A short review and interview of the Binsness Bluesboys as they perform at The Eagle, Inverness on the 1st of November, 2012.

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The Eagle Bar’s latest entry into the Inverness music scene took place tonight with the first of fortnightly open mic sessions hosted by local muso, Dougie Burns.

Dougie had acts singer songwriters such as Steven Barclay, Eilidh Duncanson and Hamish MacDonald as well as blues man Matt Sillars. Eye to Eye promise to come back next time and this time to bring the banjo. The show closed tonight with the Binsness Bluesboys coming all the way from Forres in what is reported to be their most Westerly gig ever.

The Bluesboys play mostly covers, though covering “Ace of Spades” and “Whole Lotta Rosie” in a country blues band is almost reinventing the songs. The 5 piece have played in festivals throughout the UK. Sax and mouth organ lead the instruments but Paul Muircroft’s singing steals the show, he is a phenomenal singer, who believe it or not had to overcome stage fright by hypnotherapy. Thank goodness he managed. The band are tight and very well rehearsed. This is country blues as fun and funky with loads of encouragement for the audience to sing-along. We also managed to catch up with the guys to ask them a few questions:

What are the band’s biggest Blues influences?

We tend to like the less well known (not straight 12 bar) stuff from older artists and we play all sorts of blues music from the 20’s to more modern stuff, early british blues like Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, and less well know artists that inject the enthusiasm of blues without the cliché’. JJ Malone & Troyce Key. Jazz Gillum. Rory Gallagher. Little Walter Jacobs. Lonnie Mac and of course Mr Muddy Waters……x

Are there any non Blues influences that sneak in?

We like all good music and we actually play a Motorhead song “Ace of Spades” done in the blues style (although its not blues in progression or chording) and that works very well, we are working on an ACDC number that everyone will know but trying to slow it down and give the song space for that blues injection. ZZ top also started out as a bluesy band, we do one of theirs too.

The Eagle is your first gig in Inverness,  what’s taking you Westwards?

We want to get involved in the music scene Westwards to broaden our fan base/get in touch with other artists/let people know that the “Blues” is not just 3 chord, 12 bar songs, but can, and is, much more diverse. Plus, we love to play and hope our enthusiasm comes across to the audience, we hope Inverness is ready for us……

Your track was recently included on the Second Volume of Jock’s Juke Joint, which highlights the depth of talent around at the moment, but which acts on the local Blues scene do you guys think stand out?

The Gerry Jablonski Band from Aberdeen who we have played with before are a great powerful electric blues band that stands out for us, they are at the other end of the volume spectrum from us, we play acoustic, they are full electric. great band, well worth seeing.

You play covers, are you tempted to create your own music?

Paul, our singer, is working on some stuff at the moment but part of the problem is that all the songs we do are really strong original numbers and trying to put any of our own compositions that can hold its own into that mix is not easy, but watch this space.

What are your plans to follow up on your 2011, Cabin Fever?

We really want o do a live recording, because that’s where we shine, Cabin fever was recorded as individual instruments/vocals but the on stage vibe between ourselves is what we feed off. next cd will be live!

You have played a few Blues festivals, what has been the feedback from your appearances?

Great feedback from all of the festivals we have played at but our last year slot at Orkney was a cracker, we played out in the street at midnight and because we were all acoustic we didn’t need and power. We had people dancing in the streets and we were the talk of the festival. We also played Hebden bridge blues festival in Yorkshire (who won best British Blues festival 2012) this year on the main stage, we decided the next day to do the same outdoor acoustic set in the market then in the entrance to the main stage auditorium The festival organisers loved it and invited us back for next year for three gigs and as the “floating house band” so we will play at all the venues and do guest appearances with other artists.

You have a few gigs lined up to end 2012, but what does 2013 hold?

2013 is getting booked up with festivals and the like, hopefully a new live cd, our own material and more gigs west!

You can find them online here, and hopefully there will be another adventure to the Wild West for these Bluesboys.

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Irn Bru, AC/DC and the Glasgow Apollo. That’s me. What does that tell you? That I’m an elderly classic rock lover with a rubbish diet.I’ve lived in the Highlands for last 20 years and am a music fan – anything with a chorus; everything from Taylor Swift and Girls Aloud to the aforementioned AC/DC and Biffy Clyro. I’ve played guitar and sung in bands most of my adult life, including everything from punk to ceilidh to rock. It’s all a joy. I’ve got to say I really like working for Inverness Gigs – I’ll be the one at the Ironworks drinking the Irn Bru!

You can contact Jim directly at Jim@Invernessgigs.co.uk