Tony Brook at The Murderers, for Fine City Blues, Norwich 6 August 2015
Following the inspiring words of Jeremy Corbyn at Open I bumped into a friend who was similarly energised with positivity so we made our way to The Murderers for a pint, a chat, and some blues music. All were supplied in top quality at Fine City Blues, Dave Thomas’ weekly blues night.
Tony Brook was the night’s headliner but we were also treated to some very fine cameos from a few guests, not least Yve Mary B of Morganway who joined Tony for a rendition of Those Memories of You, and super mini-sets from Gareth Tucker and Daniel Voisey.
Freshly arrived from Alabama Tony is the real thing, I love the authenticity of his stories, the flawless playing and his expressive voice. We were treated to many of his originals plus a handful of covers, some blues, country blues delivered in a really warm and engaging style, Tony has an easy going presence with gentle humour between songs and is very friendly and likeable.
I rather fortunately bumped into him a couple more times over the following days at various gigs, he looks very at home in Norfolk. There is another opportunity to catch him on the 19th August at Grapevine at Bedfords.
I’ve become rather fond of The Murderers, which is a pub I never really used to visit but with the music they have there these days from the likes of Fine City Blues, Hubs, Sound it Out, Oddbox, and Dirty Stop Outs I’ve seen some great gigs. It feels relaxed and it has some great real ales at refreshingly good prices. There was a really good sized crowd in this evening to see Tony and he was very popular with all who were present. He was begged to keep carrying on and had just about exhausted all his own songs so finished the set with some covers that came to mind, such as All Along the Watchtower, and Georgia on My Mind.
The night didn’t end there however, as The Ten Bells was reopening after a very extensive refurb having been closed since the end of the Lanes Fayre. It was lively when I arrived and with a good atmosphere. It’s certainly changed a lot though and I’m not altogether sure about that metal grill/fence thing where the telephone box used to be. Some parts of it are really cosy but the gin still where the stage used to be means I can’t easily imagine Drink n Jive or gig nights there anymore. It does still have its lovely staff and location though and it will continue to be a regular stopping off place for me as I always seem to find friends in there and like its friendiness … and tonight was no exception, the atmosphere was really good actually. I hope it will retain its easy-going and relaxed late night atmosphere which can provide the perfect wind-down after gigs. I have missed it and am glad it is back.
words and photos (c) richard shashamane 2015