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David Blatchford

Blues Harp (Harmonica)

Sad Death of David Blatchford

We were and are honoured to have David as guest blues Harp. He regularly joins us at The Prince of Wales Feathers, Castor near Peterborough, long may it continue!

David's interest in the blues started in his mid teens. It was the time of The Yardbirds, Long John Baldry and, of course, John Mayall plus many more bands of the 60's and early 70's. There was a lively music scene in his hometown of Basingstoke at this time. At school he had learned to play the clarinet, badly, but made it to the school orchestra.
'Though the guitar was king, David couldn't quite manage the chord shapes and the harmonica called - especially with heroes like Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter and Cyril Davies to learn from. At College in Portsmouth he played at student 'folk' nights and also helped organise gigs at the Student Union with bands like Status Quo.

The need to work meant the harps were put away for some years, until in the early '80's when he dug some out to jam with local bands in the New Forest area.
Moving to Peterborough in late 1984, David was amazed at the live music scene in the local pubs. This rekindled the urge to play again and it was a question of blagging his way into performing with whoever was on at The Gladstone Arms, The Crown or wherever - with acts like the Davison-Woods band, Lloyd Watson & others and joining in with some local folk/blues nights at places such as The Decoy at Newborough and The Bell at Stilton.

It was in Peterborough he received his first money for performing - 2.00.

He soon also became involved with a group of people at work who were interested in starting a band and 'Hard to Swallow' (it was) was formed. Lots of jamming turned into serious gigging, at the Cherry Tree, Hudsons etc. but the band eventually moved in musical directions, which did not interest David, so he left - "HTS" are still gigging.

Another 'just for fun' band then followed, playing in a mate's garage - and so 'Tony's Garage' were formed, playing a mix of blues, pop and some of their own songs, at local wedding receptions, parties, charity gigs and the village fete.
Tony's Garage eventually had to wind up as band members moved away but David has continued blagging his way on stage with local performers, like the one-Eyed-Cats, in local pubs - old habits die hard .... (Thank God! Ed.)

Sadly Died in March 2003.

Musical Influences

  • Harmonica:

    • Sonny Boy Williamson
    • Little Walter
    • Paul Jones
    • Keith Relf
    • Paul Lamb
    • Charlie Musselwhite

     

  • Others:

    • John Mayall
    • Eric Clapton
    • Bonnie Raitt
    • Muddy Waters
    • John Lee Hooker
    • Robert Cray

Musical Ambitions:

Keep breathing and bending the notes now and again

 

 

 

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