KATHMANDU: This first day of the Himalayan Blues Festival 2009 on October 7 started with a bang at Fusion The Bar at Dwarika’s. Blues Business from Mid-Sussex England received a remarkable response from the crowd with numbers like Help Me, Still Wonder, Stormy Monday, I’m Ready and many more.

“Not all but most of the covers we played today were our own interpretation of Chicago Blues,” said bassist Alan Burris. “The year 1960 saw a huge upsurge in Blues music genre and we were highly influenced when we were teenagers.”

Paul Burris aka Chicken Legs performed with his great vocals and his sharp Blues tunes on guitar was astonishing to listen to. He was accompanied by Clive Liton aka Shorty on drums, Alan Rae aka The Doctor on keyboards and vocals and Burris aka Authentic on bass.

Meanwhile the Attic Bar at Utter Dhoka hosted the Mike Garner Band. The three-man band from New Zealand couldn’t help but energise the crowd with their songs. All dressed sharp in black outfits, especially Mike, the lead singer with a lead guitar in his hand, had the crowd entertained. Warren Houston was more than a drummer with his own invented instrument made out of washboard and the grave bassist

Dave Robinson never left his fingers off the fret as it kept the crowd tapping their feet.

Take It Easy Baby, Leaving Blues, Still Your Loving Man and I Wish I Was

in Memphis were few of the songs that really

made the crowd sing along with Mike.

“Blues has the wound of past emotions and experience, and the flow of the music unfolds every part of it with melody,”said Mike.

It must be his passion for this genre that he is still playing Blues at 60. “Well this is my first visit to Nepal and I am pleased to be in such a wonderful country and I am really excited about the other events as well,” expressed Mike.

Besides these two joints, other venues did have similar great experiences. The other bars saw Kniki at Madz, Jimi Hocking at Bourbon Room, Parachute XVI at Cafereena, Mukti and Revival at Vintage and Austin Walkin’ Cane at De La Soul.