The Blintz Band

About the Band

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Kevin Bainbridge

[Vocals, Electric and Acoustic guitars, Bouzouki, Keyboards, Harmonica]

Kevin (Born April 1956 in Seaham, County Durham, England) I first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 years old learning my first few chords from my cousin Howard Grey.

By the age of sixteen, I was performing in various folk clubs in the North East of England, most notably as one half of a folk duo with fellow guitarist/singer Tim Readman.

As mine and Tim’s confidence and competence grew our desire to take the music further also grew and so we reached out to school chums Colin Barratt and Ian Hay to provide bass and drums.

The Band needed a name and a place to practice. At that time in the early 1970’s there was a satirical American magazine/comic called “MAD” in circulation. A regular feature was the endeavours of one “Colonel Blintz”, it was decided that the band would be called after this character…… The Blintz Band was born.

The Blintz Band played frequently in the pubs and clubs of North East England playing mostly as a covers band playing the pop and rock songs of the time. By the mid 1970’s the group had disbanded so that each band member could follow their individual work, education, and relationship paths.

In the early Nineties, I teamed up with pal Ken Archer to run an acoustic music venue in Hawthorn, County Durham. It was from this venue the Band “Hawthorn” was born (I was lead singer and guitarist) Hawthorn went on to release the album “Testing the Mettle” which received wide acclaim. Hawthorn was disbanded in 1995, our last gig was supporting Fairport Convention in the Great Hall at Durham Castle.

I then moved to London in 1996 and in 1998 joined the band “Who’s Who” a five-piece band which played mostly covers in the pubs and clubs of West London boroughs. The band founder members Alan and Clare Castro are still firm friends of mine to this day

In 2014, I moved to Coventry where I formed the band “Two Men In A Pub” which was actually a three-piece band with Coventarian brothers Steve and Roy Wall (Bass and Saxophone). The band played many gigs around the Coventry and Rugby areas and disbanded when the Covid lockdown rules came into force in 2020.

During 2017, I frequently visited the North East of England to support a family member with terminal cancer. It was during these visits that I paid a number of nostalgic visits to the Dun Cow pub in Seaton Village, County Durham, this being the place where The Blintz Band had practised in the cellar. (A big hat tip to the pub’s landlord Doug Tooth for his unswerving support and alcohol).

A random conversation with the bar staff on one of these visits led to a reunion (after 43 years) with The Blintz Band’s bass player Colin Barratt who, by chance, was playing there in a duo the following week. Following that reunion, Colin and I decided to seek out the drummer Ian Hay who was subsequently found living in Bristol.

The fourth member of the original 70’s band Tim Readman had moved to Vancouver, Canada, (about as far away as he could get) however Colin, Ian and I decided that the band should be resurrected, and we have subsequently produced a studio album named God’s Golfball.

The album was subsequently released on the 7th April 2022 and is available on all good streaming media.

I currently live in Leicestershire and presently working on The Blintz Band’s next studio album.

My main influences are Blues, Folk Rock, and 1970’s Rock

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Colin Barratt

[ Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar)

Colin (Born 5th July 1956) in Sedgefield, County Durham. Got a guitar for my eight birthday – in preference to a bike.

Joined Blintz Band with Ian; Kev and Tim in 1971 at the tender age of 14.

Practised, rehearsed until we become good enough and confident enough to play working men’s clubs in the North East of England. Covers and rock songs mainly. The local circuit was pretty unreceptive to anything original.

After we went our separate ways, I joined another local band and, once again, fell back into the club / pub circuit for several years. The majority of songs were covers although our youthful confidence allowed us to sneak in one or two original songs. Generally met with “muted admiration” from the audiences.

Life and circumstance led to the band breaking up in the early 1980’s.

I was, by then, teaching in a local secondary school. English and IT, since you ask.

In my spare time, I would still play guitar at home and write an occasional song. (I must dig them out someday.)

Resigned from teaching in 2011. Continued writing and playing.

In 2014, there was a school reunion where I had been persuaded to play a few songs with a friend I had gone to school with. It had been a long time since I’d played in front of an audience. However, with persuasion from a former student, (Thanks Rhiannon), I agreed.

Our short set – half a dozen songs went down well, and Rhiannon joined us on backing vocals. After the gig, Rhiannon and I decided to rehearse together and play a few gigs together over the next couple of years. Radio appearances and live radio / studio performances became a regular thing. Covid lockdown cramped / stopped the gigs. Still writing and recording with Rhi and ‘solo’

It was at one of our gigs that Kevin turned up in the audience mid-song. The forty years or so that had ensued since we had seen each other melted away like ice under a blowtorch.

By the end of the evening, we’d convinced Kev to get up and play a couple of songs. We did ‘Love The One You’re With’ – we even remembered the words.

A pledge to locate Ian was made and, once we’d done that, we decided to write some songs and play a couple of gigs at a local Juke Joint just for fun. We enjoyed that so much, we decided to try and write the album that we’d named back in 1972. (Thereby hangs a tale!)

Here we are a few years on and, no thanks to Covid etc, the album – God’s Golfball - was subsequently released on the 7th April 2022 and is available on all good streaming media and for download from iTunes; Amazon etc.

Already plans are in motion to record a second group of songs for a forthcoming album Maybe even with a couple of guest musicians?

Time Will Tell. (Coincidentally, the title of one of the new songs!)

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Ian Hay

[Drums & Percussion] 

Ian The ‘old man’ of the band (born on 30th November 1955) in Durham City, I was living in Berwick upon Tweed and began learning the drums aged 12.
In 1969, I moved to Seaham, where I met up with Kevin at Seaham Secondary School and in early 1971, I discovered that Kevin had formed a band and they required a drummer. This led to the purchase of some ‘very cheap’ second hand drums and I joined Kevin, Tim and Colin, and the Blintz band was formed.

Rehearsals took place in the ‘Dun Cow Inn’ cellar in Seaton, and we soon honed our skills and played regularly in the North Eastern club circuit.
After the breakup of the Band, I played with a couple of local bands but never managed to recreate the adrenaline that came when playing with the Blintz Band!

I decided not to pursue a band career, but found out that as a resident ‘club drummer’ working with a resident keyboard player, backing the club ‘turns’, I could happily earn more cash over a weekend than in my day job. So the club drummer career continued until dear old HMRC came calling and demanded tax, that frankly, I didn’t have. The drums were sold to pay the tax man, and I embarked on a business career, never forgetting my roots, or The Blintz Band.

Roll on 43 years and an ‘out of the blue’ call from Kevin, led to a happy reunion, which has culminated in the production of God’s Golfball which was released on 7th April 2022.