SOME call him the Godfather of British Blues – and with over 60 albums to his name, it’s easy to see why.
As he prepares to return to the UK for a 25-date tour, the Solihull News speaks to master musician, John Mayall.
“It’s going to be wonderful to come home,” says the 77-year-old. “I’ve just finished a gruelling tour of the US and Canada.
“After all that time going through immigration and customs I’m looking forward to just getting in the tourbus – all we have to worry about is the traffic”
Does John change his style if he’s performing in particular countries?
“I don’t tend to worry too much about where I’m performing, the relationship with the audience matters more.
“Whether you’re performing at a major festival or in a small club, you’ve got to get that right.
“There’s too many artists these days who come up on stage, and don’t even speak to the audience.”
He recalls how, before he started in the business, he’d go to see the big names of the day in concert.
“There were clubs in Manchester where I’d go to see them play, I loved it.
“Later I had the great honour of working with the likes of Louis Armstrong – people I’d gone to see live.
“That took a bit of getting used to, to begin with.”
Since starting in the early 1960s, John has also gained a reputation for nurturing up-and-coming musicians – such as Eric Clapton, and Mick Fleetwood.
“Of course, when I had my own band, I could choose who to work with, and I collaborated with some incredible artists.
“Looking at someone like Eric, it was obvious back then that he was something special. He was going to have an impact.”
* John Mayall, and special guest Oli Brown, will be playing Birmingham Town Hall on October 28. Tickets on 0121 780 3333.