What’s New in Issue 123

February 25, 2012 in Editorial

After nearly fifteen years as Reviews Editor and Editor of Blues In Britain, Jon Taylor and I are stepping down and handing the magazine on to Michael Ford and his team at Brontë Blues Club, in West Yorkshire. I will still contribute the occasional article and live review and I am looking forward to getting out to more gigs and festivals.

This issue celebrates fifty years of blues in Britain. On 17th March 1962, Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies started blues nights at The Ealing Jazz Club, a basement bar opposite Ealing Broadway station. It brought together musicians, singers and fans and was the catalyst that started British rhythm and blues. It was there that Brian Jones, who had hitched from Cheltenham, met Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Bob Salmons and Alastair Young, two Ealing based blues fans, have raised funds to have a commemorative blue plaque erected on the building which housed the club. They have contributed two articles; Bob, who is Director of the Ealing Blues Festival, has written an evaluation of how the legacy of the club affected the course of popular music and Alastair has created a time line outlining events in those early days. Bobby Korner, Alexis Korner’s widow, will unveil the plaque at 1p.m. on Saturday 17th March 2012. Then there will be music in the venue, now much improved and called The Red Room.

Having lived through the sixties in the UK, I have always wondered what it was like for Americans to experience the British Invasion, as they called it. Who better to ask than the Professor of Pop, Paul Gambaccini, the American DJ and UK resident? I went to see him and he was wonderfully informative.

Our cover artist Oli Brown is not much older than Mick Jagger was in 1962. He is about to release his third album Here I Am, on Ruf Records. I called Oli to hear about the making of the album, most of which is original material.

We have another in the occasional series of Blues In Britain CDs. This time it is a unique collection of live tracks recorded at Shakedown Blues in Castor. It will be distributed free to all subscribers to Blues In Britain.

To all our contributors and readers, thank you for your support over the years! Keep on reading the magazine and supporting the blues.

Fran Leslie

Sounds good? Why not subscribe to the magazine?

Facebook Twitter Plusone Linkedin Pinterest Email

Comments (13)


  1. What a tremendous amount you’ve both achieved over the last 15 years!
    Total Congratulations for what you’ve done for the British Blues Scene in general, the bands I’ve been with and the Swanage Blues Festivals in particular.
    You’ve helped us all grow and in the case of the festivals, flourish!
    Thank you both so much!

  2. Well done guys for all your hard work and for carrying the flame for British Blues.
    Good luck for the future
    Mike ‘Dr Blue’ Mckeon

  3. Adrien Raud says:

    Well done for keeping the the flame of interest in the blues going.

  4. Ashwyn Smyth says:

    Sorry to hear that news Fran. Enjoy your retirement! And congratulations on what you have achieved over the last 15 years.
    A bientot

  5. Dave Arcari says:

    Great job keeping the mag going and growing..thank you Fran 🙂

    And best wishes to Michael, Mike & Phil for continued success & growth.



  6. Pete Elliott says:

    Well done Fran – you will be missed. Thanks for all you’ve done over the years and particularly your support for the new Hebden festival.

  7. Hi Fran , we at the Smokie blues Organisation would like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks for all what you and your team have done to keep the blues alive in the last fifteen years .Now you have retired from the magazine no excuse for not coming up to Scotland , to sample our goods . cheers Alfie

  8. Rachel Lackey says:

    A big thank you and best wishes to you Fran and Jon, on behalf of the new team. We’re excited about taking the magazine forward and continuing your fantastic legacy of supporting live blues in the UK.

    Thank you for all your continued help!


  9. martin byrom says:

    Many thanks to both Jon and yourself Fran for doing such a great job after picking up the pieces after the demise of Blueprint.
    All the best

  10. Mike Rivers says:

    Hi Fran,
    It was good to talk to you in the lead up to the revival of the original Crawdaddy Richmond last Friday.
    I heard since that you are retiring!!
    Hope it’s not anything I said.
    Best wishes

  11. Kit Packham says:

    It’s been a pleasure to contribute to Blues in Britain during your tenure at the helm, and to read the magazine, too, of course! Well done on your considerable achievement!

    Best wishes for the future,

  12. Fran,

    Thanks for all your support over the years. You’ve given so much to the music and musicians and we really appreciate it.

    Maybe we’ll be able to buy you a few glasses of wine more in future.

    Sincere thanks,

    Earl Green and the Right Time

  13. Thanks for being there from the Scott and Sue Duncan years through the Fran Leslie years and now these years… it’s great to have a publication that gives more than it receives. My hat is humbly off to you.
    Lightnin’ Willie

Leave a Comment

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam. There may be a delay in your comment appearing online - we have to approve it.