It’s been a long road….. one thing for sure is that the Climax Blues Band of today carries the same standard of quality as it did when the band formed back in the late 60s and achieved such great success and recognition through the 70s, the reputation carrying right through until the tragic death of founder member Colin Cooper in 2008. Colin’s death could have meant the end of Climax Blues Band but his desire was for the band to continue creating the fine blues blend that the band has been associated with since its formation, and that desire has been accepted with relish by the remaining members of the band. George Glover has been at the keyboards in Climax since 1981, very much part of the nucleus of the band, Lester Hunt on guitar joined in 1986, drummer Roy Adams in 1987 and Neil Simpson on bass in the early 90s. This solid unit has flown the Climax flag with tremendous passion and style. Now there is a spring in their step, taking the band forward and already pleasing crowds throughout Europe, the ‘seamless’ transition in carrying on creating the unique Climax sound is the result of hard work, disguised by a band having a great time making music…. It’s the late 1960s….one wouldn’t normally associate the town of Stafford with authentic blues, certainly not for a band of young lads – although already experienced players – showing an extraordinary flair of musicianship summarised by the debut 1969 LP ‘The Climax Chicago Blues Band’, recorded at Abbey Road for EMI’s Parlophone label. Climax were formed by Colin Cooper and Pete Haycock from the ashes of Gospel Truth and Hipster Image which had set the local soul and R&B scene, but they really found their home with a change of direction to blues. However, their second album ‘Plays On’ shot off in many directions (some of them bewildering) which revealed that they were far more than a blues band and a precedent was set for a band that would use the blues as a base, but carve their own style drawing on many influences along the way. Indeed, the ‘Blues Band’ part of the name was dropped for the next couple of albums, It wasn’t until the album ‘Rich Man’ in 1973 that the band settled into a line-up which became permanent through the rest of the 70s and early 80s, comprising of Colin Cooper (saxes, harmonica and deep down vocals), Pete Haycock (guitars and vocals), Derek Holt (bass guitar and high-end vocals) and John Cuffley (drums and percussion). ‘FM Live’, released as a single LP in the UK and a double in the States in 1974. It was a fantastic night at New York’s Academy of Music, captured as a live broadcast and its release was a real turning point for the band. ‘Sense Of Direction’ was the next studio album and then in 1975 ‘Stamp Album’ saw the return of keyboard player Richard Jones who had been involved right at the start of the band. Momentum still building in the States, 1976 saw the release of ‘Gold Plated’. The album stayed in the Billboard chart for 44 weeks, the hit single ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ peaked at number 3 in early 1977 having reached the Top Ten in the UK in the Autumn of 1976. With the band firing on all cylinders as a five piece unit the sound on ‘Gold Plated’ was slicker and smoother, but still retaining an edge. ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ with it’s immediate hooks in the chorus and the guitar/sax runs couldn’t fail to impress and it became the song that music fans all over the world loved and indeed bought and brought the name Climax Blues Band to a new level.