I played in Bucharest, Romania, this week with Jack Bruce & His Big Blues Band. The festival was brilliantly entitled the ‘Dracula Bass Festival’, so I just had to use that as inspiration for this week’s Padcast. Frank and Winston did a hilarious job of an improvised death scene and I stuck what else I had around it. I didn’t manage to get much footage for various reasons so my choices were pretty limited but I managed to cobble together some sort of tenuous story line, edit the footage and record the music all on weds morning before running (literally) to get the Eurostar to Paris for some interviews and the Triton gig. A mad rush but managed to post the rest of the band’s tickets to them before jumping on the tube. Wish I had a bit more time to do something a bit more detailed on the music – like taking me back to college days and writing a proper fugue on one of Jack’s basslines perhaps…

Anyway, here it is:

All trombone players, beware, there is an evil afoot!


I’m really happy to announce that I won ‘BEST KEYBOARD PLAYER’ in the British Blues Awards 2012, today! The awards cerememony was at the Newark Blues Festival, in the grounds of the old castle there, a beautiful setting. It was a fun day with loads of familiar faces. I was also very glad to see Marcus Bonfanti win the ‘Kevin Thorpe Memorial Award for Best Original Song’ with his awesome song ‘The Bittersweet’.  I was also pleasantly surprised to have a call from Paul Jones to ask to collect the award for ‘Best Harmonica Player’ on his behalf.A little jam on ‘Cold Shot’ was preceded and followed by some nice ales. All in all, a good day!


I’ll be playing the Mustique Blues Festival again this year, January 26th-Feb 8th! It’s quite a jammy (in every sense of the word) gig out in the Caribbean and if it’s anything like last year, will be full of music, sun, sea and good times. It’s truly a unique and interesting place so I’ll be sure to keep a bit of diary going and I’ll remember to take my decent camera this time and get some proper shots. For a taster, you can read my little blog post from last year at Highlights from last year include rehearsing with Felix Dennis in the house that he bought from Bowie, a beautiful Burmese style palace built from imported wood, with cascading split-level lily ponds and a state-of the art games room/rehearsal room hidden in the rock below, full of pinball machines, instruments, bar etc. Something out of a Bond movie perhaps, um, without the Bond girls.

And apart from being a great little festival, all the profits go to the Basil Charles Educational Foundation, a local charity that has done amazing things in the surrounding area.