The Blues Band, which features Tom McGuinness and Paul Jones from 1960s stars Manfred Mann, will play at Durham’s Gala Theatre on February 4th.

The Blues Band will grace Durham after having completed a string of dazzling performances around Europe, including an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival, as part of their 38 Years and Back for More Tour.

Paul Jones and Tom McGuinness formed the group in 1979 as a band “just to play the blues”. 16 albums later, The Blues Band are still touring and are viewed as one of the finest rhythm and blues bands in the world.

The Blues Band to Return to Durham's Gala Theatre
The Blues Band

The band have always maintained an independent spirit, living by the maxim “the music industry doesn’t bother us and we don’t bother them.”

In a move that foreshadowed the practices of modern independent artists, the band ‘bootlegged’ their own first album. This was because the record label that was due to release it changed their minds and the band didn’t have the money to pay the studio bill themselves.

So, using a copy tape they had, the band got 1000 copies pressed up. They signed the plain white record sleeves and sold the album at concerts and via mail order. Only then did another record label take on the album and distribute it widely.

The band’s members have certainly had varied careers. Paul Jones – after turning down an invitation to join the early Rolling Stones – went on to find pop success with Manfred Mann. His songs have been recorded by Carlos Santana and Steppenwolf. Tom McGuinness has played with Eric Clapton as well as directing an award-winning South Bank Show on Jimi Hendrix.

Nowadays the band say that they are continuing to add to their “growing army of followers, and it’s not unheard of to find three generations of the same family at a gig.”

The Durham gig will take place on Saturday, 4th February at 7.30 pm. Tickets are priced at £22, and can be bought online at www.galadurham.co.uk. They can also be purchased by phoning 03000 266 600 or by going in person to the Gala Theatre box office.


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