bluesfest london 2011 wrap-up
‘Under The Bridge is the complete music venue in every sense.’ (LondonJazz)
It’s been the most hectic period since we opened our doors at Under the Bridge, but also the most enjoyable and rewarding.
BluesFest London 2011 was a definite hit, with a huge diversity of blues-jazz-funk performers, lots of big crowds and amazing nights.
We’re really grateful to the festival organisers for choosing us and to the musicians who played – Blind Boys of Alabama, Max Weinberg, Incognito, Trombone Shorty, Booker T, Dr John and Jamie Cullum – all of whom were kind enough to say they were blown away by our venue and would love to play here again.
Of course we also really appreciate those of you who came along to the shows and helped make them so special. We’ve heard from quite a few of you on Twitter and Facebook, praising the performances, the sound and light system, the décor and photos, and the rare intimacy with music legends. Thanks a lot.
It was really noticeable how the artists responded to the closeness with the audience and gave that little bit extra, with Blind Boys and Jamie going a step further by stepping into the crowd and making the show even more memorable.
It’s always nice to be mentioned in the media too. The BBC filmed a nice piece with Booker T before his show here. Take a look here .
Check back for more pics from all nights to be uploaded soon.
Here’s a brief selection of the coverage of some recent gigs:
jamie cullum – 29 June
‘Stamford Bridge is normally home to a bigger crowd than the one Jamie Cullum attracted for this intimate show. The punters rammed into the nightclub below Chelsea’s pitch were no less vocal, though, as the jazz maestro and his seven-piece band bounced through hits and new songs.
‘Dazzlingly talented, at home on stage with funny chat and with a great band, Jamie Cullum is heading into a league of his own.’
Andy Welch, Daily Star
booker t. jones – 30 June
‘[Under the Bridge] is a welcome addition to London’s live music scene… it is an intimate space and has accomplished sound engineers. The voluble Booker T Jones – a veteran hard worker of the US music scene – looked right at home in his pork pie hat on the glittering stage.
‘Thursday’s concert featured a rich vein of feelgood hits – cherished by a knowledgeable crowd.’
Frederick Bernas on LondonJazz
‘The nagging riff of “Green Onions” was a first-step staple when young bands were called beat groups and clubs were dingy cellars dripping with sweat. Booker T Jones wrote and recorded it with the MGs in 1962 when he was 17 and still at high school. It’s still something of a primal force, even when thrown in as the third number of a two-hour set in a brand-new venue.’
Mike Hobart on ft.com
the blind boys of alabama – 28 June
‘That feeling of a special occasion was entirely appropriate for a performance by The Blind Boys of Alabama, almost to the point of feeling that any other London jazz venue could not have done the event justice. A gospel band that has been around since 1939 formed of blind members suggests something other than the ordinary, much in the same way that a blues club situated under Chelsea’s home ground does.’
Adam Tait on LondonJazz
incognito – 27 June
‘I personally really enjoyed playing to you all last night.
‘It was a very special moment even for a Spurs fan… I prefer to play these small venues as they are more intimate and allows me to connect with the audience.
‘Under The Bridge and Ronnie Scott’s have been by far my favourite London venues in recent years.’
Bluey of Incognito on Incognito.org.uk