Tribute band to legendary rocker set to play South Shields gig

The legendary blues-rock music of Paul Kossoff is heading to South Shields.
The Band Plays On.The Band Plays On.
The Band Plays On.

Tribute band, The Band Plays On, is set to wow crowds when they perform a home gig at the Customs House next Saturday.

Paul Kossoff, was the lead guitar prodigy who lit up 1970s rock band Free.

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Hailed as one of Britain’s finest guitarists, Paul was widely celebrated for his music and was even ranked 51 in Rolling Stone magazines ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’.

He tragically died in 1976 after a drugs battle aged just 25. But his legacy lives on with tribute band The Band Plays On, who celebrate his music and keep his memory alive.

Now forty years on since his death the band - which features South Shields performer Terry Slesser - is getting set to for the gig at the end of the month.

The performance will close their eight-date UK tour which kicked off in London on Thursday, March 8, and has taken in venues including Manchester and Leicester.

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Slesser, who was the lead vocalist of Koss’s post-Free band, Back Street Crawler, is joined by guitarist John Buckton, who is regarded by many as the finest interpreter of Kossoff’s wailing blues-rock playing.

The band features the very best of Free’s back catalogue and also Back Street Crawler’s two-album sojourn.

And its name is fittingly also the name of Back Street Crawlers’ first album with Kossoff from 1975.

Highlights include Free’s world-wide hit and rock anthem All Right Now, Fire and Water, as well as crowd pleaser The Hunter and Molten Gold - one of the first tracks Slesser and Kossoff played together with Back Street Crawler.

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Slesser said: “We’ve had a great spring tour around the country taking in venues from Manchester to London, the Potteries to East Anglia but we are delighted to bring it to a climax at The Customs House.

“It is great we can keep my old friend Koss’s music alive with this great band.”

Buckton was paid the ultimate tribute by Ex-Free and Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, who said: “If Free were to reform, John would be my first choice as guitarist.”

Slesser added: “This is no mere tribute band.

“I was honoured to call Paul Kossoff a friend and in John Buckton, I have the perfect ally, as he does a great job capturing Koss’s tone and feel on guitar.”

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Also included in the line-up is drummer Clive Edwards, Sunderland bassist Rick Hunt and highly respected keyboard player Dave Chapman.

Tickets are £17.50. To book online visit:

Alternatively call the box office on: 0191 454 1234.