Vintage rock ’n’ roll band The Bluejays present Rock and Roll Revolution, celebrating the music of the 1950s at more than 35 UK venues this year.
Dates include Friday, May 4, at The Hawth, Crawley, and July 27, at Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.
The band met in 2008 while performing as Buddy Holly and the Crickets in the UK Tour of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. After Buddy, the band were approached by Bill Kenwright to appear in his new rock ’n’ roll show, Dreamboats & Petticoats, which toured and played a successful run in the West End.
The Bluejays formed in 2013 and quickly became one of the UK’s busiest vintage live acts. First up was a Friday night residency at London’s Troubadour Club (a hotbed for musical talent since the 1950s, playing host to Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon among others).
Since then, they have played all over the world at theatres, festivals and private events. At one event in the grand hall of the Natural History Museum, The Bluejays were joined onstage by Brian May of Queen who took over lead guitar and vocals for a cover of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode.
Chris (bass) said: “It was so surreal! To start with this was the first time we’d ever played to the bones of a 100ft diplodocus, but then to have Brian join us onstage… unreal!
“When I was growing up, my mum had the Queen – Live at Wembley ’86 cassette, which we used to listen to in the car all the time. There’s a bit on that where Brian talks to the crowd and I remember thinking, when he joined us and spoke on the mic, ‘that’s the voice from the cassette!’
“Then he launched into this incredible version of Johnny B. Goode. We were all just in awe. To be playing bass for a bona fide rock legend is something I’ll never forget.”
In 2017, The Bluejays were invited to play at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, Texas for Buddy’s birthday celebrations. With three days in Texas, they made the most of their Buddy pilgrimage.
Ollie (vocals and guitar) said: “We flew into New York and then on to Dallas. The ground staff at JFK obviously liked our vintage guitars as they chose to keep them there! Fortunately, a courier from American Airlines brought them to us, intact apart from a broken string, a day later.”
Dan (drums) added: “Our first day in Lubbock and we met with Eddy Weir, Buddy’s nephew, also a musician. We had a great chat with him over some burgers and beer in a bar called Triple J’s on Buddy Holly Avenue. He told us all he knew about his uncle. It was amazing to hear his family’s stories and to learn about the man behind the legend”.
The next day, they visited Buddy’s grave site.
Chris said: “Having been a music fan virtually all my life and, particularly from performing in Buddy, I knew a lot about Feb 3, 1959 – The Day the Music Died. Buddy, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were all killed when their chartered light aircraft crashed in an Iowa field after their show at the Surf Ballroom in Clearlake. To stand at Buddy’s grave, which is nestled in among his parents and close family, was humbling. Here was a guy who only lived for 22 years but who single-handedly changed the course of popular music. Without Buddy, there’d be no Beatles.”
Visit www.thebluejays.co.uk to find out more.
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