Mess of Blues was formed by Graham Hinton and Don Bowen in 2004 and took its name not just from the Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman song, but because of the way their first few gigs went.
However the arrival of ex-Commotions drummer Stephen Irvine tightened everything up, and the musical knowledge of guitar legend Owen Houlston made them re-think the name, but by then it was too late.
By the time harp-player Tom Brundage made Mess of Blues a fivesome, no-one cared.
The band played the blues clubs of London for many years before being invited to the Arkansas Blues Festival in 2010 where they blew the crowd away with their English accents (although Owen, being from Hull, was thought to be speaking Icelandic, and Stephen was drowned out by his drums).
Their second album, 'The Soup Sessions' (the rare first album changes hands for many many thousands of pounds on eBay*), was recorded in 2019, mainly live, on board the Soup Studios lightship, moored on the River Lea at its confluence with the Thames. (‘Confluence’ means where two river flow together and become one larger river - although while we were recording, it wasn’t clear that the Thames seemed any bigger as the Lea flows into it.)
The 11 tracks represent the kind of live performances Mess of Blues play these days: varied, respectful of the blues but not in thrall to it, and not too long.
‘Two solos in a song normally does it,’ says Graham, not that anyone has asked him about solos as he’s mainly the vocalist and rhythm guitar player.
*no actual bids so far
(l-r) Guitar, Drums, Harp, Bass, Guitar/Vocals.
Names available on request.
Lead guitar whizz.
Drummer. Wine lover. As the ex Lloyd Cole and The Commotions drummer, he knows his cymbal bell from his zinfandel.
Founder of Mess of Blues. Main vocalist, plays acoustic guitar but he does have an electric one for when things get noisy.
Bass guitar, some vocals, mainly when Graham is at the bar getting the drinks in.
Harp player extraordinaire.
Sign up to hear about upcoming shows, albums, and events.