Black Cat is a blues-funk-rock quartet from the Lune Valley that mixes up blues, rock and funk, providing a familiar sound in an unfamiliar way. Fat funky bass, drums, punchy piano, blues guitar and harmonica, and plenty of improvisation. Good luck, bad luck, take it as you want it.

Line up

David Ainsworth  
Phil Haygarth
Voice, guitar, harmonica
Alex Gordon
Piano, voice
Andy Stafford 
Bass, voice

In their own words...

What genre of music do Black Cat play?

Phil - I start from blues, but that is most certainly not the way I am heading.  It is a mesh of blues and funk and rock and jazz and groove.  It's a great mesh, it's easy, fun.

What is the Black Cat tone?

Phil - The tone that emerges is a blend of slightly distorted electric guitar, piano, bass and drum, plus harmonica when I can fit it in. It is especially 'goosey' if we are synched slightly off time together, that is the Black Cat sound, no effects, no tricks, just electric fat bass, dirty guitar, wholesome piano and drum, and as much feel as we can throw in the mix.

Dave - As a relative newcomer to the blues, I reckon we are  a blend of old and new styles … from older grassroots stuff, through to rock and funk. It tends to be upbeat ... if it's fun to play and listen to then it's in ... it's all about the live act!

Andy - Long, feline and funky

How long has Black Cat been together?

Phil - The fire started in December 2009 as a 3 piece of bass drum and guitar. The piano joined in September 2011, the sound has been growing fast since then.

What does each member of the band contribute in terms of style and sound?

On Dave... 

Alex - From behind the kit Dave beats out a multitude of rhythms taking traditional blues out of its comfort zone forming an aberrant blend of styles that will keep you tapping from beginning to end.

Phil - Dave knows all about how light and shade, so important in a drummer. There is some kind of delay in what he does and I love it, his bass and his snare are slightly deliberately out, it floats my boat.

Andy - Fatback Dave is the finest there is.

On Phil...
Alex - Phil is a well-seasoned front man and engages the crowd with high energy performances and stalwart riffing before throwing in a curve ball and firing out deep rooted harmonica melodies that bring the band right back to its roots. 

Dave - Phil is a class act, his energy is infectious, his improv keeps things fresh, and he talks to the crowd like a friend. It's what you need up front.

Andy - Phil knows how to sing sweetly, shake his thing, and sear a cruel solo.

On Andy...
Phil - Andy is a bass player who plays wholly by feel, he loves to get in the groove, so much so that often when I am trying to catch his eye for a change he is wigging out with his eyes closed!  I think Andy is a funk, punk, reggae man at heart.

Dave - Andy is a laid back player who knows how to treat a song.  Always keeps the groove nice and tight. 

Alex - Andy has more bend than a bendy bus, it's a great sound.

On Alex...
Phil - Alex is the rock of the band, the real musician, on the piano.  He knows his stuff and keeps us straight, adapting and picking up on all the bits like a true pro.   He's more of a classics man than a blues roots, we need that.

Dave - Alex makes the piano look easy! He stamps melody and colour on everything we do, but also puts the "rhythm" in rhythm n'blues. 

Andy - Alex burns up that keyboard and ain't nobody gonna stop him.

How Black Cat describe themselves to others

Alex - It’s a blues-rock-funk band, mostly up-beat with chunks of improv littered throughout.

Phil - Black Cat are blues funk rock band, a mesh of blues and funk and rock and jazz and groove, with lots of improvisation and live adaptation to the mood.  No two shows are the same. 

Dave - We tend to use the blues as a starting point, but we are basically a free and easy live act, who improvise depending on the mood and venue.  Shoegazers we ain't! … whether the audience is big or small, we always bring Black Cat energy to a gig!