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Thursday, November 22, 2018

George Shovlin and the Acoustic Radars @ Charts, Newcastle - Nov 21

George Shovlin (guitar, vocals); George Lamb (guitar); Paul Wilson (piano); John Taylor (bass guitar); Kev Scott (drums)
(Review by Russell) 

Thanks to Pub Culture (Dun Cow, Fire Station, Peacock in Sunderland, Dun Cow, Jesmond, Newcastle) acquiring and redeveloping the long-since closed Flynn's pub on Newcastle Quayside, veteran bluesman George Shovlin has set about establishing a blues night at the company's latest addition to its portfolio.    


Charts, as no.63 Quayside is now known, already hosts a weekly jazz jam session (Sundays 4:00-7:00pm, sitters-in welcome!) and now blues is on the menu. Wednesdays at eight there is a gig featuring some of the best of the region's bluesmen (and women). During October, the Trevors - Sewell and Brewis - played a gig at the waterside venue, as did Martin Fletcher and Chris James and the duo Auld Man's Baccie. Last night it was the turn of Shovlin himself and, in playing an acoustic set, he invited his Radars to join him. 

The split level pub with its walls full of artworks for sale (a black and white print of Billie Holiday has gone, sold last week) was busy a little after eight o'clock as Shovlin played some Furry Lewis. Fans and fellow musicians made the effort to get along and support this new venture. The hand pull dispensing Mordue's Workie Ticket worked overtime as Shovlin reworked some familiar material alongside one or two originals from the Radars' new album Nothing to Lose including Don't You Just Love the Blues? 

Jimmy Reed's Bright Lights, Big City stirred memories of 'Spoon singing the number up the road at the Corner House, Got Love if You Want It stirred memories of listening over and over to Slim Harpo on CD and then there was Big Maceo's Worried Life Blues

Blues at Charts is heading in the right direction - audience numbers are encouraging and, with Mr Shovlin's enthusiasm for the music, this one could be a winner. Next week (Wednesday 28), in a late change to the programme, Johnny Dickinson will be on stage from eight. The planned appearance of blues shouter Mo Scott (Little Mo, to some), is to be rescheduled to a later date.              

Russell 

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