The unmissable Darlington Blues Festival is being held on Sunday 10th September. As part of the carnival fringe 'George Shovlin and The Radars' are playing the 'best little bar gig in the world' - The Quakerhouse in Darlington, on the Fridat night, 8th September. What a start to the festival weekend that will be!
George Lamb and myself, along with Whitburn Cricket Club, are organising a short season of monthly blues/rock gigs at the Club. The first night is Friday 25th August when 'George Shovlin and The Radars' open up the short season. Support is from the excellent Eddie Miller. Entry is by ticket only - £5, or £6 on the night. Tickets can be obtained from either of the two Georges or direct from the club..
I can now announce our early planning for our Spring 2018 Tour:
Tues 6th March Tuesday Night Music Club, Hooley, Surrey
Wed 7th March Anchor Inn, Sevenoaks
Thurs 8th March Wrotham Arms, Broadstairs
Fri 9th March The Music Lounge at the Chesters TEAC Club, Southend on Sea
Sat 10th March Blues at Barleylands, Billericay
I posted this on Facebook, not long ago -
'After being out of action for so long, it's exciting re-establishing the band 'George Shovlin and The Radars'. Without the benefit of agents and promoters, we ...do as so many other bands and performers do, make contact with people and gigs that might be interested in booking us. We play anywhere in the country and already have gigs booked in for later this year and next year. A new cd will be recorded later in the year. Which will give us a further boost.'
Since I posted this, both the music....and myself, have gone from strength to strength. It's great....gigs are coming in, I'm walking further and quicker (all relative, of course), and the old zest for life is returning. And thereby lies the message....enjoy life - it's great!
The band is playing a rare gig in Newcastle next Saturday night (29th April). Billy Bootleggers is a new blues bar Newcastle....we are really looking forward to playing this gig. Hope to see you there!
With the help of some wonderful people we have just completed planning for a 5 gig 'George Shovlin and The Radars' tour in the SE of England next March. Opportunities for extending the tour are already emerging but we might have to organise a separate tour, because of logistics.
Details of the tour will be released later, once all planning has been finalised but, in the meantime, we are looking for a poster for the band and also a dedicated poster for the tour. Any ideas....?
On Tuesday 25th April, George Lamb and myself went into Les Young's Global Entertainments studio and did a recorded set to be shown on the 'Across the Pond' network, shown in this country but also on various channels across the USA. It also gave us a chance, via satellite link, to talk with Bobby Joe Holman. Look out for the broadcast!
George Lamb and myself had a great gig at the Head of Steam, Leeds tonight. Thanks to all....especially Ben Waters, who did a great set before we did our bit.
But George and I are very lucky people....as we were approaching the Leeds turnnoff on the M1, travelling at 70mph, in the inside (of three) lanes, we suddenly were hit a glancing blow from a car that inexplicably crossed into our lane. I managed to control the car and the other car eventually stopped. The driver of t...he other car could speak very little English, so you can imagine the difficulty. Fortunately, although we were both shaken, no one was hurt and only my drivers-side wing was damaged. So....an expensive repair at an inconvenient time....but we were so lucky. It is not worth thinking what could have been the outcome.
We then went on and did a good gig. What we do for the blues....eh! - April 3rd.
'George Shovlin and The Radars' are playing the prestigious Tyne Bar in Newcastle on Sunday 5th March. We start playing at 3.30pm. As some of you may know, this is our first gig since I was taken poorly last year. If you turn up you will be denied the 'Shovlin Shuffle' as, like many of the old blues players, I will be seated for this gig. But this will not always be the situation....so take advantage of the 'seated Shovlin' while you can.
AN IMPORTANT PERSONAL ANNOUNCEMENT!
I am pleased to announce that, health-wise, I am now in a position to accept bookings, from April onwards, for George Shovlin and The Radars. Obviously, I will be contacting individuals, many of whom were so kind when I had to cancel gigs last year, but the important thing is that we will shortly be back! Watch this space.
Hi everyone. A word of explanation. Unfortunately, my ill-health has forced us to cancel all 2016 gigs. However, gigs are already in place for 2017, so PLEASE, hang on until then. We will be back!
George Shovlin and George Lamb did a duo gig at Sedgefield Blues Club on Saturday 16th July, 2016. Award-winning photographer and one of the founding fathers of the club, John Finlayson, made this comment:
'Sedgefield Rock and Blues Club Acoustic evening, George Shovlin and George Lamb played a blistering set last night in Sedgefield, one of the finest performances I've seen in a long time, they were mesmerising and the audience loved every minute.
We are very proud of these videos, taken at the Great British R & B Festival in Colne, on the Blues Matters Stage, in September, 2015.
