Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys, one of the area’s best-loved bands, play again next month – two years after what appeared to be their farewell gig.
The original quartet called it a day in 2012 amid much sadness to many of their friends and followers throughout the UK and beyond, when two of the founding members retired from performing in public.
Since then, remaining founder members Nick Girone-Maddocks and Jules Bushell have constantly been asked to play gigs, opening slots and festivals, but have not had a bluegrass band to satisfy demand.
It is only now, when finally two other players have been found, that Nick & Jules feel happy about re-launching the band again, with the retired original members’ blessing. Nick said “It’s not about re-creating the original Thunderbridge sound – without the brothers that just couldn’t happen, but it’s all about the songs and the performance. It was a shame to me to let all those great songs we wrote get mothballed and forgotten about”.
Nick and Jules have continued to play together and in other bands in the last two years, but both readily admit they missed the Thunderbridge momentum. Jules said “It’s a genre in which we’re both really well-known in throughout the country. Wherever we go people seem to know us, and it seemed daft to let such a great momentum slide away. “.
The new players are well-known on the bluegrass scene, having both come from other bands. Matt Gryspeerdt (fiddle) and John Breese (banjo) both wanted to play with Thunderbridge before, but only recently did it come to fruition.
Nick commented “John and Matt just bring a whole new life to the songs. It was important to us to change the instrumentation slightly; otherwise people would be expecting EXACTLY what we had before, which we didn’t want to do. Just as with the original band, we continued to grow and develop, so we still want to do that”.
Much excitement has emerged at the news of the reformation, with offers of gigs throughout the country coming in thick and fast. Their first gig locally will be at The Beambridge Inn in Wellington on 20th January, where they will open for touring honky-tonk band Daniel Meade & The Flying Mules. Tickets, and all other info is available at the band’s website www.thunderbridgebluegrass.uk.
Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys formed in 2005 and quickly gained momentum as one of the hardest working and professional bands on the circuit. The original line up played more than 1,000 concerts and released four CDs, and a live DVD.