|US Blues Rockers – THE BELLRAYS – will kick off their extensive UK tour this week.
Blues is the teacher. Punk is the preacher. It’s all about emotion and energy, experience and raw talent, spirit and intellect. Exciting things happen when these things collide. Bob Vennum and Lisa Kekaula made the BellRays happen in 1991 in Riverside but they weren’t really thinking about any of this then.
They wanted to play music and they wanted it to feel good. They wanted people to WANT to get up, to NEED to get up and check out what was going on. Form an opinion. React. So they took everything they knew about; the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, the Who, the Ramones, Billie Holiday, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams, the DB’s, Jimmy Reed, Led Zeppelin, to name a very few and pressed it into service. It was never about coming up with a ‘sound’, or fitting in with a scene.
It was about the energy that made all that music so irresistible. It was the history BEFORE Led Zeppelin that led them to that point. The Beatles thought they were playing R&B. It just came out like ‘Rubber Soul’. The Ramones were trying to be Del Shannon or Neil Sedaka and out came ‘Rocket to Russia’. With the BellRays there was no conscious effort to ‘combine’ rock and soul because they didn’t see them as divided in the first place. Blues was teaching. Punk was preaching. The BellRays were always listening.
2016 UK TOUR DATES
Tues 12 – Birmingham The Hare & Hounds
Wed 13 – Manchester Sound Control
Thrs 14 – Leeds Brudenell Room 2
Fri 15 – York Fibbers
Sat 16 – Pontin’s Prestatyn Holiday ParkATP
curated by Stewart Lee
Sun 17 – Glasgow Broadcast
Tues 19 – Aberdeen The Lemon Tree
Wed 20 – The Cluny Newcastle
Fri 22nd – West End Centre Aldershot
Sat 23rd – Westgarth Social Club Middlesborough
Sun 24th – The Moon Club Cardiff
Tues 26 – Exeter The Phoenix
Wed 27 – Bristol The Exchange
Thrs 28 – London Brooklyn Bowl
Fri 29 – Bedford Esquires