Fri 26 Jan 2024
It's that time of the month again, and today's blog is about Black Wolf Blues’ start of the year with one amazing gig already done and another one on the way, as well as an interview with our new bassist Nic Richards, so you can all get to know him a little better.
Let’s start by telling out about our show at The Hope And Anchor, considered one of London’s most famous music venues, don’t forget to check out their website - hopeandanchor.info.
“Everybody who was anybody passed through those doors in the 'Seventies and 'Eighties: The Clash, The Cure, The Jam, The Police, Dire Straits, The Specials, The Stranglers, The Damned, Dr Feelgood, X-Ray Specs, Eurythmics, Elvis Costello and Madness to name just a few! U2 (famously in front of 8 people) and Joy Division (tragic frontman Ian Curtis having his first epileptic fit as he returned home from the gig), both had their debut London shows there!
The venue gained such a high reputation that The Front Row Festival in 1977 (which featured XTC, Shakin’ Stevens and Tom Robinson) was recorded and released as a live double album by Warner, reaching No. 28 in the UK Album Charts.The Stranglers, Elvis Costello and The Saints also recorded live albums here, and Madness shot their music video to "One Step Beyond" in the place.
The venue bar even inspired a song – Splodgenessabounds' cult hit 'Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please' - apparently an ode to the futility trying to get served at the Hope! It reached No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart.Today, the Hope and Anchor has undergone a top to bottom refurbishment. There is a brand new PA system, enlarged stage and stage lighting rig.
Full Backline is provided if required: drum kit (minus breakables), bass amp (Ashdown Combo 100) and 2 x guitar amps (Fender Champion 100).The stage is now back in its original, rightful and best position as it was back in the 'Seventies!The Hope and Anchor is superbly located on the incredibly bustling Upper Street in Islington with unmatched transport links for London and beyond.It is a Grade II Listed Building.”
And it was at this amazing venue that our first show of 2024 took place.
We had a setlist full of our own classics yet refreshed with a couple of brand new songs.
The sound was great and the crowd very welcoming, a huge shoutout to our supporters at the show!
A huge shoutout to Nicholas from Dead Or Alive promotions for organizing the show, to the sound crew, to the Hope And Anchor staff and to all the other bands playing there that night, don’t forget to check them out.
We look forward to playing there again soon.
Now, onto Nic Richard’s interview.
First let us tell you a little bit about Nic.
Nicolas Richards is a bassist, guitarist, clarinet and saxophone player from Milan, Italy. His passion for music started when listening to swing and jazz records, leading him to pick up the clarinet at the age of 10. He soon became interested in the sound of one of his biggest musical influences, Benny Goodman. One thing led to another and he started playing the saxophone after he discovered Charlie Parker, and initiated his guitar playing after he was intrigued by blues music when he started listening to Robert Johnson and early BB King. His major influences are John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and many more. He eventually started to play bass over blues and rock and roll records. In 2023 Nicolas moved to London to pursue his dream to become a musician, and is now studying guitar performance at ICMP - the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. He joined Black Wolf Blues shortly after beginning his studies there.
Photo credit: Jenny Thornton @jenslivemusicphotography
1. How did you first get into music?
I first got into music by listening to jazz and early rock n roll records when I was about 11 years old, which kind of kickstarted my musical journey. One thing led to another and now I’m studying music in London.
2. What instruments can you play?
I started on clarinet, which progressed to saxophone due to my very strong interest in jazz. I mainly play guitar and bass now though, I can play a little bit of piano too.
3. What would you say is your greatest strength as an artist?
I’d say the creative side of it, writing the music.
4. Who is your favorite musician?
I don’t have ONE favorite musician, I have many… it’s hard to only choose a couple of artists, but I'd say for Jazz it’ll have to be Benny Goodman, and Charlie Parker, for blues I like Elmore James and Howling Wolf, and for rock n roll Chuck Berry and Jeff Beck…
5. What is your proudest accomplishment as a musician?
My biggest accomplishment would be me moving to London to pursue my musical career… for now.
6. What interests or hobbies do you have outside of music?
Playing and studying music is my main job right now, however I am interested in vintage cars, guitars, and going out with friends!
7. What is your creative process when making music?
I don’t really have a creative process when writing music, it’s hard to describe, but when I write a song the inspiration is either there or really isn’t, the more you write songs and make music, the better it gets… I still need to get better at it.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with artistically?
I would’ve said Robert Johnson if he would’ve still been around, but I’d say Derek Trucks and Wynton Marsalis at the moment.
9. Who has been your most influential teacher or mentor?
10. What are your favorite venues to perform at?
I haven’t performed at many different venues, just pubs for now, but playing rock n roll at Carnegie Hall sounds pretty cool.
11. What inspires you as an artist?
The Bo Diddley beat, simple but efficient.
12. How do you nurture your own creativity?
I don’t nurture it, there's no boundaries when it comes to creativity and that’s about it.
13. Do you have trouble with performance anxiety?
14. What are your favorite musical genres?
I don't usually label music but I’d have to say Jazz, Blues, Rock, Country, Folk.
15. How do you think your previous bandmates would describe you?
“The left handed guitarist!”
And that’s that guys, keep an eye out for more.
Photo credit: Jenny Thornton @jenslivemusicphotography
We have some very special things in store for you this year, so keep an eye out for it.
You can catch us live next on Saturday February 3rd at The St Moritz Club in Soho! This is an amazing show we are preparing for you, in partnership with our friends and Camden Town veterans Lost Gravity, and you do not want to miss out on it.
Check out our Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for some of our videos, pictures and exclusive content.
A new video is uploaded to our YouTube channel every month, as well as several weekly shorts and pictures, so don't forget to like and subscribe so that you don't miss out on new content weekly.
We also publish a new blog every month, and next month's blog is going to be one of a really special one, believe us. So stay tuned, rock on and have an amazing weekend!
Black Wolf Blues
Rafael, Jake, Nic & Cam