Paul Jones and Dave Kelly bring live music back to Bognor

Paul Jones and Dave Kelly join forces to herald the return of live music at Bognor’s Regis Centre on Saturday, May 29 at 7.30pm.

Paul Jones & Dave Kelly
Paul Jones & Dave Kelly

Founder members of The Blues Band, they will be offering their acoustic duo format for the night.

Dave can’t wait. If the pandemic has taught him one thing, it’s that he doesn’t ever want to retire, he says.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Not that he was even remotely considering it… however The Blues Band will wind down next July.

“I can’t wait to be performing.

“It has been very frustrating. I am just very lucky that I get paid for what has always been my hobby.

“This will be our second show (since lockdown eased).

“We are going to be playing Wimborne the night before. We played there last December. That was with the band.

“But this is going to be just me and Paul – a duo show which has now been moved three times.

“But we would love to play Bognor with the band. We will see if we can fit it in, but The Blues Band are going to be no more after next July.

“We are going to knock it on the head – though we will still be doing our other stuff. We have had a few medical issues with a couple of people of late.”

They have had to adapt: “We have never had any complaints, but I think The Blues Band is The Blues Band and if one or two people are missing, it is just not the same.”

They will have done 43 years.

“But I love the duo work. It is basically the old-time blues, some of that, plus some of our own compositions. It’s just acoustic, just guitar and harmonica and our two voices.

“We do a lot of the old blues stuff that were duos and solos in their original form.

“I first came across Paul on TV in the 1960s. I didn’t meet him until the beginning of The Blues Band in 1979. Paul was a professional actor at the time. He had been in Manfred Mann but he had left the music business to become an actor but he hankered to get back to the blues, his first love, but just as a hobby in the late 70s.”

Paul, Tom McGuinness and Hughie Flint got together. Dave became involved through a mutual friend Keith Nelson.

“Tom and I didn’t know each other but we were nodding acquaintances at various gigs, but we had a mutual friend in Keith.

“He was a good friend of mine and a friend of Tom’s. I think Tom mentioned to him that he and Paul and Hughie were getting a band together.

“My career was in the doldrums at that point. I was a laundry van driver. I had two young kids then.

“And one of my routes took me past Keith’s house and I used to stop and have a natter.

“Tom mentioned to Keith that they were thinking of forming this band and were looking for somebody else. Keith said ‘I know who is not doing too much at the moment, Dave Kelly

“And so I got this call from Tom to come and rehearse with him, and it went on from there.

“They had some arrangements for songs and what I liked was that none of them went on longer than two or three minutes. I thought previous blues had disappeared in decreasing circles. They were taking 20 minutes to solo.

“But with this the songs were very, very good and precise. And so we kept going!”

As for lockdown, well, Dave has taken to Facebook – and has been posting songs not quite every day, but nearly, a couple of hundred of them. And the fun has been that they have not necessarily been the kinds of songs you’d expect from him.

“I have done Fred Astaire. I have done The Eagles. Just me and my guitar and my selfie video!”

Tickets are available from the Regis Centre. The show will be socially distanced in line with guidelines.