"The musicians proved to be perfectly in sync, with high notes from the harmonica expertly complementing frontman Pete Barlow's deep, gravelly vocals.”
"Modern Acoustic Blues"
Northbound are a four piece acoustic blues band comprising of vocals, guitar, harmonica and up-right bass. They perform a modern take on traditional delta blues which includes a mix of original material and traditional blues songs. Their performances heavily feature authentic blues harp playing as well as slide guitar.
Their music harks back to the acoustic origins of blues and so they have a stripped back sound without electric guitars and drums, focusing on the songs rather than volume. Having just bass, guitar, vocals and harmonica gives the band a very unique and distinctive sound.
Originally formed as a trio late 2013 and gigging regularly from mid-2014 onwards, the band added upright bass in the summer of 2015 to complete their sound.
Northbound regularly play around the Shropshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and North Wales area as this is where the band members are based. They particularly enjoy playing blues festivals as well.
( 2016 Crewe UK )
Pete, Marc, Matt and Chris make up Northbound
Bass, Backing Vocals
Pete Barlow - Vocals
Influences: Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, Eric Clapton
Due to family commitments, it wasn't until his late thirties that Pete took up playing guitar and singing, being inspired by Eric Clapton's Unplugged set. He started with open mic nights before forming the Mean Red Spiders - a popular local electric heavy blues covers band featuring tunes from the likes of Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and Peter Green. The band played various festivals, most notably the Nantwich Jazz and Blues festival, as well as many of the local pubs. After this band ran its course, Pete decided on a slight change of direction, going back to the unplugged sound that first inspired him. He formed a new acoustic band that would soon become Northbound. As well as fronting Northbound, Pete also regularly performs as a solo artist in certain specialist local venues.
Chris Bingham - Bass, Backing Vocals
Influences: Ian Dury , BB King, Roxy Music, Kev Mo and Buddy Guy
Chris is the most experienced member of the band and as such has had a long and varied musical career, playing thousands of gigs over more than 50 years as working musician. The highlights of Chris's musical career include touring in the band Straight Up which included members of the Climax Blues band. However, Chris has also played in support slots to many notable bands including Ian Dury and Blockheads; the Black Abbots at the Monsanto social club in Ruabon; the Drifters at Jollies night club; and also, in the late 70's, Chris supported Slade on their University tour. Now specialising in the blues, Chris is a proven professional in many musical genres.
Matt Timms - Harmonica
Influences: William Clarke, Sonny Boy Williamson, Charlie Musselwhite, Slim Harpo
Matt grew up in Essex listening to British Blues and in the 80’s bought his first Little Walter Album at the tender age of 11. At the age of 15 he was given an old blues harp and immediately started playing along to old blues records. In the 90’s he moved to North Wales. Attending festivals, he met various bands who asked him to jam with them. Inspired by this, he soon became involved in various pub jam nights, which is where he met Pete, who was fronting a band called the Mean Red Spiders at the time. Matt played a few guest spots with those guys also. As Pete wanted to form an acoustic blues band, they kept in touch and during that time that Pete met Marc and then the 3 of them got together and began writing and playing at open mic nights which soon led to full gigs.
Marc Ellison - Guitars
Influences: Eric Clapton, Keb Mo, Sean Pinchin, BB King, Delta Moon, Chris Jones
Originally from Liverpool, Marc started playing guitar at the age of 14 following his love of heavy metal. He soon discovered Eric Clapton and his lifelong love affair with the blues began. He put together the Maddy Leigh Blues Band supporting the likes of Paul Jones Blues Band and playing festivals like the Burnley Blues Festival and eventually recording an album ‘Nickels & Dimes’ with American producer Jeff Scheetz. He took lessons with Guitarist and Guitar Techniques Magazine contributor, John Wheatcroft, and now Marc has his own successful tuition channel on YouTube. After the band split, Marc moved to Stafford where he played in Cannock covers band Cash Machine for several years. He then played on the Acoustic Folk/Goth side project of doom metal band My Silent Wake before finally teaming up with Pete and Matt to form Northbound.
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