Superb Fundrasing Gig at Joe Joe Jims for Matt Long

The latest of the fundraising gigs for Catfish’s Matt Long, and his battle against cancer, took place at Joe Joe Jims in Cofton Hacket, Birmingham. This was a three-day event put on by Fletch and the gang at Joe Joe Jims, on the same weekend that Matt was able to marry his sweetheart, Samantha Leese.

On Friday Indigo Kid and Steve Ajao Blues Giants performed with the following day Thomas Heppell and Big Wolf Band wowing the audience on stage.

Sunday's Bands in my Image Gallery

On Sunday we had a seven-hour festival of bands supporting the cause, with first up on stage the UK Blues Challenge finalists in 2023, The Milk Men.

The band were Jamie Smy (vocals), Adam Norsworthy (guitar and backing vocals), Mike Roberts (drums) and Lloyd Green (bass).

The band kicked into their blues rock style, in their distinctive stage costumes of suits, with lead singer Jamie and guitarist Adam getting into their stride with their vocals and Adam’s brilliant guitar work, backed by Lloyd on bass and Mike on drums. Their set included numbers from their two albums including the newest ‘Holy Cow’ with ‘Hungover’ (their second single), ‘Bad News Blues’ and ‘One Man Band’. They finished to great applause with ‘She Don’t Like Rock N Roll’

Next up we had a change of genre with a more blues & country style with Ceri Justice (vocals) and Jonny Caswell (guitar & vocals) including a John Martin song ‘Lay Your Head Down’ and country numbers such as Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ sung with great passion by Ceri, and they finished with ‘Rolling On The River’ to generous applause.

They were followed by The Fearless Scoundrels a Boogie, Blues, Rock’n’Roll band based in the Midlands, with their line-up being Bernie Wratten (guitar & vocals), Phil Down (bass), Dave Matthews (guitar & vocals) and Terry Boazman (drums).

They gave the appreciative audience, which included some of their fans, with songs such as ‘Bluesy Man’, with great vocals from Bertie, ‘Too Damn Blues for the Blues’ as well as their new single ‘Temporary Man’, with its great bluesy sound. There was great banter between the songs which were all played with enthusiasm and spirit.

Then we had the showmanship with Steve ‘Bertie’ Burton heading up on vocals for Vincent Flatts Final Drive, supported by the excellent Gary Harper (guitar), Russ Cook (bass) and Richard Skelton (drums). Their style is boogie blues with some great guitar solos from Gary supported by the rhythm section of Russ and Richard. Their songs included ‘Crutches’, ‘Too Drunk to Drink Drive’ and ‘Back in a Cadillac’ all sung with powerful vocals from Steve.

To finish off the evening we had a rare performance by the Under The Bridge All-Stars which had been put together with Upton Blues Festival Director Music Stephen ‘Stein’ Steinhaus, to open the new Under The Bridge stage at the 2024 Upton Blues Festival. This is taking place in July 2024 in Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire. The festival has been voted best festival in the 2024 UK Blues Awards.

The band was Valerie Vet (vocals), Jason Page (guitar & vocals), Nick Lyndon (double bass), Jay Riley (tenor sax), Matt Ball (keys), Joelle Barker (drums) and Stephen Steinhaus on vocals.

The set included great soulful vocals from Valerie on ‘Tennessee Whisky/Rather Go Blind’ and ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ with a great long version of ‘Further On Up the Road’ with solos from Jay Riley on tenor sax counterpointed by  Jason Page on guitar all supported by Nick on double bass, Joelle on drums and Matt on keyboard. They finished with an encore with ‘Caldona/Roberta’ to great applause.

Then Fletch came on to thank the bands and soundman along with Terry Boazman for supplying his drum kit for all the bands. He also encouraged the audience to leave donations in the bucket for Matt Long.

Superb Fundrasing Gig at Joe Joe Jims for Matt Long
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 10 June 2024
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