Blues players reunited

MEMBERS of a former Leamington blues band have been reunited after 40 years and are planning a reunion gig.

Stuart ‘Digger’ Davies, Tony Cox and Martin Johnson made up three quarters of the Rockin’ Chair Blues Band, who played together during the 1960s and early 1970s.

The trio, whose average age is 59, met at the Benjamin Satchwell pub in the Parade last week to catch up with each other, share memories and discuss the possibility of a putting together and rehearsing a set for a gig.

Digger, who now lives in Tenby, Wales, said: “It’s really strange to see people after that length of time but nothing was different and we all got on great.

“We’re really keen to get a reunion gig together so that’s probably on the cards but with me living 200 miles away it makes it a bit hard for rehearsals.

“But we’re keen to do it and once we do one maybe we’ll see where we go from there.”

The band, including rhythm guitarist Jim Gault who was unable to attend the reunion, are all former pupils of Leamington Boys College which later became North Leamington School’s Binswood Sixth Form centre.

Martin, who lives in Kenilworth, played the bass guitar, Tony, now of Nuneaton, was the drummer and Digger was the lead guitarist.

Sharing singing and songwriting duties, the four-piece would play sets made up mostly of their own material but also included covers of tracks by their idols.

Digger said: “We used to listen to Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and all the other blues legends - I could reel off a whole list.

“A lot of people say when you hear the blues it sends a shiver down your spine and when you hear it played live it’s so infectious and once you’ve caught the bug you’ve got it for life.

“We played for no other reason than the excitement and we loved the rawness of the music.”

Digger said his fondest memories of his time with the band are from when they enjoyed the freedom of touring.

One of the biggest highlights of their time on the road was when they met musical legend John Lee Hooker at a gig in Leicester.

Digger said: “He took us backstage and we were in heaven because we were in a dressing room with artists such as Big Joe Williams, T-Bone Walker and Walter ‘Shakey’ Horton.

“At that time these men were like gods to us while we could’ve met the Rolling Stones and thought nothing of it.”

Digger went on to play for the Edgar Broughton Band while Tony and Martin are members of the Hoochmongers! who play gigs in and around Coventry and Warwickshire.

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