Photograph © 2011 G.E.Whiting.

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Monday 26th May 2014 16:22:00

Awesome turnout for the semi-centenary celebrations! Views: 2036

Imagine, 50 years, that's a long time. It is, in fact, the amount of years the Bluesman has been present on the planet, well slightly longer if you allow for gestation Smile So there was a gathering at the favourite Auckland Arms in Southsea, with a lovely buffet, a line-up of his bands ready to entertain the hoards and then a jam. The Westside Blues Band and then a hybrid Burnt Ice WB lineup where we did some WB songs first, all electrified then some Burnt Ice material with me on piano. There was literally loads of people there, some fabulous sorts who had come out to wish Andy a happy birthday including many many musicians and lots of Andy's family. Sally Strawberry (super singer), Mags (banging bassist) and I had clubbed together to buy him a guitar shaped birthday cake modeled on one of his guitars. At the last rehearsal I was under orders from Sally to get a photo of his guitar so the baker could base the design on it, so I kept him well hydrated in the hope that he'd have to go to the loo while he was there. Time ticked on and eventually I lost patience and strongly suggested that he might need a wee in other words please sod off for a minute! So the photo got taken.

Proceedings were opened by Andy's cousin Emma playing with her partner Peter, otherwise known as Galeforce Galeforce they played some great covers and got everyone in the mood. Playing WB songs electrified was hard work, especially in a room full of happy noisy people, i wasn't sure I could be heard but as usual I carried on bashing away in a hopeful generally optimistic manner. I had more fun on the piano really, I did so love playing. I am more naturally an organ player and find blues on the piano is difficult for me however, I did not disgrace myself and many people were very complimentary about the efforts i made including lots of musicians, most notably rather fab piano player Mike Osborne. It always means alot when someone who you know knows what they are talking about gives you good feedback. I found it hard to sit still while I was playing such was my delight, I was bopping about on the stool, very much fun!

There were lots of great photos from the visually talented Jonny Bell he'll be able to blackmail most of Portsmouth soon with the evidence he's collected!  It was a terrific party, best I've been to this year, and I've been Coolto a few! 

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