Great proper Velvets launch Cluny 2 20/11

So pleased Cluny2 Velvets launch went to so.  Fantastic vocal and appreciative audience – we got to show what the band can do.

“…Top draw, in terms of the musicianship and your interpretation of such a cult band, really authentic.”

“The sound was nailed – great interpretations of wonderful songs.  Fantastic musicianship all round.”

Pics by Mark Illingworth.  Check out his great work on Instagram – @mark.illingworth



BBB Chris ema eme 2 eme bbb steve (bbb) steve 2 stevewill, steve, chris

will BBB


Rationalising a few things and decision making as the year comes closer to ending.  Not taking any additional bookings this year, but…

Bad Bob Bates solo work – need some more in next year to add to what’s already come in.  Happy to cover support slots as well as full two/three set sessions.  The archtop guitar and Laney 15 watt amp have really helped the range of material I can do comfortably now, so gentle Americana to full on foot stomping blues and boogie with the foot percussion!  Looking forward to my next solo run out at The Blue Bell in Belford from 3pm Sunday 13th November.

Oil City Shakers – similarly, need more of this duo in for next year.  It’s a great format for a pretty varied set of material, and Ronnie’s blues harp and gentle wailing makes all the difference.

The Bandits – on hold for now until we can get our transport and approach sorted, though a couple in already for next year.  It’s a great band, and like OCS is the biggest duo you’ll ever see, The Bandits are the biggest trio you’ll ever see…

Ma Kelly’s Boys (old Quo, 70 to 76) goes from strength to strength and is now cooking on gas.  Well worth all the work put in to date.  See you at the O2 Academy in Newcastle on 27th December with our friends from The Dirty South, and next up we’re at The Skinner’s Arms, Belford Club, Belford, Northumberland on Saturday night, 12th November.  That’ll be a belter.

The Velvets venture is ticking along nicely now too, in preparation for the 50 year anniversary of The Velvet Underground and Nico release next year.  We’re at Cluny 2 in Newcastle on Sunday 20th November, 3.00-6.30pm, delivering classic Velvet Underground in the spirit and style of the originals, with weird drum kit, spiky guitars and the material that has influenced so many artists and bands ever since.  Up to Kinross with it in the New Year, then we plan to gate crash John Cale’s VU Liverpool bash weekend with a gig hot on his heels.

Oil City Connection.  This has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done – let’s see if we can do some more in 2017…

Recording.  I’ve already got the majority of three new tracks recorded (Ally Lee’s Mill Studios) and new songs are coming through.  It’s all about finding the time to put another album together for release in 2017, all being well.

Custom CoolEtch etched metal guitar parts is also chugging along nice thanks to the artistry, skill and talent of Janie D.  I’ll keep doing my best to support marketing, promo and sales, though not much time left over for it.  See links.

Bridge Street Guitars.  Let’s see how much time I left for this next year.  See links.

Oh, did I mention I also have a “real” job too, and additional freelance work.  Need to rationalise some of that too!

Bikers and Secrets this weekend…

Logo pic Sept 16Bikers and weirdness this weekend as it’s Stormin The Castle (North East MAG mega-event) and secret stuff.  So, I’m out with Ma Kelly’s Boys on the Stormin main stage on Saturday, then being weird with a secret gig, at a secret venue – and it’s already sold out!

Off to that London on Monday ’til Wednesday sorting some interesting stuff out.  Mums the word.



Saturday 3rd September, Ma Kelly’s Boys, Mains Stage, Stormin The Castle Custom Bike Show, Witton Castle, Witton Le Wear, Weardale, Co Durham

Sunday September 4th, a secret band at a secret gig, somewhere secret tbc. – it’s a secret (dunno how that works), 7 pm ish, and it’s SOLD OUT

Busy Bank Holiday Weekend

   Out in three formats this weekend…

TunsRusty NutsTall Ships

Friday 26th August, Ma Kelly’s Boys, Three Tuns, Sherriff’s Hill, Gateshead

Saturday August 27th, Oil City Shakers (duo) (afternoon slot) at The Rusty Nuts Rally, Teesside, on at around 5 pm :)

Sunday August 28th, BBB solo at Blyth Tall Ships Fringe Festival, Headway Art space, The Old Church, Waterloo Road, Blyth, Northumberland – on around 8pm, but the show goes on until 1 am, with Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes!

BBB Live Shed Face Book performance 5th June

BBB Sedgefield CBGThe wonders of modern science bring you Bad Bob Bates live from his shed (or garden depending on the weather, etc) for an hour from 2pm on Sunday 5th June

Test runs were completed last weekend with some fantastic responses.  Check out for three clips, covering 8 songs.  The actual event should be a little more polished, ha ha!

While your there, why not send BBB a friend request and keep up to date on all of his music related activities.