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Bob Brookes talks about the Jook House

The Jook House opening night 4 February 2011




This was the opening night at the Jook House and featured the proprietor himself Bob Brookes and his own Desperate Dan Band plus some guests. Bob ran the Half Brick in Worthing for a long period and it was great to see him back. The people came out in force and it was nigh on a full-house for the opening session. Nigel Bagge & Jamie Robertson  on guitars, Mick ‘88’ Rose on keys, Ivan Pledge on drums, Jim Bryan on bass and our man himself Bob Brookes on vocals and harmonica at the front.. This was a powerful performance as Bob led the band through a selection of gospel and blues tinged classics – the traditional ‘Don’t ever let Nobody Drag your Spirit Down’, Mark Cohen’s ‘Mama’s in the Moon’, Delbert McClinton’s ‘Hammerhead Stew’ all kept the audience swaying and the ensemble playing was excellent. Nigel Bagge came to the front and sang John Fogerty’s ‘110 in the Shade’ and the band rocked on. Bob came back to the front for the classic gospel song ‘Walk that Lonesome Valley’, then a superb rendering of ‘Out of the Rain’ – two R&B classics including a storming ‘Let’s Work Together’ raised the temperature for the closer – Jerry Gibson joined the band for the set closer – Bob’s own ‘Trying to Get to You’.

Next up was Roger Adam’s Roadworks – a guitar with a very well played selection of 70’s style blues rock – songs included ‘I’m So Glad’ and other classics, oodles of blues rock guitar and a very good sound from where I was seated.

The highlight of a the evening was Paul Cox, who did a short but absolute killer set backed by Bob & the band – superb soul / blues, full of great call and response singing from Paul ‘How Sweet it is to be Loved by You’, ‘Take Me to the River’ and a brilliant ‘Standing on Shaky Ground’ were among the high-spots of a magical set.

It was a sad day for music fans when that much loved venue the Half Brick had to close, not because of lack of support but because of the pure greed and insensitivity of the brewery company. Now Bob Brookes & Co are all back in business and Worthing now has an even better venue than before. This is a quality establishment, great sound, comfortable, real ale and great music; and with a diverse selection of quality acts booked the future for the venue is very positive; and live music in Worthing is in very safe hands –all power to Bob and everyone at the venue – to the future!

Dave ‘Blues’ Smith

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