Sunday afternoon…… Two gigs that we know and love!!!….. Might see you there!!

What a few weeks!!

Having successfully moved house, we were left without an internet connection for nearly a fortnight!!….. I have now been struck down by some form of plague but will manage to share a few words!

It was great to have such a good turnout for our Skegness gig…. We were first band on at Reds, and, as usual, Skegness was wet and freezing!!…. Reds filled up nicely, and we had a great gig…. introducing the Blue Swamp ‘style’ to many new listeners from across the UK

We stayed the full weekend. I wallowed in the nostalgia of seeing Geno Washington for the first time since 1966 (still an amazing performer!), while Big Vern was blown away by Carl Palmer……. Fine by me, as long a he doesn’t start using a similar sized kit!!

New territory for us next Saturday ,8 feb, when we appear in the Oxfordshire village of Cropredy….. which is where Fairport Convention host their annual festival…. Back to my lemsip cocktails….. Speak soon!

Happy New Year!!

Hi Swampsters……. 2014 is here. Hope nobody’s hangover is proving terminal!! This year is looking as though it will be a busy one…. Check out the live page here! April is looking especially busy….. but we ease into the new year with no gigs until Skegness festival on 24 Jan….. If you’ve never been, it is a unique festival that really bring out the ‘party animal’ in people…… We are first band on Friday night… Hope to see lots of friends there! …… Before then, I am moving to a beautiful fishing village on the Fife coast, and pacing starts in earnest tomorrow with the trauma of encasing the zen/Lilliput village in bubble wrap!! (Photos of Swampton Magna coming soon!)

We made lots of new friends in 2013 (Big Love to Lilliput Bob and the Dumfries Posse!) … Hope to see you all again this year….. and to make a host of new ones!!