Keith Thompson Blog – No2 2015

Hi….Well it appears that summer is officially over here in the UK, but it was a great two weeks! We did manage to squeeze in a few festivals that didn’t get rained off! Notably, Gloucester Blues Festival, Radford Mill Festival (Near Bath) and Foxstock (Near Oxford). But….to get the real sunshine we had to go to Switzerland! The Magic Blues Festival lived up to it’s name. On stage from behindP Fantastic festival in a beautiful setting. Mind you….big isn’t always great…we came back to the UK and did a small blues club in Wotton Under Edge which was a real blast! The audience was up for it from the moment we kicked off and a surprise appearance by saxophonist Patsy Gamble (long time muso friend) just added to the occasion.

Always fun to play in Gloucester too as it is literally about 8 miles down the road for me….not for my band of course but they are world weary travellers! I like to do my bit for the “local” festival. This year I played on three separate occasions. Once with my band on the new stage….pictured. Courtyard1

And then again, solo at Peppers and at the fountain as guitarist for “Alter Ego”. I guess you could say I played 4 times if you count the time when I was invited up on stage with Stuart Earl! Only went out for a quiet drink! Oh and I almost forgot…..Mark Cole and I did our bit on “live” radio to plug the event so uhmmm that’s 5 times then!

Here is a pic of us performing at Foxstock, Burfurd.

Foxstock

Coming up soon a mini tour in Switzerland and a mini tour of Poland. It will be great to re-visit these well trodden pathways!

I’ve lost count of how many tours of Switzerland I have done over the years and I have seen the length and breadth of Poland….mostly from inside a people carrier!

Media

Had a fair bit of media attention recently, magazine coverage and radio plays in particular. Following the article in Classic Rock’s sister magazine, “The Blues”, a rock magazine called “Fireworks” did an interview with me which was published this month. Thought it might be an interesting read for some of you so here it is in full below:

How did you become involved in this crazy world of music?

Well, I was 5 years old when I started playing so I can’t actually
remember a time when I didn’t play the guitar. By the time I was 14, I was
playing in pubs and clubs. It’s just a big part of who I am. My first real
professional stint was around 1978 in Germany. We had to play five 45
minute sets every night, 6 nights a week! That soon sorts out the men from
the boys! When I came back to the UK I formed a band with Mick (Wurzel)
Burston who later joined Motorhead. All the time, the desire to do my own
thing was growing.

Who are your inspirations and what was the inspiration behind the album?

All through my teens I was like a sponge soaking up all the early
blues/rock pioneers, Clapton, Hendrix, Beck, Kossoff, Peter Green and Rory
Gallagher. Rory was a big influence back then. He had such a range of
tricks that you could try and emulate. Believe it or not, ‘Catch the Fire’
is my 8th album. I have been playing largely on the blues circuit but I
wanted to return to a more rocky feel without totally losing the blues.
It’s a fairly raw album and easy to reproduce ‘live’. The songs are a
collection of my songs about life, love, anger, passion etc. and I
realized there was a lot of references to fire. Hence the title.

Could you tell our readers about the band and what makes you different
from other artists?

It’s a flexible line up but usually the band consists these days of Roy
Adams on drums and Neil Simpson on bass guitar and myself on guitar and
vocals. Roy and Neil are both seasoned pros. They are also in Climax Blues
Band and Roy Wood’s current line up. I think what is different about us,
especially within the blues circuit is that we do original material.
Obviously there are other bands doing this but I think we have our own
take on it. It’s very song based so the performances, solos etc. are all
there to enhance the song, rather than the song being there as purely a
vehicle for the guitar solo.

Tell me about the album?
Where was it recorded who produced it and how long did the process take?

