Music Saturday, February 13th

Review: Launch of Hereford Blues Club with Troy Redfern and Sweet Talk

Blues is genre of music associated with misery, bad times and broken hearts.

Its original forefathers wrote their songs in often awful, squalid conditions that no human being should be subjected to.

Somehow they managed to summon all of the strength of the human spirit to create something of beauty creating a remarkable legacy all could appreciate.

Appropriately you don’t have to be a big blues fan to enjoy Troy Redfern.

If such a genre existed, and maybe it should, I would be describing the first few songs of his set as blues/punk.

Such was the intensity of his playing you could see, hear, and almost taste, his desire to deliver his brand of high-tempo blues in style.

The capacity audience loved him and he seemed to be having the time of his life whipping up a storm in his home county.

Troy Redfern got the crowd moving at the launch of the Hereford Blues Club.

Highlights of his set for me include Salvation, Backdoor Hoodoo, and Champagne and Reefer but I could go on.

The set as a whole was blistering with a few slower numbers thrown in for people to catch their breath – a thoroughly brilliant way to launch Hereford Blues Club at the city’s Booth Hall made even better by a guest appearance by the high acclaimed guitarist Will Killeen.

John Hales, co-founder of the club, must have been delighted with the audience reaction and the numbers that turned out.

He made a wise choice asking the local, and incredibly youthful, blues band Sweet Talk to open for Troy.

Their set opened with ‘Playing With Fire’ and ended with ‘Little Miss Naughty’.

This was the highlight of the set for me displaying a more psychedelic side to their take on the blues and showcasing some remarkable playing.

If this is the direction they wish to take the band they have a big future ahead of them and a remarkably creative landscape in which to proceed.

Just after their set a member of the audience asked me what the name of the venue was. He explained that he and a mate had wondered in by chance.

He was on his phone and told me that five more friends were now coming to the gig.

Proof perhaps that blues can reach a younger generation.

Then after one song in the middle of Sweet Talk's set a gentleman of, shall we say, a certain vintage walked up to lead singer/guitarist Owen Whittall to shake him by the hand.

“That was excellent” I heard him say.

Praise indeed for a band made up of two 18-year-olds (Owen and bass payer George Clark) and 17-year-old Owain Hanford.

It appears that nowadays everybody has got the blues.

Do you want to write for Herefordshire Live? Get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or say