In praise of the unsung music promoter

Playing Ripley Town Hall for RipleyBlues promoter Andy Herrington - Paul Jones and The Blues Band.
Playing Ripley Town Hall for RipleyBlues promoter Andy Herrington - Paul Jones and The Blues Band.
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By Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers

Few promoters in the music world ever get the chance to put on ‘big’ acts.

And the ones that do tend to play it safe and only put on ‘big’ acts.

Success is king, I suppose.

A precious few work on hunches and take chances based on their passion for music and book the acts they love who turn out to be ‘big’ later.

Men like John Keenan, the man behind the legendary Futurama post-punk festival of the late 90s in Leeds, men like Andy Herrington who has been running RipleyBlues for more than 20 years.

Not only is the atmosphere in Ripley Town Hall special, (something which has become known on ‘the circuit’ through word of mouth), he’s built up an audience who trust his judgement to be good in the field of r’n b and the blues whether the act they’ve bought tickets for are famous or obsure, veteran stars or up-and-comingyoungsters.

In that spirit Gig Scene recommends the following gigs coming up shortly thanks to RipleyBlues.

Saturday, February 1: Proof plus Area 40.

The headliners are a classic British blues made up of a pedigree set of musicians led by fantastic vocalist Paul Cox whose CVs include working withVan Morrison, Peter Green, Carlos Santana, to name a few.

The support act are an excellent rootsy outfit with a big sound with traces of The Waterboys and Mumford and Sons in their original songs.

Saturday, February 22: The Blues Band.

A band which needs no introduction; the names alone say it all – Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Tom McGuinness, Gary Fletcher and Rob Townsend.

It’s also worth noting that Ripley Town Hall is playing host to the Oscar and BAFTA-winning documentary movie Searching for Sugarman on January 31.

The film tells of the unearthing of Rodriguez, an obscure but brilliant Mexican/American soul act of the late 60s who never quite achieved the fame he deserved.

Just the sort of act, in fact, that Andy Herrington or John Keenan would have booked if they’d been around then.

For tickets and information, visit www.ripleyblues.com