News / Mareel for Blockheads

The Blockheads are to visit Shetland in November.

THE LATE Ian Dury’s band The Blockheads are to perform live in Shetland for the first time in November.

The group, who performed hit singles such as ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’ and ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’, will perform at Mareel on Sunday 22 November. Support will come from Big Time Quel, described as “one of the most innovative and original acts to emerge from the local music scene in recent years”.

Concert promoter Jeff Merrifield, of Shetland JAWS, said: “Words were indeed from the eccentric Ian Dury, the cheeky chappie of British punk rock, but this is the band that wrote the tunes and made them into incredible hits.

“A band made up of some of the best British musicians who have jelled into a formidable performing outfit with years of experience behind them.”

The Blockheads, he said, were together before Dury acquired their services under the name Loving Awareness.


Among the band’s number are Mickey Gallagher, who played in the original Animals; Johnny Turnbull, a member of the Bob Geldof band; Chaz Jankle, who wrote most of the Blockheads’ hits as well as composing Quincy Jones’ ‘Ai No Corrida’ record; saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, well known in the islands; bassist Norman Watt-Roy, who is also in Wilko Johnson’s band; drummer John Robberts whose CV includes Wreckless Eric, Dr and the Medics and John Otwat, and Derek the Draw, long associated with Ian Dury & the Blockheads and now penning many of their “clever and irreverent” recent songs.

Merrifield continued: “The Blockheads will live up to their reputation as one of the best rock’n’jazz units ever. They can play funk, punk, straight rock, blues, and witty-ditties with equal dexterity.

“Sure to be remembered as a big event in the musical annals of Shetland musicology.”

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  • Early bird tickets to see The Blockheads, priced £23, can be bought via the Shetland JAWS website until 4 October, after which they will be on sale at Shetland Box Office for £27.

Meanwhile, award winning US quartet Ernie Haase and Signature Sound (EH&SS) are to including a show at Clickimin as part of their popular Christmas tour.

Promoter Matthew Laurenson said getting a Shetland date for a tour which “packs out auditoriums all across North America is really exciting news, this concert will be a great start to the festive season”.

He said the group, also touring venues in the UK, Holland and Germany this winter, were “one of the most talented acts in Nashville at the moment”.

Laurenson continued: “We had always wanted to get a Christmas concert with one of the big US country gospel groups, but until now that seemed unlikely. The show will incorporate some of EH&SS’ original compositions, along with well-known Christmas favourites. They are a group who are sure to make the Shetland crowd laugh, as well as listen in awe at the vocal extravaganza on display.


“[They] do not need to be oversold. Their award-winning combination of vocal perfection, energy, humour and warmth have led them to global success. What better way to start off the festive season than to come along to a heart-warming Christmas concert with such talented, Grammy Award nominated performers?”

  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound will play at Clickimin Leisure Complex on Tuesday 8 December. Tickets priced £15 for adults (concessions £12.50 and children aged 16 and under £10) go on sale via Shetland Box Office on Friday 11 September.

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