Capital Blues History

Capital Blues Inc. has a long history and it’s getting longer! Some of those people involved in shaping the club from behind the scenes have also kindly contributed their stories.

The year Pip Payne got the blues club off the ground in Wellington was quite a year for music all around. An ad in the Wellington Evening Post shows that the first ever Roomfulla Blues show was at The Venue, Thursday 6 June 1996!

In November 1997 the first BluzNuz newsletter for the Roomfulla Blues gig, sponsored by the Lion’s Club at Bill Direen’s, announced the following acts:

  • Kokomo Blues CD release party
  • Bullfrog Rata
  • Billy TK Junior
  • Darren Watson

December 1997 :

  • Capital Blues Xmas Party with Kayte and the Barflies and Neil Billington Band
  • John Hammond and Duke Robillard @ the James Cabaret
  • Roomfulla Blues jam set

Next followed a series of events; Zebos hosting Kokomo Blues, Summer City Jazz and Blues Series (Darren Watson & the Overnight Sensations, the Ronnie Taylor band, Roomfulla Blues house band Dougal Speir, Dave Murphy, Neil Billington and Marg Layton), Byron Bay Festival, Hamilton Blues Club, a Sunday 2-3 Radio Active Blues Show, and a Radio Access Blues Show.

Other gigs featured and advertised by the BluzNuz around the same time were:

  • Ben Harper @ the Town Hall
  • The Velox Bros at Bill Direens
  • Neville Bros- MFC
  • Tony Joe White- James Cabaret
  • Marg, Bill lake, Andrew, Chris @ Kapiti Live
  • BB King
  • Amazing Rhythm Aces
  • Julian Dixon and Matt Hay
  • Shayn Wills
  • The Behemoths (Darren Bob Smith, Richard Te One, Darren Hancock)
  • Pip Payne
  • Dave Murphy
  • The Pauas

As we said- it was a great time for music!!!!

The club’s weekly CD raffle was started and there was an NZBS contest for the best guitarist. The prize was a trip to Hamilton’s Bourbon St Blues Festival plus a Dobro guitar, 2nd prize was a Marshall amp!

The Queen’s Birthday Blues Bash featured Hammond Gamble and Kokomo Blues, and Midge Marsden and Bullfrog Rata were playing at Vincent’s, Newtown, with the Amazing Rhythm Aces, at James Cabaret.

To continue at the Roomfulla Blues were the bands

  • The Windy City Strugglers
  • Tin Pan Alley
  • Velox Bros
  • Bullfrog and the Alligators
  • The Behemoths
  • Whitireia Blues Experience

At other gigs in town at the time

  • Laura Collins and Dave Murphy
  • Winnie Winston (banjo Peddle steel–) Richard Klein
  • Grassroots Jill Brassell and Lisa Beech