Blue Traffic - 1st April 2006
When we booked Blue Traffic to play at the Borough Blues Club, I think it's fair to say we took the decision to book them as they were highly recommended.
To ensure we hadn't made a mistake, our chairman John Dixon telephoned the band to make sure that they understood that we were a blues club, to which the lead guitarist and singer Dave Williams replied: "Don't worry kid (John is in his fifties, Dave's a lot younger) you won't be disappointed".
Cocky words we thought, but the deed was done and they were on their way. Little did we know what we were in for!
Blue Traffic is a three piece outfit, based in and around the Rhondda Valley and comprises Dave Williams - Lead Guitar and Vocals, Wayne Jones - Bass and Vocals (left), and Meirion Sampson - Drums and vocals.
The guys turned up, set up, and were playing within twenty minutes, no sound check, no quick practice, nothing, just straight into the first set with Statesborough Blues , Bare Footin' and Little Wing , in quick succession.
Wow, what a sound! This was high pressure blues straight out of the Hendrix bottom drawer, with scintillating performances from each and every member of the band.
We were all, as a fellow committeeman said, gobsmacked by the sheer brilliance of Dave Williams on lead guitar (below), and were no less impressed with the rest of the band.
Then came JJ Cale's Cocaine , a stunning version of All Along the Watchtower , out Hendrixing the man himself, followed by a very heavy Stormy Monday . The band continued in this vein and eventually finished the first set with a belting version of BB King favourite Rock Me .
I t has to be said that the set was probably a little more rock than blues, but by the enthusiastic reaction of our members it didn't really matter what it was called they were up for it big time!
We then had our break with the usual raffle, big thanks to Vanessa, Pat, and Jane, for collecting, and organizing the raffle, where would we be without our wives? And thanks to all the members who regularly support this part of the club's routine.
The second set erupted with an instrumental which went straight into Voodoo Chile , this was followed by a 'rocky' version of what seems to be the club's anthem, Hoochie Coochie Man .
Then we had Sweet Home Chicago, Red House, an old jazz number Flip Flop and Fly (done very un-jazz like!) followed with Blue Traffic's version of Black Magic Woman - very Santana-like with the added bonus of, would you believe, the Beatles Eleanor Rigby riff in the middle of it - very special indeed.
It was clear that the past problem of chit-chat amongst the audience was not evident on this night; such was the dazzling performance of Dave and the boys, no one wanted to miss a single note!!!!
Many more numbers came and went including a sweet version of Peter Green's Albatross. But all things must end so, with their last number being Snatch it Back which, for all we know, may have been a tribute to last month's band of the same name, Snatch it Back, and then their second set was finished.
Or so we thought - we and the band had reckoned without our members, who refused to let them go - so, two encores followed, and still they weren't satisfied.
The band's attitude was fantastic, and up they got again for the final number, Crossroads, absolutely brilliant.
Our members made it very clear on the night that they want these guys back again; and I don't think it will be too long before this happens. A fabulous gig with an outstanding band, what more could we want?
Our thanks to Dave, Wayne, and Meirion; and to the members and guests who supported us on the night. If you weren't there, you missed probably one of the best nights at the BBC to date!!!