THE ARCHIVE: Brum Digs Blues

This amazing item feel out of a copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.


Melody Maker, November 9th 1968, Page 10

Brum Digs Blues

A few yards from the concrete and glass of Birmingham’s new Bullring town centre is a pub that owes more allegiance to the last century than this. The Crown is a sprawling maze of corridors and rooms but to hundreds of Birmingham blues fans it’s home – one night a week at least.

Every Tuesday, the club becomes the focal point of the Midlands blues scene when Henry’s Blueshouse is open upstairs. And the popularity of the club and the blues in Birmingham was obvious when 100 disappointed fans were turned away from Jethro Tull’s gig at the club.

Midweek in Birmingham isn’t exactly beautiful, but it is different. The noises and atmosphere of an industrial city busy living reflects just the right atmosphere for urban blues appreciation.

So it’s not surprising that in its few weeks of life Henry’s, improbably named after a pet dog – has become one of the leading blues venues in the Birmingham area.

The club is run by Katie Munn and local agent and manager Jim Simpson, who manages the Locomotive (currently in the MM Pop 30) and two other groups: The Bakerloo Blues Line a solid blues group, and Tea and Symphony, a four piece experimental group.

The club is housed in two main upstairs rooms at the Crown. The main room features the music and last week was packed to capacity with over 300 people roaring their appreciation of two superb sets by Jethro Tull, and incredible exciting group that mixes urban blues with electronic rock and jazz.

Henry’s has all the ingredients of a good blues club: forward-looking management, a good main room, the tops groups (they’ve featured Duster Bennett, and many other blues names recently) a handy bar and easy parking.

Alan Walsh

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