London blues-influenced band Nine Below Zero, fresh from another successful tour of Europe, play The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury next Saturday (April 20).
Nine Below Zero built an almost obsessive following in the early 1980 with their take on American blues, while maintaining the energy of punk in their live performances. It was captured in their first album, Live At The Marquee, which was re-released towards the end of 2012.
Frontman and founding member Dennis Greaves said: “We decided to put it out again after Universal found some film from the night that we didn’t know still existed. They also found the encores we did, which were not on the original album. In those days, you couldn’t get much more than about 50 minutes on a album. “So this will be of great interest to our fans.”
Nine Below’s success continued to build during the 1980s. They performed their single 11+11 on the first episode of cult TV show The Young Ones, featured in a South Bank Show and supported both The Who and The Kinks. However, at this point the band split up and Dennis formed The Truth, who enjoyed two UK top 20 hits.
But in 1990, Nine Below re-formed for their 10th anniversary and sold out the Town and Country (now the Forum) in London. Dennis said:“It was great to see the fans still had the appetite for what we were doing.”
A sell-out UK tour followed and the band were invited to join the likes of Eric Clapton, Ray Davies and Brian May.
Dennis Greaves will play alongside his friend of more than 30 years, also a founding member of Nine Below Zero, harmonica player Mark Feltham. Mark is regarded as one of the leading harmonica players in the UK and has appeared on albums by by the likes of Oasis, Robbie Williams, Johnny Cash, Texas, Joan Armatrading and Will Young.
He has also played on countless movie soundtracks, including Tootsie, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Notting Hill.
Unlike many bands who re-form and just play their back catalogue, Nine Below Zero have continually gone back into the studio to record new material. Their last studio album, Never Too Late, released in 2011 gained wide critical acclaim and an album of new material will be released later this year.
“It wouldn’t interest me just to keep on churning out all the tunes and band has to keep moving forward,” said Dennis. “However we have recently gone back to performing tracks from Live At The Marquee and the other early albums.
The band’s second and third albums, Don’t Point Your Finger At The Guitar Man and Third Degree will both be re-released later this year by Universal, also with extra tracks from live performances Nine Below Zero play The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Banbury, OX16 5QE on Saturday, April 20. For tickets call 01295 279002.
Live At The Marquee is available on Universal now.