Thursday, 26 April 2012

Leeds Bluegrass Club celebrates thirty years

The Ken Tardley Playboys, resident band in 2002

The Leeds Bluegrass Club in northern England is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary. Thanks to Ivor (surname unknown), who writes:

In a country where bluegrass is pretty thin on the ground, it's a pretty remarkable achievement to have kept the monthly gig going for such a long time. It's hard to believe that the cramped little 6" high 'stage' saw the likes of Del McCoury, Bob Paisley & the Southern Grass, and Peter Rowan play there in the early days (apparently 80 people showed up for Peter Rowan - and they had to take out all the seats & tables to squeeze every one in)...

Held at the Grove Inn, Leeds, on the last Thursday of the month, more recent European visitors have included the excellent Sons of Navarone and 4 Wheel Drive, plus UK acts like Dalebilly, Down County Boys, Chill Until Blue, and the Britannia Bluegrass Band... Whatever's on offer, whether it's scratch bands pulled from the back room picking sessions, or a special guest, it's usually worthwhile and I figured Kevin Garratt [shown in 2002 in the photo on right] and John Bennett deserve a 'shout' for keeping the bluegrass flag waving for so long!

A report by Pete Wraith on the Club's first twenty years, with a list of artists who had played there in that time, can be seen on the North West Bluegrass News website, from which these photos are taken.