Local Talent: The Poor Boy's of Worcester
Who would have thought one of our local bands would be topping the bill at – of all things – a national ukulele festival?
Since they started three years ago, The Poor Boys of Worcester have been getting more and more gigs across the country. Their warm, foot-tapping sound comes from a skilful combination of ukulele, close harmony singing and a double bass played with some rockabilly rhythm and style.
The band’s debut gig was three years ago on a dark November night at The Lamb and Flag on The Tything. The evening was filmed and can still be seen on Youtube! Looking just a little bit nervous, the Poor Boys struck up with ‘Hello Mary Lou’ as their first number and quickly got into the swing of things. From that moment on their following grew, first locally and now nationally.
‘Audiences appreciate our sound’ says Mick Morris who plays the double bass. ‘We mostly perform covers. Some of the popular ones include Call Me The Breeze by the JJ Cale Band. There’s also a great rockabilly number called Mobile Line and Railroad Bill.’
They’ve played festivals in Cheltenham, Norwich and Huddersfield, where they were invited back for more. ‘The first year in Huddersfield, we were so successful they booked us onto the Main Stage for the next festival’ laughs Mick. ‘We do get really positive responses from audiences, they often come up and shake our hands after a gig and that’s helped increase our following online.’
Two of the band recently moved on and in their place is a new Poor Boy. Richard McKenna will sing and play the ukulele. ‘It might change our style a bit’ says Mick, ‘as we’re losing our harmonica player. We’ll start playing together with the new line up and see where it takes us.’ Alongside Mick and Richard, the line-up includes Dave Pygott, Tom Watson and Andy Tonkinson.
They’ve just released a CD. Called Hard Luck Songs, it features 13 tracks including Sixteen Tons, Ooh La La, as well as a couple of tracks the band has become well-known for – La La Blues and My Bucket’s Got a Hole in it. When they played at the annual Ukulele Festival held in Cheltenham earlier in the year, the CDs were selling like hot cakes.
After a gig in Northwick at the end of November, the band takes a break for the festive season before starting things up again in January. They are well worth catching live if you get the chance.
They have an active Facebook page and lots of their performances can be viewed on Youtube.