Mike Vernon


Legendary record producer Mike Vernon is back in my hometown of Ipswich early next month. Mike’s CV reads like a Who’s Who of UK music and includes work with David Bowie, Eric Clapton, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Focus, Freddie King, Dr Feelgood and Ten Years After among many others.  The veteran singer brings his Mighty Combo to Venue 77 on Friday, September 7 for what promises to be one of the best blues nights in Suffolk’s capital for quite some time.

I’m promoting the show and I’m delighted it falls on the same day as the release of Mike’s eagerly awaited new album Beyond The Blue Horizon. It takes its name from the hugely influential record company Mike established in the 1960s. Blue Horizon was a ground breaking label and gave us acts like Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack and Christine McVie and introduced British audiences to lots of great American stars too such as George Harmonica Smith and the band Bacon Fat who featured a young Rod Piazza in their ranks.

Fast forward to 2018 and the release of an album which Mike is incredibly proud of : “To be fronting my own rhythm & blues outfit has always been a dream but the right moment to make that transition never appeared until now.  My first album with my own band features tough, energising and tuneful rocking slabs of rhythm & blues in the vein of Fats Domino, Wynonie Harris, Little Richard and Louis Jordan et al. Twelve titles in all – 9 new self- penned originals and 3 covers from the catalogues of Brook Benton, Mose Allison and Clarence Henry.”

Mike’s magnificent band is the one he brought to Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre some 18 months ago. The Mighty Combo comprises guitarist Kid Carlos, bassist Ian Jennings (Jeff Beck, Big Town Playboys), Matt Little on keyboards, Paul tasker on saxophone and Mike Hellier on drums.

Venue 77 is the perfect venue for Vernon’s take on swing and jump blues as there’s plenty of room for dancing. Leading local rock’n’roll DJ Crazy Nadge will be spinning the discs between Mike Vernon’s two sets to we’re in for a lively night. There’s plenty of unreserved seating too for those who prefer to sit and listen to their music.

Tickets are just £12 in advance from the Ipswich Regent box office, Out Of Time Records in Fore Street and the Gardeners Arms bar. On the night they’re £15. This promises to be a great curtain raiser to Ipswich’s autumn offering of live music so come and let your hair down and have a natural ball. You know it makes sense.