In September of last year I got a call for help from Newport based Blues Brothers tribute show ‘The Booze Brothers’, performed by ‘The Jailbirds’. Circumstances meant that their bass player was unable to work with them for a few months and before I knew it I was working with them, playing bass and singing top end harmonies that almost murdered me.
I continued to work with them until the New Year and the whole experience was very enjoyable, leaving me impressed with the quality and professionalism of a well planned, very entertaining show.
Since then the band has seen the departure of three key members, which could have caused problems, but their replacements have ensured that the quality of the band in un-diminished and they are still rocking venues all over the country.

The two Blues Brothers themselves are Baz Oldfield and Tim Chapman.
Baz is a veteran of the local music community, with several successful albums and British & European tours behind him, having spent years fronting original bands ‘The Abs’ and ‘Doctor Bison’.
His powerful, gravely voice is perfect for the type of harder soul numbers the band belts out, but this doesn’t stop him giving kinder treatment to the numbers that require it.
Tim is one of the three replacement members in the band and after a bit of a lay off, I’m glad to see he’s back on stage, doing what he does best.
I have worked alongside Tim many times, going back as far as 1984 and with his excellent voice and stagecraft; he’s always been a great front man.

Rhythm section ‘Rockin’ Ron’ Wilding (drums) and Julian Smith (bass and vocals) are as tight and punchy as you could possibly wish for. Ron’s 70s chart success as a member of ‘The Racing Cars’ was just the beginning of his long, beat-perfect career; whilst Julian’s experience, as a member of bands such as ‘The Band Bamboo’, has helped make him a player and singer of the finest calibre. Both are original members of the band.
Brass section Chris Haines (trumpet) and Dave Lively (saxophone) have also been with the band since the very beginning. They re-create the original brass parts with precision and add another touch of fun to the already entertaining performance.
Along with Tim, the most recent additions to the show are Ben Trigg (guitar) and Andy Watkins (keyboards and vocals), both of who have proved more than equal to the task of replacing their predecessors.

As the band move from strength to strength, the gig list begins to move further a field and as well as the regular theatres, clubs and colleges, they have just returned from a short, but successful tour of Holland.
If you like The Blues Brothers’ music, you can’t fail to enjoy the show. The way things are going ‘The Booze Brothers’ show should soon be fighting for the accolade of ‘the best Blues Brothers tribute in the world’…....well, probably!

Nick Brown.


Nick Brown - Guitar Tuition, Newport, South Wales.