Formed in 1971 as the the Wedgwood Blues and then later known as Haverson’s Apricot, the band metamorphosed in late 1971 when the remaining three members became the James Hogg Band. The line-up was John Lloyd on drums, Greg Harris on guitar and Rob Ash on bass. In 1972 the group released a couple of singles “Lovely Lady Rock” and “California Blues”, the former, written by Rob, achieving number 30 in the charts. In 1973 they recorded “Gotta be a winner”, written by The Casuals.

Shortly after release of the third record, Geoff Stokes was approached to replace Rob on bass as Rob wanted to play slide guitar and Geoff subsequently joined. The band continued successfully for some while until 1974 when the aforementioned line-up disbanded.

In 1976 Geoff Stokes emigrated to Australia where over the years he has continued to play in numerous bands and groups up to the present day, but has kept in contact with many of his muso friends in Wales over the intervening years.

During an extended visit in 2012 Geoff celebrated his 60th birthday and decided to gather together as many of his musical friends from the past as was possible. Through the power of the social networking site Facebook he has, in the last year or so, made contact with many whom he has not seen for decades and so it was, on 18th July many of his friends, old and new, joined the family for an evening of musical entertainment.

All four members of the James Hogg Band line-up were at the do and Geoff thought it would be entertaining if they could attempt to play their hit “Lovely Lady Rock” which they had not played for the last 38 years. I know Geoff gave them about one minute before they had a go at it and the first video is the result, a little hesitant in places, but great fun. They then went on to play another well know Chuck Berry song “Johnny B Goode”.

Obviously, I have compressed the history of the group into a few short sentences for the purpose of this tale and I apologise if there are any inaccuracies, a lot of red wine intervened with the action of my brain and my pen and I’m having just a little difficulty in reading my own notes this morning! Now plug in your earphones or big speakers, turn the volume up loud and enjoy history repeating itself.

James Hogg Band

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