Bright Lights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-obFys6NXA
Hoochie Coochie Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnFigtCcW6U
Worried Life Blues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uACFg0oDv8
Lover Not A Fighter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5InH765Wvw
Sportin Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yswFdzMDwRQ
Why I Sing The Blues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pko_2wR1Jlk
Valued Review from Blues afficienado Dave Scott:
George Shovlin and the Radars
Tyne Bar, Newcastle upon Tyne 04.10.2015
Hall of Fame inductee, founding member of Sunderland Blues Club and a performer for over 40 years, George Shovlin is legendary on the north east blues scene. In a crowded pub on the banks of the River Tyne, former teacher Mr Shovlin and his band gave a master class in timeless electric blues with an outstanding, high energy, entertaining 2-hour set.
Chicago blues featured prominently from the opening bars of ‘Too Late’ through to the climactic Jimmy Roger’s classic ’You’re So Sweet.’ Not that this is a covers band, confirmed by the highly original versions of songs like Brownie McGhee’s ‘Sportin’ Life Blues’ and BB King’s ‘Why I Sing The Blues.’ Indeed, the latter was transformed into an emotional autobiography of George’s personal musical journey. The Radars’ tight rhythm section of Stu Burlison on bass and drummer Kev Scott provided the perfect foundation for George Lamb’s tasteful, controlled and innovative lead guitar interludes. The funky groove on ‘Got Love If You Want It’ and the hard rocking, dynamic Lover Not A Fighter’ were a couple of the show’s many highlights alongside standards such as ‘Spoonful’ and ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’. Shovlin was the consummate front man with his panache, humorous anecdotes and engaging personality. His vocals were powerful, gravelly and at times throat shredding on songs like ‘Warning You Baby’ and ‘Bright Lights Big City’. George has travelled extensively throughout the USA, “paid his dues” and sounds like an authentic blues man. These guys might be described as veterans but they perform with a vitality and dynamism which surpasses many of the current high profile young blues artists. With the re-release of his acclaimed 2000 album, Got Blues If You Want It back in the charts, a new EP, national festival appearances and European gigs booked for 2016, the band is starting to get the recognition it deserves. So if George Shovlin has slipped under your radar, it is well worth checking the listings and going along to a show filled with nostalgia, originality, fun and all round great blues.
On February 1st, 2016, the band releases their first live album 'Unconditionally Live'. This is a review from Geoff Scott, contributor to various Blues Magazines and Radio:
Album Review: George Shovlin And The Radars - 'Unconditionally Live'
Release date: 1st February 2016
On 1st February 2016, the Sunderland's leading purveyors of the blues - George Shovlin And The Radars - release their first album since 'Got Blues....If You Want it', which came out just after the turn of the century. It's also the first album release since they re-formed in 2014, and the band...'s name may have changed, but their style remains very much associated with classic delta blues....that's, The Wear Delta, of course!
Going to see the band play is an experience - the repartee George has with their audience is second to none, and combined with traditional blues of the highest quality, you come away smiling because it was a great show and a great gig rolled into one. So, I was pleased when I heard that that they planned to release a live album, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
The band has four extremely skilful blues players with a wealth of experience behind them. They first got together in 1995 and toured extensively, including support to the likes of John Mayall and Canned Heat. After a split in 2005, three of the original four got back together in 2014 - George Shovlin on lead vocals and guitar, George Lamb on lead guitar and Stu Burlison on bass - together, with a new drummer in Kev Scott. That same year, George Shovlin, who has a voice that the blues could have been invented for, was inducted into the American Heritage Blues Hall of Fame, to recognise his contribution to British blues - both performing and introducing others to the genre.
So, have they worn well with time? You bet!
Recorded live at the Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne in September 2015, the album opens with George Lamb’s guitar setting the rhythm for ‘Too Late’, followed by the classic ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’. These two great blues tracks set the pattern for the album, with some great guitar solos in amongst Mr Shovlin’s fantastically gravelly gruff voice, telling us “...everybody know’s I’m here”.....and there’s no mistaking that, George!
‘Sporting Life’ slows things down - beautiful solo work by Lamb’s guitar bringing the track to a close with an exquisite finish to the song. The toe-tapping returns though, with Jimmy Reed’s ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ providing an opportunity for Shovlin to demonstrate how to hold a note, in amongst a great repetitive rock beat, and yet more superb solo work by George Lamb.....you certainly should know their names by the end of the night!
The Willie Dixon classic ‘Spoonful’, first recorded in 1960 by Howlin’ Woolf, comes in very slowly and quietly, before Shovlin growls and growls about that “spoonful of special love that satisfies my soul” - over eight minutes of slow blues that would be hard to fault. ‘Worried Life Blues’ carries on the theme of beautiful slow blues, the twinkling guitar strings of George Lamb and the dulcet tones of Shovlin’s voice lulling is into relaxed mode, before the latter tells us ‘Why I Sing The Blues’. Well, he did co-write the song with his old friend, the recently departed BB King.....he did, really!
