How the band came to be


9 First Gig 2002

Blues Brothers Banned played their first show in 2002 to freezing cold audiences at a Christmas shopping night on the streets of Chorleywood. It wasn’t long until they were playing short sets at many local events. But it was a gig in May the following year at the iconic Ace Cafe that really sparked it all off. Keen to improve, the Banned began practising weekly in a run down hut in Chorleywood, consuming a lot of pizza as they added song after song to their set list.

8 Ace Cafe 2003

They spent the rest of 2003 honing their skills and playing at pubs and parties, often having to sneak the younger band members into any licensed venues. Their performance at Rickmansworth Canal Festival charmed a rain soaked audience, but the supportive crowd and beasts of burgers made it a memorable day.  Later that year they won a local Battle of the Bands event .

 10 Big Gig 2004

2004 saw the planning of a massive fundraising concert in the Barbirolli Hall, Chorleywood. Dubbed “The Big Gig”, the show was a huge success and featured a spectacular technical set up creating an awesome sell out show in the 600 seater hall. Other highlights included Alexandra Palace, a Charity Fireworks spectacular and their first big theatre show in Watersmeet, Rickmansworth.

 12 Papa & The Smurfs 2005

2005 Blues Brothers Banned kicked off with a series of packed out concerts to raise money for the Tsunami appeal which totalled over £3000. As one of their many alter egos, “Papa & the Smurfs” they went on to win Battle of the Bands once again. Other shows that year included a gig for British Airways, a return to the Rickmansworth Canal Festival, a night at Margate Theatre Royal and the first of many gigs at their favourite public house, The Woodman, Eastcote. 2005 culminated  with the group hosting a series of successful  “Blues Brothers Banned Christmas Parties.”

 17 Edinburgh 2006

In 2006 The Banned made their first visit to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with their 5 star show “Banned at the Fringe”. It ran for 7 nights  with an extra show being added last minute due to popular demand. Other key events included Kew Fayre, Queens Park, Margate Winter Gardens and Weymouth Pavilion.

18 Tring 2007

2007 kicked off with a charity show for Teenage Cancer Trust in the Court Theatre, Tring, where their first live album   “Live at Tring” was recorded. In the summer they embarked on a mini tour of the south west of England performing at various venues in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, before flying directly to Edinburgh where their show “Blues Brothers Banned - Big Night Out” ran for 14 nights.

 15 Fringe 2008

Summer 2008 commenced with another South West Tour, stopping off in towns such as Exmouth, Fowey and Bristol. They also returned to the Edinburgh Festival for a third time with a 3 week run of their new show “Quest for the Cowbell” at the highly respected Pleasance venue. 

 19 Some of band - Ireland 2009

In 2009 the group toured Ireland before travelling over to Edinburgh Festival for the fourth time for a series of sold out concerts at the legendary Hard Rock Café.  Other high points were the amazing Carnglaze Caverns, a return to Tring and a London Hard Rock show (again a sell out).

20 Lincoln 2010

2010 started with a jam packed show at London’s famous 100 Club, where they were joined on stage by Ryan Molloy, lead of the hit West End show Jersey Boys. A night at London’s Pigalle Club was followed by a one night only gig at the Edinburgh Festival at the EICC. The year closed with a hugely successful hometown gig at the Watford Palace Theatre and 4 concerts at the awesome Cork Jazz Festival in Ireland.

31 Chorleywood Christmas ©Andrew Bungard

Highlights of 2011 included returning to the bands favourite venues including Lincoln Drill Hall, the 100 Club, Carnglaze Caverns and Exmouth Pavilion. The band also played at many private functions and corporate events. In October, the band returned to the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival for an awesome weekend of music and boozing. They ended the year with a bang headlining the Main Stage at the Chorleywood Christmas Festival. 

Who knows what 2012 has in store?....

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