Big City Beat
Here we find one of the best blues bands ever to emanate from Britain. Formed in 1968 the band still treads the boards with vengeance and panache. Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts can claim to be one of the longest serving acts around. This new album on there own label Sun House Records shows off all five singers in great form Jim Pitts, Pete Gibson Graham Hine, Taffy Davies and Keef Trouble.The seeds for Brett Marvin & the Thunderbolts were sown in the late 1960s, when musical friendships were forged at Thomas Bennett Comprehensive school in Crawley, Sussex. Peter Gibson arrived to teach, fresh from Liverpool College of Art. After setting up a blues and folk club, Graham Hine, one of Peter's students, asked his tutor if he could play! Pete still vividly remembers the performance as incredible 'pure delta slide'. John Randall had also seen Graham play at a folk club at Worth, near Crawley. He recalls Graham getting up on stage in a red corduroy waistcoat and blowing harp. 'We walked home together that night,' recalls John. 'There he was walking along and amazingly somehow playing his guitar through it's case!' Graham was studying art with a fellow student Keith Trussell. On a day out, the three of them discovered a lagerphone being played by a band in Hastings. Seeing it's potential as a blues rhythm instrument Keith had his own unique version, the 'Zobstick,' up and running in no time. The three friends spent a lot of their time listening to old blues records, and Graham made a washboard out of bamboo so that John would have something to play. The three of them began to play at local clubs with another pal, Ian Anderson. Pete was also active and was performing at local clubs in a blues duo called 'Bottled in Bond.' Whilst playing at East Grinstead Folk Club one night, Graham's band turned up. 'They were brilliant' recalls Pete. Jim Pitts was also there performing in another band. It was inevitable that with all the sitting in with each other that was going on at the time that the inevitable was going to happen, and it did! A 5-piece evolved, Ian Anderson had already departed, and with Pete and Jim joining forces with Graham, Keith and John to play together one night, the dye was set... The year was 1968 and in 2008, they are still playing together, having as much fun and enjoyment as they did, all those 39 years ago..