A month long series of blues concerts, at this relatively new venue, warmed the cold January cockles as blues hotshot guitarist, Connor Selby and Irish blues queen, Grainne Duffy, combined their bona fide talents to entertain a very decent turn out of blues aficionados. It’s rare to witness two headliners sharing a bill. This produced double joy for tonight’s highly expectant audience who are finely attuned to their blues calling whatever the weather.

Words: Paul Davies    Pictures: Fiona Campbell


With the inclement climate outside notwithstanding, there was a warm welcome of goodwill that greeted Connor Selby and his well-suited three-piece band. Selby opened this double bill with his deft and sweet guitar tone. His natural feel gracefully weaved through opening song Falling In Love Again and throughout his one-hour set. Selby’s Eric Clapton/Ray Charles influenced sound came to the fore especially on new song All Out Of Luck which, for him, ventures into newer jazz territory. Setlist staples I Shouldn’t Care, The Truth Comes Out Eventually and Love Letter To The Blues went down like the smooth warmth of a vintage bourbon on this icy evening. Selby saved the best to last playing out with the enchanting Emily.


To follow and flying in for this gig from her native Ireland, Grainne Duffy and her superb band, that included Amy Winehouse Band bassist Dale Davis, delivered her seductive blues country rock tunes like the veteran she is becoming. With songs that have a touch of Bonnie Raitt about them, her adrenalised band switched up the vibe especially on crowd pleasers Voodoo Blues, a spellbinding Voodoo Woman, Good Love Had To Die and Dirt Woman Blues. Duffy’s classy voice, nifty guitar solos and songwriting acuity back up her growing reputation as a major player in the blues scene as she invoked the audience to enthusiastically singalong during her show.

To close an evening of double blues fun, Selby joined Duffy for riotous blues staple set closer Crossroads and suddenly January seemed to have a spring to its step.