“Ten-Handed, Twelve Barrelled, Rockin’ Blues”

…so said the press of a recent Blues Issue performance!

Twin guitars and hot harp underpinned by the slippin’n’slidin’ bass and drums, incandescent as individuals performers but as they fuse together in the nuclear heat of their live performances the band reaches another atomic level. The controlled release of this fission produces the tension and power to energise the music and to give flight to Steve’s soulful vocal stylings.

During the set each member gets the space to highlight their own particular talents and voice. The set is a constantly moving feast of exciting of band originals and well chosen re-imagined standards; skipping from skiffly roots through foot-tapping funky beats to stomping electric blues/rock. Some performances see them eschew the electric instruments in favour of a more organic acoustic approach.

The last three years have seen Blues Issue make quite an impression on the South Coast blues scene. From a startling debut set supporting Chicken Shack at the late lamented Half Brick to sizzling sets at three consecutive Swanage Blues Festivals, hosting Brighton’s most popular Blues Jam at the legendary Ranelagh and now moving onto Festival appearances across the nation. The Blues Issue are gaining more followers, more energy and more momentum with every appearance.

12 years in the making! that’s how long since Steve Lambsden first got together with a bunch of low down hombres….ah, OK then, fellow blues musicians, foregoing the usual cover song formula to fully indulge his true passion – Electric Blues. Through the band’s various incarnations – including one as Stan’s Blue Notes – Steve has led varied line-ups to its present position as a premiere English hard-rockin blues outfit.

Not that you’d know it if you met them in their civvies – a graphic designer, a technical resources manager, a computer programmer, a teacher and an engineer, an Operations Manager, but, all members of a blues band? Really?

Our Leader, Singer and Guitarist – Steve Lambsden, Harpist – Tony Smith, Drummer – Matt Greenfield, Bassist – Nodd McDonagh and Singer and Guitarist – Glen McPheat, all resident on the Sussex Coast, is the latest line-up of this Blues combo.The BI has seen various different versions, ranging from an acoustic trio thru a power quartet finally to the twin guitar line-up they currently feature.

This line-up has put together a much more layered sound, especially on the band’s own tunes the rootsy rhythms of their eponymous opener “That Old Blues Issue”, the syncopated soul of ‘Everything but Love”, the driving express that is “Blues Train”. Glen’s angular guitar, (more than a touch of Winged Eel Fingerling) and more anxious vocal style, Steve’s Phat tones and emotive vocals, Tony’s hollering and howling harp all provide different directions for the melody to develop. None of this would work if not for the dynamic and yet solid rhythm section – Matt’s clockwork timing and precise fills locked into Nodd’s driving and evolving bass lines together with the introduction of his EUB (Electric Upright Bass) keep it all on track. All of this achieved whilst maintaining the almost supernatural intuition amongst the players, always a hallmark of the Blues Issue, that and the clear sense that they love what they do!

They have by now played most of the usual English South Coast blues haunts, repeat appearances at Swanage Blues Festivals, been asked to slot in behind the afore-mentioned Chicken Shack, 9 Below Zero and Doctor Feelgood and even rocked the odd university date. Their busy 2015 diary of repeat gigs and new venues and events bears witness to the continuing impact of their appearances.

July 2013 saw the release of the first BI album “Bad Day for the Blues” showcasing a wide range of Blues hues. Their 2015 follow up is already in rehearsal and will include wider musical contributions from each member as well as a concerted effort to capture that nuclear fission on tape, well, hard disk actually.


Bad Day For the Blues (2013)

Available at all Blues Issue gigs and by sending us an email, the Blues Issues debut album ‘Bad day for the Blues” contains a mix of original material and classic blues tracks all performed and recorded at Studio54.


Seeing The Blues Issue live really is really the best way to enjoy them!

See Steve’s hat! Check Matt’s Drumming Face! Enjoy Nodd’s many Faces and special ‘Dancing’!

Check whether Glen has bought another guitar! Admire Tony’s vintage lead and shades!

Here’s a list of all their upcoming gigs. Click on each one for more info or use the contact page if you want to know even more.

The Eagle Arundel 1st Dec, Arundel 9am
Skegness Blues And Rock Festival, Skegness 4pm


Contact the band for info on up and coming gigs, details on the set lists, where Steve gets his hats from or just about anything really…..

Contact the band for info on up and coming gigs, details on the set lists, where Steve gets his hats from or just about anything really…..