Delving back to a special decade

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The 1950s are celebrated when Oo-Bop-Sh’bam bring their musical experience to bear on the Saturday at this year’s Blues On The Farm.

With years of experience between them at the top of their game, the seven-piece band delve back to a special decade.

“The way I have scheduled the band is for it not to stay in one idiom,” says drummer Alan Savage. “We play 1950s rhythm and blues and rock and roll, but we also play blues from that era.

“It was just great, great music. They were all amazing players, and it was just infectious. All the music seemed to be positive. You couldn’t listen to that stuff without tapping your feet or shaking your head.

“A lot of it was dance-oriented. Dance was big then and that’s being recreated now. There are many, many dance clubs around in this country and Europe that play what you would call 1950s jump blues.

“We play 1950s style blues in a big band form. We feature brass and double bass and keyboards and bass and drums. We have been going for five years now. We are all professional musicians who have been playing for many years both individually and with major established artists. We know our onions!

“The situation was that singer Jackson Sloan and myself and sax player John Willmott were all in a band called Rent Party 30 years ago, playing jump jive.”

It was inspired by a revival in the genre sparked by Joe Jackson. After Rent Party, they went their separate ways, with Alan touring for six years and on three albums with Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges among other commitments.

Then a few years back, Jackson Sloan approached Alan about getting a new band together, bringing in John once again.

“We have got a studio album out that we released shortly after we got together. And we have a double live CD that we recorded at the 100 Club in London. We have also got a DVD on release which features 12 tracks from the 100 Club gig we recorded.”

Blues On The Farm 2011 features four days of top blues from Thursday, June 16 to Sunday, June 19, just south of Chichester at Pump Bottom Farm, Birdham Road. Among the bands are

Never The Bride, Todd Sharpville, Ben Prestage, The Brass Knuckle Blues Band and Midnight Train, alongside many old favourites including King King, Connie Lush, and three-times Blues Harmonica Player of the Year, Errol Linton.

Times: Friday, June 17, 1pm to 12 midnight; Saturday, June 18, 12 noon to 12 midnight;

Sunday, June 19, 11.30am to 10pm. Tickets: www.bluesonthefarm.co.uk or 01243 773828 or 01243 539072.