Blues festival band is worth every peso

FUNK SOUL BROTHERS: The 24 Pesos are returning to the island for the Big Wheel Blues Festival 2011

FUNK SOUL BROTHERS: The 24 Pesos are returning to the island for the Big Wheel Blues Festival 2011

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FOR many people at last year’s Big Wheel Blues Festival, the highlight of the whole weekend was London band 24 Pesos.

Now they are back!

Tonight (Saturday March 12) 24 Pesos are taking to the stage at the Centenary Centre in Peel to launch the Blues Festival 2011, which will take place in May.

Organiser and one of the Centenary Centre directors Dave McLean said: ‘For me, and a lot of other people at the Blues Festival in 2010, the highlight of the whole weekend was the band 24 Pesos, and the set was over far too quickly.

‘I was delighted when the other committee members agreed that they would be an ideal band to get over to kick off the 2011 Big Wheel Blues Festival at our launch gig this weekend.’

24 Pesos started off in 2006, when Silas Maitland (guitar) and Julian Burdock (bass) wrote and produced a record for legendary soul singer Geno Washington.

During the making of that album, the lads decided to put together a band featuring their own material.

However, commitments as session musicians meant that nothing really happened for a couple of years until the two found themselves on stage as part of the band with a very famous ex-boy band member.

It was at this point the pair decided to rekindle the idea of their own band.

So in 2008, and with the addition of Hammond organ player Moz Gamble and Mike Connolly (drums), 24 Pesos was born. The music is a lively mix of funk, blues, soul, jazz and all points in between.

Dave said: ‘Since their performance at the 2010 festival, the band have released their second album, Busted, Broken and Blue, and we are looking forward to hearing new songs from that record at the Centenary Centre.’

Just after their Manx gig, the guys will be heading off to Berlin to represent the UK at the European Blues Conference.

Busted, Broken and Blue has been getting some great reviews.

‘A blistering follow-up to The Boogie Worm. Busted Broken and Blue deserves to be regarded as a 2010 blues obelisk,’ wrote Rock’n’Reel R2 Magazine. ‘This band give one heck of an example of how to make a stonking album. Brilliant music,’ Maverick Magazine reported.

Tickets, costing £10, are available from Thompson Travel in Port Erin, Celtic Gold in Peel, Peter Norris Music or Mostly Manx in Douglas, and Shakti Man in Ramsey. Or go online at

This year’s Big Wheel Blues Festival will take place in the Villa Marina instead of Laxey.

It will include performances from Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges, James Hunter, Martin Harley Band, Grainne Duffy Band, Dale Storr Band and Soul Suspects.

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