2016 has been an interesting and fruitful year in the Voodoo Sheiks camp on our steady climb up the ladder of the behemoth that is the UK blues scene. This year has seen us hit new venues, make new friends and take strides towards new goals.
We kicked off the year on The Introducing Stage at The Great British Rock and Blues festival in Skegness. It was great to be a part of an event that included artists such as Hawkwind, Dr.Feelgood and Otis Grand was a real honour. Big thanks to Stephen Stanley and Solid Entertainment for putting us on. January also saw us play a new venue in the form of the Old Moot House in Kingston.
February was a busy period for the band with return gigs at some our favourite haunts, The Old House at Home, Dorking and The Malt Shovel, Horsham. We also revisited The Railway in Billingshurst. Finally we hit the Bull’s Head in Barnes. Thanks to Pete Feenstra for inviting us. A great sound and an intimate atmosphere made for a good rocking night of R’n’B.
In March, we once again played at The Swanage Blues Festival, performing twice, Saturday at the Swanage Bay View sharing the bill with The Karena K Band and Sunday at our regular slot at The Anchor Inn where we played our usual high energy set, to an equally high energy audience. Thanks to the regular festival goers who are always there to give us their support and to Mandy Lovett who always asks for us back, and finally to Steve Darrington for his colossal efforts in organising such an event!
April saw us hit Camden’s legendary Underworld, supporting our blues brother Laurence Jones. Packed to the rafters, superb sound, it was a great experience to play there. We followed this by a gig at The Cavern, Raynes Park which is one of South London’s busiest venues. Keep up the great work Noel Nevin.
In June we returned to the Surrey Blues Club, a place that helped us kick off our live set in 2011, cheers to Shakey & the crew the continued support. We then hit The Boom Boom Club to support Moreland & Arbuckle.
July we headlined at The Half Moon, Putney supported by The Karena K Band. We had an absolute blast, firing on all cylinders, playing one of our tightest and most energetic sets. Massive thanks to everyone who came out to support. We can’t do all this without you and we very much appreciate it.
August saw us at The Malt Shovel where Sam & Marie-Clare Clayton continue to run this great West Sussex venue.
September kicked off with us playing our first date with Sugarman Sam & The Voodoo Men at The Sanctuary in Basingstoke then an evening at BB’s Blues Club in Merton. Unusually for The Voodoo Sheiks we had not one but two private functions, one of which had been booked 3 years in advance!
Then came the highlight of the year! The Voodoo Sheiks being voted runner up in The Emerging Artists category in The 2016 British Blues Awards.
In October we returned to The Malt Shovel, Swanage Blues Festival, Bull’s Head and had our debut gig at The Platform Tavern in Southampton. It was great to play in a new venue and we look forward to returning there soon. The Tuesday Night Music Club was as receptive as ever and there we shared the evening with The Sharpeez. The TNMC is becoming a mark on the map in the blues circuit. We’re back there in Nov 2017. Thanks to Richard Dunning for his support.
November we played with Sugarman Sam & The Voodoo Men again, performing a blinding set at Leo’s Red Lion in Gravesend. We were joined by the John Doe trio. Adrian was invited to play a couple of tunes with John and Sam at the end of the night, trading fiery licks and riffs back and forth. A ‘blues G3’ indeed, it topped off a great night. Cheers to Steve Borkowski for organising the event.
Ilfracombe Blues Rhythm and Rock festival was The Voodoo Sheiks’ destination early December. A big thanks once again to Stephen Stanley. What a great festival it was too. A line up that included Laurence Jones, Stray, Troy Redfern, Dr. Feelgood and Royal Southern Brotherhood was always going to be special.
December saw us appearing in Blues In Britain magazine with an interview about our beginnings and band ethic. The interview was in conjunction with our runner up spot in the afore-mentioned British Blues Awards. Paul Stiles does a sterling job supporting Blues in the UK with this great mag’. Our last date in 2016 saw us back at The Old House in Dorking where some of our good friends and a lively crowd had made the journey to show their support.
Already lined up for 2017 we have returns to The Malt Shovel, Old House, Tuesday Night Music Club, Surrey Blues Club, Cavern and Swanage Blues festival.
We will kick the year off on the 19th January at the Beaverwood Club, Chislehurst, supporting Moreland & Arbuckle. Thanks to Pete Feenstra once again. On April 8th, we will be supporting Laurence Jones at the Harlington in Fleet. Later in the year we will be heading to The Farnham Maltings with Sugarman Sam & The Voodoo Men.
That just about wraps it up. Please visit the website at http://www.voodoo-sheiks.com and keep up to date with all gigs and news along with links to You Tube, Facebook and Lemonrock.
Thank you to everyone who has come out to watch us play, bought our albums, gig tickets and supported us in any way. We really do appreciate it and can’t say it enough that without you we wouldn’t be here doing what we do, so here’s to you all and see you in the New Year!!
Peace and Love