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The Welsh T Band

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The Welsh T Band have been together for 15 years and have played over 1000 gigs but they  will probably  a new name to  many .  They talk to Live Blues about the new album  ”Where the Road Leads” and about how, despite all their years together, the album still came as a surprise to them.

 

 

1.)    What do you like most about playing in a band?

 

It’s about being in a band of brothers I guess. And it’s about connecting with the people who like what we do.

We’ve all been playing in bands for over 40 years now, our guitarist Kevin Ackroyd played in a band with our bass player David Hoyle back in the mid 70s and The Welsh T Band has been together now for nearly 15 years with no significant personnel changes right from the beginning.

It’s about more than friendship. It’s about being, living, and creating together. And we’re going to go on together forever now. Until the first man goes down.

 

2.)    We hear you have a new CD out called ‘Where The Road Leads’ how did that song/title come about?

 

The album title is an interesting one.

The album itself has been an incredibly unexpected development for us altogether too. We’d been together for over 10 years, and had done nearly 1000 gigs playing covers  before the idea of an album of self-penned material even came up. We always played our own arrangements of the covers, we wanted to make the songs sound like us, not us trying to sound like the song. We always wanted to explore what ‘The Welsh T Band’ sound was.

We’d had just one song that we’d written ourselves, April Fool Blues. It has a bit of a ‘carry on’ theme. The lyrics are quirky and fun (another part of what we always tried to do). Over the years, playing festivals like the Great British R&B Festival in Colne every year it was always brilliant and a bit of a shock when the audience would sing along with our song!

Very gradually our singer Terry ‘Welsh T’ John started to say, I’ve got an idea for another song… and very gradually a collection of self-penned material came together.

One of the songs was called ‘Where the Road Leads’, it’s a dong about the journey of life, of playing in a band. And, looking for an album title, that summed up our long journey to this point too. ‘Where the Road Leads’ expressed this idea perfectly.

 

3.)    Tell us about the band members, who are they?  How did you meet them and what spurred you to form a band?

 

The Welsh T Band are:

 

Terry ‘Welsh T’ John : vocals, rhythm guitar

Kevin Ackroyd: lead guitar

David Hoyle: bass guitar, backing vocals

Graham Dickson: drums

 

When Terry met Kevin, in the late 1990s, they’d already amassed decades of gigging experience between them, and they quickly realised they had a mutual love of the blues. Within weeks, they’d established a blues jam night in their home town of Wakefield. And together with renowned bassist David Hoyle, who Kevin had played in a band with 25 years earlier, they had put together a ‘house band’ to back visiting musicians.

 

The reputation of the house band soon began to spread and bookings from other venues started to roll in. And The Welsh T Band was soon doing upwards of 120 gigs a year.

 

4.)    Tell us about your song writing process- do you write as a band or is one band member the main writer?

 

Our singer Terry comes up with the germ of the idea of our songs… lyrics, melody and chord structure. Dave and Kevin then work with Terry on the arrangement and honing it into a completed song.

 

5.)    What has been the most memorable gig you have done and why?

 

There have been many. Supporting Dr Feelgood for the first time? Watching Spencer Davis on stage looking fabulous in one of our tee shirts, after we’d supported him. Playing at the Great British Rock and Blues weekend at Skegness Butlins for the first time this year (and having Stray’s Del Bromham post on facebook ‘the band sounded great! It’s great to see there are still guys around who can really play!’). But in all honesty, the one that stands out for us all is a Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival gig we did at the rugby club years ago.

 

We’d already done two energy filled gigs that day when we made our way to the Rugby Club. We were supposed to be headlining the day with a slot starting at 11 o’clock – but in true Woodstock style an over running schedule meant that it was well passed one o’clock in the morning before our headline slot came round – and heading for 4 in the morning before we finished. The old bar in the rugby club was ‘one out one in’ packed and rocking. And so were we! We love that Colne festival weekend!

 

6.)    Which artist do you admire the most and why?

 

All member of the band would say different people I’m sure.

 

Terry has a great love of country music, anything from Hank Williams to Dolly Parton. It’s no surprise that Kevin has a whole range of guitarist influences. Jeff Beck, Peter Green, Roy Buchanan, Rory Gallagher. But mainly Gary Moore.

Bass player Dave is an old soulie! ‘What’ by Judy Street is a favourite song of his. Bass playing heroes of his are Andy Fraser and Ronnie Lane. But growing up in Wakefield it’s no surprise that Bill Nelson and Bebop Deluxe were a big influence in his musical development.

 

7.)    Who have you learnt most from?

 

The list of influences for the whole band is extensive. It’s a big reason why our album ‘Where the Road Leads’ doesn’t really subscribe to one narrowly defined musical genre. It’s a reflection of 40 years’ worth of a wide range of influences. All the experience we’ve had has been a learning experience.

 

8.)    If you could jam with any musician, who would you pick?

 

The list is endless, every guitarist that has influenced Kev, every bass player that has influenced Dave. We’d love to jam with Del Bromham – that would be cool. Peter Green would be amazing. John Mayall. But the one musician both Kev and Dave would love a good old blues workout with would be Bebop Deluxe’s Bill Nelson. That would be so cool!

 

9.)   Quick fire questions  

•        Curry or Chinese?                                                               CURRY!

•        Cats or dogs?                                                                      CATS

•        Mustang Sally or Stormy Monday?                                 STORMY MONDAY

•        What song makes you cry?                                              Dave says The Beatles ‘Hey Jude’

 

If you could only listen to one album ever again, what would it be?

 

Terry – anything from Hank Williams

Kev – Anything from Roy Buchanan

Dave – Axe Victim from  Bebop Deluxe

 

But of course we all would say – Where the Road Leads from The Welsh T Band!

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