Meet town’s new blues stars

Russell Keefe (centre) with the rest of TBelly

Russell Keefe (centre) with the rest of TBelly

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It’s a long way from the Bay City Rollers to full-bodied blues – but that’s the journey Russell Keefe has travelled during his remarkable career.

And music fans in Luton can hear the results for themseleves when he and his heavily Lutonian band play in the town this weekend.

The Manchester-born founder and lead singer of TBelly has a distinguished past, but he’s clearly focused more on what’s ahead of him and his new-found band than what’s behind him.

As a member of Les KcKeown’s Bay City Rollers, Keefe toured the world and recorded multiple studio and live records, furthering the band’s worldwide success.

But it was a batch of new songs that fuelled his new direction.

Keefe said: “I started writing the songs a year or so ago and this blues style just came out. It suited my voice and it suited the type of songs I was writing.

“But there are other elements in the songs, and in the band too. TBelly certainly has its roots in the blues, but it’s very much a contemporary sound that we bring.”

The band, whose four other members are from Luton, have received great acclaim from critics, with All About Blues Music writing of them: “Sometimes a new band comes along and you wonder where they’ve been all these years. With superb rock-tinged guitar, funky piano and sleazy Blues harp, TBelly make some fine music, but it is their vocal performance that grabs the ear and engages the spirit.”

TBelly play The Bear Club in Mill Yard on Saturday, August 22.Doors open at 7pm.

Tickets cost £6 on the door. See www.the-bear.club for more information.