More Gigs

From Alan Christmas (nb I’m not sure about the exact locations of all of these) but he has mentioned The Crown tomorrow Thursday (I think this an ‘open mic’ night but it;’s not quite clear) then

Vinyl Tap are playing The Robin Hood Rowlands Castle this Friday 2nd of June and Nothin Yet are playing the Coal Exchange in the Garden on Saturday 3rd June at 4pm.


Tuxedo Junction are performing at Bar 69 in Palmerston Road, Southsea, this coming Sunday afternoon, 2pm—5pm.

It’s a good idea to book early if attending  for their Sunday lunch and music. If the weather’s nice, the windows and doors will be opened to the pavement area, everyone can then stop for an eyeful of the “boys” and  earful of sooopah sounds.

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My Kind of Blues

JR sent me this and said it’s my kind of blues – I’m a fussy bugger these days. It’s in two days time: MARK HARRISON at Bullfrog on Thursday


Here’s Mark…

“Blues is pretty much the only kind of music that had stood the test of time. I assembled something of a collection of the greats, from Charley Patton to Muddy via Blind Willie McTell and the first Sonny Boy Williamson. I read a lot of books about their world and their music. It all spoke to me in mysterious ways.
I decided to buy a resonator. While trying out new ones in a London shop, I was directed to a recent arrival. ‘The way you play, you’ll like this one,’ I was told. It was still in its case. It was a 1934 National Trojan, a wood-body resonator. ‘It’s got a sweet sound but it’ll bite if you want it to,’ the man said. He was right. Eric Bibb had just brought it in. Fate. Of living blues artists, he was the one I’d most cottoned on to. Naturally, I bought the guitar.

I asked some of the fine musicians I’d played regularly with to play on my first album, “WatchingThe Parade“.Charles Benfield (double bass), Ryan Carr (mandolin), Ed Hopwood (drums) and Will Greener (harmonica). The centrepiece is the National guitar, but I play 12-string and 6-string and electric guitars on there too.

Over the following couple of years I played a couple of hundred gigs all over London, – some solo, many with the band, including supporting such fine touring US artists as The Holmes Brothers and Doug MacLeod. There were radio appearances too.
In 2012, we recorded the second album, “Crooked Smile, with two additions to the band, Josienne Clarke (vocals) and Ben Walker (mandolin/electric guitar). The album went down very well, one of the songs, Honeyboy, got nominated for Best Original Song in the British Blues Awards and gigging increased. I did my first few festivals then too, including an unforgettable set at Purbeck Folk Festival, with the whole 6-piece band.
In 2014, I released “The World Outside”, with the same line-up. By this time, I was doing gigs all over the country, radio sessions such as Jazz FM, and getting interviews and features in press and online. We played at a number of very good festivals, such as Love Supreme and Ealing Blues, and a real highlight was when Ed Hopwood & I played Celtic Connections in Glasgow, headlining my own sell out concert there.
In 2015, I put out the live album, “On The Chicken Sandwich Train”  which reached  to #3 in the UK Independent Broadcasters Association chart. I also got nominated in the British Blues Awards in the Acoustic and Songwriter categories. We played at some top festivals such as Bearded Theory and Lakefest, and 2016 saw the release of “Turpentine” – the line-up was  now me, Charles and Ed
I started with no aim at all, but the whole thing has gathered its own momentum. I get to play at fantastic places all over the country, all sorts of different kinds of event, and all sorts of  audiences. I’m amazed to find that people buy tickets to see me, come up to me and say such nice things about the songs. And it’s great how much they enjoy the talking between the songs, which seems to have become a major part of my live shows. Plus I get to play with such fine musicians, and to meet nice human beings wherever I go.
So, there you have it! Come and see Mark Harrison at The Bullfrog Blues Club, Onslow Rd., Southsea, PO52NH. Doors open at 8 p.m Advance tickets are available just £8 via our website – www.barkingspider.abelgratis.com via Paypal at , and also from Street Level Music, 139 Albert Rd, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 2SQ


But the First Prize goes to …

This documentary movie, as reviewed today in the Guardian:

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles; Sgt Pepper and Beyond

Just imagine for a moment what that might be like. If you were making it, what might it include?

Well the review tells us that there is a ten minute sequence about the cover – without showing the cover. But the real Prize is awarded because the makers did not have access to any of the music. Not one song.

Yet they still made a two hour film.