The album closes with the track that closed the set at the Colne festival, ‘I’m a Lover, Not a Fighter’, rocking us right to the end of this great live album......crackin’ stuff!
17th January 2016
I can now announce that 'George Shovlin and George Lamb' will be playing the Blues Matters Jaks Stage on Sunday 24th January, from 1.30-2.30pm, at the Great British Rythym and Blues Festival, Skegness, in addition to the 'George Shovlin and The Radars' performance on the same stage, on Saturday night at 10.15pm.
There are lots of exciting things happening musically at the moment, What I can tell you is that, apart from the Harbour View 'Speakeasy' sessions continuing their amazingly successful 2016 start, 'George Shovlin and The Radars' have the following gigs in the immediate future:
23 Jan The Beamish Winter Festival 4 - 5.00pm
23 Jan Jaks Bar,
The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Skegness 10.15pm...
5 Feb The Cleveland Bay Hotel, Yarm
5 Feb Sunderland Blues Club@The Independent, with Tom Fletcher
21 Feb Sour Grapes, Morpeth
26 Feb Newcastle Downtown Blues.
Apart from that you can see 'George Shovlin and George Lamb' at:
29 Jan Bradford Blues Club, Glyde House, Bradford
1 Feb Head of Steam, Leeds
4 Feb The Howling Wolf, Glasgow ( following our great pre-Christmas gig)
There's still more happening....watch this space!
The band played at Stormy Sunday Blues Club, at the Jazz Bar in Edibburgh on the last November Sunday. A great gig and a great venue. This is a taste....
Our set from The Colne Festival was recorded, the recording is in the process of being mixed and then mastered.... we should be able to release a live cd hopefully by the end of the year........WATCH THIS SPACE
We are pleased to announce that the band has been asked to return to The Great British Rock & Blues Festival in Skegness on 23rd January......The band will play on The Blues Matters Stage in Jaks Bar.....10.30pm.....
We are delighted to return to this wonderful festival
George Shovlin and the Radars were a last minute addition to the bill following the cancellation of The Brew due to drummer Kurtis Smith dislocating his shoulder just days before the festival. The band were one of a small contingent of local artists on the bill including MC Gary Grainger who also featured on the acoustic stage.
George and company were in fine form and delivered a superb set of blues including a rendition of Muddy Waters’ “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” with... some great playing from guitarist George Lamb throughout. Their set was interspersed with light hearted humor from George Shovlin. The band really won over the audience and looked like they were enjoying themselves in the process.'
- Review of GS and The Radars performance at Durham Blues Festival...by Adam Kennedy.
This great video was taken of us at Durham Blues Festival - the first two songs of our set:
HOT NEWS! The band is to open on the mainstage at Durham Blues Festival on Saturday 20 June at 2.00pm. Great. Festival appearances this year now list Skegness, Fife, Reivers, Diggle, Durham, Maryport, Colne and Arbroath. Unbelievable!
We have just received this review from Helen Taylor, of the Imperial, Mexbrough, after our recent gig there:
‘George Shovlin and The Radars are one of the most amazing Blues bands I have ever seen...The way George Lamb plays the guitar is a jaw dropping experience. He can certainly make it sing! George Shovlin is a great front man, involving the audience with his witty comments and quips. All four guys are extremely talented musicians and very friendly and I would recommend everyone gets to see at least one gig during their lifetime, you certainly won’t forget it in a hurry....’
Just announced....'George Shovlin and The Radars' are booked to play the Bell Rock and Blues Festival, Arbroath, on the weekend of 22/23 August!
Robin Sanderson took this video of GS and George Lamb performing their version of Blind Alfred Reed's 'How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live' at the Reivers Festiva in May. Possibly the best raw video taken of the band or duo!
Just announced....'George Shovlin and The Radars' are booked to play the Great British Rock and Blues Festival at Colne on 29th August!
Download the 'George Shovlin and The Radars' free app by entering:
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2015 Festivals: George Shovlin and The Radars have played, or are booked to play at the following Festivals
The Great British Rock and Blues Festival, Skegness (Jan)
Fife Jazz and Blues Festival (Feb)
The Reivers Rock and Blues Festival (May)
Diggle Blues Festival (June)
Durham Blues Festival (June)
Maryport Blues Festival (July)
Bell Rock and Blues Festival, Arbroath (Aug)
The Great British Rock and Blues Festival, Colne (Aug)
George Shovlin inducted into the American Heritage Blues Hall Of Fame.
George has been involved with blues and roots music for 40 years. He's still organising and running live music nights in the North East of England, mentoring and encouraging musicians of all ages. Not only is George a fabulous musician in his own right, he is an icon in local blues circles and throughly deserves his place in the Blues Hall Of Fame
To view George receiving his certificate please forward on to 1:00 to 1:33.