Husky Tones’ punk blues style favours the common rawness, simplicity and emotion shared between the punk and blues genres. Live it is delivered by the unique set up of a female drummer singer Victoria Bourne and guitarist Chris Harper. Their approach to punk blues mirrors what they love as audience members: inventive, individual and fully aware of tradition without being a slave to it. African and punk drumming patterns as a basis, fuzz boxes, guitar through guitar and bass amp this is how the Husky Tones create their ‘full sound’. Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Time for a Change’ in 2015 they have been making new friends and fans performing around the UK and songs from the album have been played on national (BBC Radio Two) and international radio. They have built a reputation for intense live shows performing at places such as London’s 100 Club and Blues Kitchen, Brighton’s Latest Bar, The Fleece in Bristol and national UK festivals.

AJK James plays Welsh blues and sings songs about time travel and the sea. His hobbies include transactional physics, growing beards and eating.

Fuzzed up, fierce and full frontal fiery attack coupled with sexy smooth slidin' southern soul from this Northern force of nature! Mike and his band cut up sharp and fast like a revved up Allman Brothers Band with a point to prove and an un-damn-missable groove! - Mojo Magazine Born and raised in the Great North but living these days down in the Southland with a steady mind and a thoroughbred plan, Mike writes soul wrenchin', riff bustin' songs that will make you want to share the tale This winding road leads from England to Europe before jumping the Atlantic to New York, detouring way down south to Memphis and New Orleans via Clarksdale Mississippi and Nashville Tennessee, soaking up every scent and sound along the way before fetching up on the shores of Sussex with a lifetimes worth of tales to share. Mike takes listeners on a uniquely detailed and image packed history tour of the history of the music of the music he loves to play, beginning in the Mississippi Delta at the beginning of the 20th century and finishing up right back in the present moment with his powerful emotive voice and intoxicating virtuosic guitar playing carrying you every inch of the way. To experience Mike playing solo or with the 4 piece band egging him on is to see why one reviewer declared him 'soaked in soul & burnt in blues' Mike's first solo album (the Americana tinged 'Spindrift') was released in 2014 to critical acclaim and shows a more introspective side to Mike's songwriting and performing. Recorded over 3 days in Brighton's Metway studio the drums, bass, vocals & acoustic guitar were all laid down live, with minimal electric guitar and backing vocals carefully overlaid which help contribute to the stripped back authentic feel of the record. Mike's new album 'Jenny's Place' has just been released in early 2016 and boasts a fuller and more muscular set of performances including some exciting musical collaborations such as vocals from Dominique Noiret (She Said!) & Aloma Reid, piano from Davey James, harmonica from Wandering' Wilf Taylor and saxophone from Jules Lawrence.

Dr Blue is a proper bluesman, the real deal.  He was once reviewed as ‘the bastard son of Tom Waits and Howling’ Wolf’ which remains his favourite description of himself!  A regular at the Edinburgh Fringe and Glastonbury, he also spends a lot of time touring in Australia and New Zealand with his stand up comedian wife and as musical director with the Poetry Army.  His new album ‘Silent Man’ is due for release later this year.

George Shovlin(and the Radars)Band

First played together in 1995. This band consisted of lead guitarist George Lamb. A veteran of the North East blues-rock scene, George first came to prominence in the 1970s as a member of the hugely successful North East-based  ‘Southbound’. He went on to play with various bands and do considerable session work. This included recording with Jimmy Nail, writing a hit for Kiki Dee, and playing in the Eurythmics support band for their last world tour. Bassist Stu Burlison played in the 70s band ‘Gin House’, supporting Free, The Who, Genesis and David Bowie, amongst others. He was a member of the legendary North East band ‘Brass Alley’, whose drummer, Pick Withers, went on to join Dire Straits.

The Shovlins quickly established themselves as one of the leading blues bands in the North East, an area renowned for producing excellent blues performers and bands. This line-up played high profile gigs – supporting Canned Heat, John Mayall,( a two night support, followed by George doing a solo support for the John Mayall Band), Savoy Brown, the original Blues Brothers, Walter Trout, Roger Chapman and Coco Montoya, amongst others. They featured as guests on the Tyne Tees Television Arts programme @theLive, excerpts of which are available on YouTube. Their debut CD ‘Got Blues if You Want it....’(Mystic Records) has re-emerged as a highly sought-after blues recording.

After a hugely successful performance at the Stanley Blues Festival in 2005 the band went their separate ways. But in February 2014 George Shovlin, George Lamb and Stu Burlison reformed the band. In this band, Ian Hamilton has been replaced on drums by Kev Scott. Kev, who was a founder member of the important Sunderland-based ‘Smalltown Heroes, with whom he released two albums and five singles, has also toured with the Jeff Healy band, Stranglers, Little Angels, Terrorvision, Thunder, the Beat, the Dammed and Erasure, amongst others, played all over the world as drummer in the Toy Dolls and has gigged most of the big music venues in Britain and Europe, as well as doing significant studio work. He is an excellent addition to the band and brings great depth and experience to their sound.
Since reforming, the band has played live on a number of digital blues radio programmes, including Bishop FM and Wall to Wall Blues. The bands CDs, ‘Got Blues…..If You Want It’ and the ‘George Shovlin and The Radars’ EP, released in February 2015, have been featured on numerous Blues radio programmes and the band has regularly featured in the IBBA monthly Top-Fifty charts. The new album, ‘Unconditionally live’, was released in February 2016. The band went on to play 12 blues festivals in 2015, including The Great British Rock and Blues Festival, Skegness, The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne, Maryport, Durham, Diggle, Arbroath and Fife Jazz and Blues Festival.
It is this band, which is now ‘George Shovlin and the Radars’.
The band has been re-invigorated by the break in their career. Although always remaining friends, each member needed space and time after a busy, but not always well-rewarded 10 years. But they are back now, with a hunger, excitement and ambition to become the most powerful British blues band to emerge for years….and they are well on the way to achieving that.
Solid Entertainments Presents... Durham Blues Festival