"I first went to the 12 Bar Club when The Fallen Leaves started their Minimum R'n'B Club nights on a Wednesday and straight away I was hooked. I was so happy to find a spiritual Rock 'n' Roll home right in the heart of London but also angry with myself that I hadn't discovered it sooner. I rarely missed any of the Leaves' residencies, not only were they one of the best live acts I'd seen but they had the habit of choosing excellent support acts and DJ's to make them nights to remember. The only downside was the Wednesday night... as I had to travel into London from out in the sticks and the nights were long and late, I found myself transported back to my youth - rushing out to race across town to catch the last fast train home. As I soon made many good friends and gig acquaintances at the 12 Bar Club, I learned to sneak out secretly as saying goodbye to everyone could take quite a while and the trains would not wait just for me! This soon went by the wayside and I would usually be late and have to cadge a lift back or wait at the station for the bone-shaker slow train. It was always worth it.
It was the friends I made at the 12 Bar that would be equally, if not more important than the great bands I would see there and this will always make it a hugely important part of my life. It also kept me busy with loads of content for Retro Man Blog and Retrosonic Podcast and myself and my colleague, Rock Photographer Paul Slattery, filed loads of reports from memorable gigs at the 12 Bar. There are too many great nights to mention them all, just check out the Blog and you can see what I mean - but I would say one particularly memorable night was Crash '74 who were a one-off band featuring Harley Feinstein, the original drummer of one of my favourite bands Sparks and his wife Michelle on vocals. They were joined by Nicky Forbes from The Revillos, Stevie Savage and friends to deliver a fun-packed singalong of some of their greatest hits and a selection of cover versions. So, I owe the 12 Bar a hell of a lot and I was gutted when I heard it was going to close down. Hopefully, one day in the future we'll see a new 12 Bar appear - we can but dream!"