Sussex blues band Catfish – featuring Sidlesham-based drummer Kevin Yates – are on the road on the back of their new album.
“We came together as a band because we were all visiting the south-coast blues jam which is once a month in Worthing,” says Kevin.
“It is run by a bass player and his wife, and I started going there to meet up with new people. Matt and Paul came along, and from that jam I was asked if I wanted to join a band.
“That was 2014. We got the band together and we started doing covers and the usual thing, playing in a lot of pubs and clubs. And the band really gelled.
“We started to get a following.
“All of us have a love of the blues and rock music, and there is something that just happens when everybody has a really good understanding of each other and thinking what the music should sound like.
“Matt is a player who has a lot of feel. He is very, very young, but he has got tremendous feel and that suits the way I play.
“And so we were playing all the covers that you would know, all the usual, the B B Kings and the Claptons and all that sort of stuff that you would expect.
“Our following really built up, and then we decided that we would do a little album. Paul works for the BBC as a senior sound engineer.
“We went into a studio and recorded all the numbers in one day which was no mean feat, but we managed to do it and we started producing it at home and printing them off and cutting out the covers. It was called So Many Roads, and it came out in 2015. It was all covers.
“After a short period of time it went to number one in the IBA charts which took us by surprise.
“Paul Jones who does the BBC picked us up and played us, and there was one of the numbers that really launched the band, a number called So Many Roads.
“He played that and it took off. There was so much demand for the album that we had to have it printed properly and the gigs really started to come in.
“We were getting to the stage where we were semi-professional.
“After that, we lost B B King, and we decided to put a little tribute EP together, doing all B B King numbers.
“We put our own stamp on those, and that did really well as well. In 2016, we brought out our biggest album, Broken Man.”
Now comes the new album Burning Bridges.
“It is all our own work. All the numbers are written by Matt and Paul and one combined with Adam.”
The sound goes beyond the traditional blues, Kevin says.
“I would say that we are more blues rock than traditional style blues, and I think the new album really shows that side to us.
“You can hear influences like Floyd and the like, so we are told. I certainly wouldn’t class us as an old-style blues band. It is more about taking blues forward.
“The traditional blues world has an image as being for the older age group, and I think a lot of up-and-coming blues bands are trying to expand beyond that, taking in the younger generation, and we are also trying to achieve that.
“We have certainly been well accepted into that with our tours in Europe last year and this year the tours are becoming bigger.”
More information about the band and its gigs is available on http:// www.catfishbluesband.co.uk.