Hard-rocking blues guitarist Popa Chubby is heading for Derbyshire.
Popa and his band will perform at The Flowerpot, Derby, for the first time on Thursday, January 26.
Over the course of a career that dates back to 1994, Popa has been a force to be reckoned with on the guitar.
An imposing figure with a shaven head, tattooed arms, a goatee and a performance style he describes as “the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motörhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson.”
A native New Yorker, his first gigs were in the punk scene as a guitarist for what he reflects was a “crazy Japanese special effects performance artist in a kimono called Screaming Mad George who had a horror-movie inspired show.”
Right from the start he was immersed in rock ‘n’ roll as theatre, and learned from George and others playing CBGB’s at the time that included the Ramones, the Cramps, Richard Hell, whose band, the Voidoids he joined that rock ‘n’ roll should be dangerous. He said: “Musicians like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols weren’t just bands. They were a threat to society.”
The blues, however, were the foundation of his playing style. He said: “Since I’d grown up on Hendrix, Cream and Led Zeppelin, when I started playing blues in New York clubs I understood that the blues should be dangerous, too. It wasn’t just from playing in punk bands. Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters were dangerous men. They’d cut or shoot you if they thought it was necessary, and Little Walter packed a gun and wouldn’t hesitate to use it. That danger is a real part of the Blues and I keep it alive in my music.”
Popa Chubby is his own man for better or worse. He said: “I’m living in a wild time, and that is where the inspiration is drawn from. There are my issues, but the picture is much bigger than me and my situation. Everything is breaking down in the world. The lines are being redefined. We all need something.”
Tickets for Popa’s gig at The Flowerpot cost £12. To book, call 01332 834438 or visit www.rawpromo.co.uk