Hertford Society Blues Night

Thursday, 1 March 2018

This event is kindly organised by the Hertford Society. Please contact Paul Watts (1965) on paulwatts1946 [at] gmail [dot] com with any queries.


A presentation and performance led by Hertford alumni

The Hertford Society is staging a special music event, open to all College alumni, members and guests, on Thursday 1st March at The Shield, Dawson Hall, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ (map), from 6.30-10pm.

The event is devoted to the blues, with the evening presented by Hertford alumnus and music industry veteran Paul Watts, along with a 'live' band including Hertford contemporaries Steve Greenwald and Rob Davies.

The evening will take the form of an illustrated presentation, as Paul Watts takes the audience through the origins of the blues, its principal characteristics and regional variations in the USA, focusing on the work of some of its most illustrious and influential exponents, and the way their music helped shape the development of rock 'n' roll and rock music in subsequent decades.

The presentation will be seamlessly blended with 'live' performances of selected noted blues compositions by the likes of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Charley Patton, B.B. King, Arthur Crudup and others, performed by a group of musicians comprising Paul Watts (vocals/guitar), Steve Greenwald, Rob Davies, Mark Doyle (guitars), Roger Harding (bass), Geoff Forester (harmonica/vocals).

Tickets for the event are £25, including a hot finger buffet. The Shield is the student union bar of Queen Mary University of London, and a full pay bar is available. Please book well in advance so that we can forecast numbers for catering purposes.

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Further information:

Paul Watts was a geographer at Hertford from 1965-8, joining EMI Records as a management trainee and rising to become general manager of the Pop and International Divisions during the 1970s, and was closely involved in the careers of major artists like Queen, Paul McCartney, Kate Bush and many others. In recent years he has worked in specialist collectors music with market-leading label Acrobat Music, researching, compiling and annotating over 300 definitive multi-CD sets devoted to jazz, blues, R&B, rock 'n' roll, country, nostalgia and other genres for worldwide distribution - among the dozens of blues products he has created is an exclusive 3-CD set for the USA's National Blues Museum in St. Louis. He has been playing rock 'n' roll since his days in Hastings bands in 1963.

Steve Greenwald and Rob Davies were at Hertford during the same era, and Steve became Professor of Cardiovascular Mechanics at Queen Mary University of London. Mark Doyle is an alumnus of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and is an associate of Paul's on the 'live' music scene in Surrey and south-west London along with Roger Harding, and Geoff Forester, a Swansea University alumnus from the '60s, has been a senior partner at city consultants Odgers Berndtson since 1980, and has been playing blues in bands with Paul for 30 years.

This evening is designed to be entertaining, informative and enlightening, giving some insights into the background and origins of some of the music that has been part of the cultural landscape of the last half-century and more, and there will be plenty of time during the evening for guests to mingle and socialise. Please feel free to bring any friends and associates who might be interested.