Yardbirds share stage with newcomer

CELIA WIGG Legendary 1960s' band the Yardbirds will be appearing at the third annual Christmas Jam at Diss Corn Hall on Saturday.

CELIA WIGG

Legendary 1960s' band the Yardbirds are used to playing rock concerts in front of thousands of screaming fans.

Famed as a launching pad for three lead guitarists – Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page – the group had numerous smash hits with their guitar-driven blues-rock before breaking up in 1968.

The band re-formed in the 1990s, and on Saturday will be appearing at the third annual Christmas Jam at Diss Corn Hall – capacity 300 – fronted by Yardbird's founders Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja.

Joining them will be concert organiser Denny Newman, landlord of the Railway Tavern at Mellis, a former guitarist with pop group Manfred Mann. His band, the Regulars, features keyboard player Max Middleton, who has worked with Chris Rea.

The Yardbirds are also delighted to be sharing the bill with local newcomer 16-year-old singer/songwriter Alex Hill, of Hoxne, who is making her concert debut.

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Jim McCarty said: "We are definitely keen to encourage young performers. There are a lot of young people who can play guitar now, which is something that went out of fashion at one time. I heard that Alex was appearing through an American website. She sounds quite good, and it's a good mix – the old and the new.

"I really love playing in front of an audience. I find the music really exciting and I love the fact that people are really enjoying it. The majority or our audiences are probably around the 50s generation, and there are a lot who bring their families. So we get a couple with young kids and then their grandparents. It's crazy really.

"Earlier this year we were playing festivals in the States, Scandinavia, France and Germany, sometimes with thousands of people. But it's nice to get the vibe as well of playing in clubs and smaller places. Three or four hundred is a nice sort of crowd."

The Christmas jam starts at 7.30pm and tickets are available from the Railway Tavern at Mellis, or Revolution Records, Diss, priced at £13.50. For details call 01379 783416.

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