It is with great regret that we say farewell to Earl Pollard – a wonderful man, a great drummer and a friend to many. We send condolences to his family. Earl played many a gig at Roomfulla Blues with band leaders Bullfrog Rata and Laura Collins. From all who played music with him, and from all the audiences who enjoyed listening to him, may Earl rest in peace – we’re sure he’s in drummer heaven.
Recollections from SKYE ANDERSON
I have been a member of the Blues Club from the start. Member #1 was Pip Payne, #2Trudy, #3 Phil Raynee, and member #4 was me. When the club moved to the Hotel Bristol, Barry Saunders and Caroline Easther had a CD launch there. We have had bands like Kokomo Blues and The Nairobi Trio. Trudy Benham set it up. She was doing everything: the band bookings, the payments, the raffle etc. We called her Trudy Blues. Once in a while I took over and gave Trudy a night off.
Aside from Trudy, the working Committee over the years has changed, morphed and evolved: Pip Payne, Kayte Edwards, Stephen Upston, Skye Anderson, Al Witham, Sarah Duckworth, Dougal Speir, Richard Caigou, have all done heaps of work to keep in running AND Tony from Buzz Audio did the sound for years.
Recollections from KAYTE EDWARDS
The club has taken many forms over the past years from the seedy upstairs bar we started in where we played around the pool table, to Bill Direen’s Bar when we had evolved into a loose incorporated society.
At Bill Direen’s we had a house band that folks could play with – and what a house band it was with Darren Watson, Richard Te One, Darren Hancock and Bob Smith. The blues just howled there some nights and it was with distress that we heard the venue was no longer available. Trudy, Stephen and I walked downtown thinking of possible venues.
After a bit of a pub crawl we called into the Bristol and a new era for the club began.
SOME OF THE BANDS WHO’VE PLAYED THE CLUB OVER THE YEARS
PIP PAYNE AND RHYTHM METHOD
KOKOMO BLUES BAND
THE WHITIREA BLUES EXPERIENCE
MIKE GARNER AND DOC SPAN (AUS) – BLUES FROM THE HEARTLAND TOUR
BILLY TK JUNIOR
NEIL BILLINGTON BAND
JULIAN DIXON AND MATT HAY
KAYTE AND THE BARFLIES
BARRY SAUNDERS AND CAROLINE EASTHER
WAYNE MASON BAND
DOUG MACLEOD (USA)
PUGSLEY BUZZARD (AUS)
THE JOHN O’CONNOR EXPERIMENT
SHAYN HURRICANE WILLS AND THE ZEPHYR HUNTERS
THE WINDY CITY STRUGGLERS
TIN PAN ALLEY
THE BEHEMOTHS (Darren Bob Smith, Richard Te One, Darren Hancock)
RED DOG SALOON BAND
GREENY AND THE MAC
AL WITHAM BAND
LAURA COLLINS BAND
THE MUSIC WAREHOUSE JAM NIGHT
FRANKIE AND THE BEE
RODGER FOX & the NZ SCHOOL OF MUSIC
BULLFROG RATA AND THE ALLIGATORS
THE LEGAL TENDER BAND
CAROL BEAN & BLUE HIGHWAYS
BLUES BUFFET WITH ERNA FERRY
ADAM WALDRON & FRIENDS
BOB COOPER-GRUNDY & FRIENDS
HUTT RIVER RAMBLE
EL BASTARDO BANDITOS!
CAPITAL BLUES BIRTHDAY
(Capital Times article – 15 August 2001)
The Blues moves people and makes them want to get up and dance and that’s just what blues fans will be doing at Capital Blues Inc.’s 5th birthday.
The club president Trudy Benham says “The thing about blues is that it expresses experiences common to us all. The birthday celebration will be held on August 16 at the Hotel Bristol. We are going to go a little bit special. With a weekly spot at the Bristol, Capital Blues hires mostly local bands but also bands from Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Wanganui and the South Island. Every now and then we treat ourselves to an outside band but mostly we promote local blues. NZ has very few blues clubs. There’s one in Hamilton, and a blues bar in Christchurch. In Wellington, Thursday night blues is here to stay. I don’t know why Thursdays work so well but they do. There’s only one more working day so it kick starts everyone’s weekend”.