Boarhunt "Home of The Blues" since 1985.
Article by Mick Meech
The unlikely roots of the original Boarhunt Blues Club were The White Swan in Haslemere. In 1984 three friends would travel up most Thursday evenings to see good blues and R&B bands like Sonny Black and Ruthless Blues. The eighty mile round trip was the trigger to try and find a pub or venue closer to Portsmouth or Fareham to put on similar gigs.
The result was a trial period of three Friday night gigs at monthly intervals at the Ponderosa, the wooden hall alongside The Boars Head in North Boarhunt near Wickham. The Ponderosa had for many years been the home of a Country and Western club and had the rather daunting capacity of 300 people.
Sonny Black's Blues Band played the first two shows in May and June 1985 with the tickets at 75p in advance and £1 on the door. Both gigs attracted good crowds and were very enthusiastically received. The decision was then made to try to lift the Club to another level by booking the very best bands available. This was for two reasons, to keep the audience keen enough to travel into the wilds of Boarhunt but also because a more expensive ticket price wouldn't deter live music fans but would keep away people looking for trouble. Dave Kelly from the Blues Band came down for the third show and played to a near capacity crowd.
The next steps were to always have a good opening band, to bring in a good and lets be honest, loud P.A with stage lights and perhaps most important to always try to generate a party atmosphere. In April 1986 the club was confident enough to book Robert Cray.
The original Club ended in 1996 when Eldridge Pope Breweries sold the Boars Head for residential development and the wonderful old hall was demolished. By then the club had seen many great nights including shows from Luther Alison, Magic Slim, Joe Ely, Doctor Feelgood, Little Charlie and the Night Cats, John Campbell and many other great artist's.
It is very good news that first Robin and now Steve and Angie have revived the Boarhunt Blues Club just around the corner and deserve every support and encourage in building the club.
Steve and Angie continue the legacy...
In January 1999 we were asked to play a gig at Boarhunt Village Hall. What a great venue! Real rustic charm with good acoustics. We played our millennium gig at the same venue. In December 2000 Robin Culverhouse started having live music at the hall, with mixed styles of music it was a good place to go. In 2003 Angela and myself were asked if we would take over the music nights as Robin had other commitments. We were interested but only wanted to run Blues nights hence Boarhunt Blues Club.
The first band we promoted at Boarhunt Blues club was the White Knuckle Blues band, we couldn't have picked a better band to start us off. A three piece band,very well known on the Blues circuit, it was £3 to get in.
We would continue to have our Blues nights on the third Friday of the month, now booking bands such as Eddie Martin, Danny Bryant and Steve 'Big Man' Clayton and other well known bands. Although Bill Thomas from southern Texas did put us on the map whilst promoting his C.D 'aint halfsteppin', people came from far a field to see this band, it has taken us two years to get the club on a steady footing with bands queuing up to play at our special venue. Word gets around that the atmosphere in the hall is very close to that of the old Boarhunt Blues (Boar's Head), but on a smaller scale.
We would like to thank all the bands who have played for us in the past, but most of all thank the people for their support.
Everyone is welcomed at the club.
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