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Blues Club returns to the crossroads

The Capital Blues Club goes back to the corner of Taranaki and Dixon Streets, launching a new home at Jack Hackett’s this Thursday, 22 November.

Pip Payne, driving force behind the Capital Blues Club in the early years at what was “Bill Direen’s” bar in the mid 1990s (nothing to do with the iconic avant garde South Island muso), has returned the club to its roots at the border of the Courtenay Place strip, after a long stint at The Hotel Bristol in Cuba Street.

Payne will perform again on the stage he trod 22 years ago for the (re)opening night party with his band The Gospel Project, featuring Wayne Mason on keys.

The idea to host the club struck several possible chords (A for alcohol, C for crowds, E for excitement) with Jack Hackett’s manager Matt McLaughlin.

“I’m a huge fan and supporter of local live music. I know beer and blues on a Thursday is going to be really appealing, especially as we head into summer. I want Jack Hackett’s to be recognised as the go-to destination for Blues in the Capital, so we are committed to continuing this tradition.”

Blues musician and Club treasurer of eight years Julie Lamb is excited about the move.

“It’s a bigger space and the acoustics are great for the blues sound.

“We are the longest running blues club in the southern hemisphere. Every Thursday for 22 years we’ve brought Wellington live blues music. We provide a regular dose of monthly roots culture on Del Thomas’s radio show on Access Radio, and the blues stage within the CupaDupa festival is our baby.”

“The Capital Blues Club plays a vital role in keeping the blues alive. The NZ School of Music does three big band nights a year at the club. The students come through and show their chops. The evening is studded with talent proving that the genre continues to inspire young musicians. We are immensely proud to support that.”

The new Home of the Blues will open at Jack Hackett’s, 5 Inglewood Place (corner Dixon and Taranaki Street) with free entry to the Capital Blues on the Move Party from 8.00pm on Thursday 22 November.

Who knows, there may even be some black people there.