‘Catch the Fire’ is really my baby. So I wrote the songs, mostly recorded
and produced it, put it out on my label. Haha Real DIY! It is a collection
of songs that I have been mulling over for some time with a few ‘live’
favourites thrown in for good measure. We started work on the album in
early 2014. We did live rhythm section takes in a studio called FFG in
Gloucestershire and then I took all the files back to my small studio and
worked on the tracks in my own time. It was recorded in spare time in
between ‘live’ shows and other commitments and took the best part of a
year to complete. The icing on the cake was getting guest guitarists Buddy
Whittington from Texas and our own UK young gun Laurence Jones to play on
a couple of tracks.

What’s in store for the future?

More touring I hope. We have few festivals in the summer including a nice
one called ‘The Magic Blues Festival’ in Switzerland and the schedule is
growing. Ultimately I would like to do some gigs where I expand the band a
bit, bringing in keyboards and even horn section maybe on occasions. I
would like to introduce new music at some point but there is still a lot
of life left in this album I want to get as many people as I can to hear
it.

“Catch the Fire”

If you haven’t already bought the new album…..you won’t regret it! You can order direct from: Density Music front-small.jpg

“Catch the Fire” has been very well received. Here’s are some comments:

“Keith Thompson Band are just amazing, their latest album is one of the best I’ve heard this summer!” – DJ Phil England (Bro radio FM)

“Catch the Flame” is a great album by a major talent on the current blues scene. Peter Clack (Blues In Britain)

He knows how to nail a groove and deliver superb guitar playing across this album. Here we do have a British blues band offering us a quality not often associated with self-released UK blues-rock albums, and a guitarist who should be heard. Simon Redley (Blues & Soul)

If you prefer digital formats: CDbaby or Itunes

Snapshot Of Reality

There has also been a slight resurgence of interest in the previous “live” album. This is also available from: Density Music

“If passion is your thing, if it’s the be all and end all and makes the nights hanging by an amplifier, dry ice clinging to your lungs like a wet December fog and a guitar playing a sweet serenade of honest love and toiled emotion, then the Keith Thompson Band’s live album, Snapshot of Reality, is one in which to count the ways in which to adore your love of music.”

Ian D. Hall (Liverpool Sound & Vision)

Live gigs – I have included extra curricular activities, such as playing guitar for “Alter Ego” and “Moses Wiggins”.  This is how it’s looking at the moment:

September
Sat 5th. The George, Newent (KT with Alter Ego)
Thurs 10th. The Beehive, Swindon (KT solo acoustic).

Fri 25th. Broomfield Blues, Broomfield Tavern, Coventry (KTB)
Sat 26th. The Cotswold Inn, Cheltenham (Alter Ego)

October
Fri 2nd Tythe Barn, Bishops Cleeve (PRIVATE)
Sat 10th The Blue lagoon, Bristol (Alter Ego)
Mini Swiss Tour (KTB)
Thurs 15th S’Gweolb, Watt-Regensdorf, Switzerland (KTB)
Fri 16th Dukes, Sihlbrugg, Switzerland (KTB)
Sat 17th Lihn, Filzbach, Switzerland (KTB)

Sat 24th Old Neighbourhood Inn, Chalford (Alter Ego)
Sat 31st Brasenose Arms, Chropredy, Oxon (KTB)

November
Sun 1st Lichfield Vaults, Hereford (KT with Alter Ego – 4.30pm)
Fri 6th Peppers, Bull lane, Gloucester (KT with Moses Wiggins)
Sat 7th. Oddington Church, Nr Stow. (KT with Moses Wiggins)
Fri 13th. Batsford Arboretum (KT with Moses Wiggins TBC.)
19th – 22nd Mini Poland Tour (KTB)
19th Warsaw, Poland (KTB)
20th Sokolow Podlaski, Poland (KTB)
21st Ciechanow, Poland (KTB)
22nd Nowe, Centrum Kultury, Poland (KTB)

December
Fri 4th. Marrs Bar, Pierpoint St., Worcester (KTB)
Sat 5th New Inn, Pershore (Alter Ego)
Fri 11th Brewery Blues, Kings Head, Cirencester (KTB)

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