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Kim Wilson
Interview by Julien Joyce

The Fabulous Thunderbirds are heading for the UK to play two dates in the run-up to the release of their latest album. I caught up with the band during the European leg of their tour to discover what’s in store for London blues fans.

"Expect the unexpected!" - that’s Kim Wilson’s message to fans in the run-up to the band’s gig at the 100 Club, Oxford Street on 5 June.

"This band of mine - they could go in any direction. A set-list is something we don’t do, so I guess you’re going to hear anything and everything at this show. I can’t tell you what you’ll see; it’s going to be a surprise to me as well."

Kim and rest of the Thunderbirds are enjoying a substantial Polish breakfast ("dumplings in lard!") before tonight’s gig in the Baltic town of Gdynia. Over a crackling mobile phone, the blues-harp player some critics have described as the world’s finest living, reveals an infectious enthusiasm for his new line-up - the latest coalescence in a Thunderbirds history stretching back nearly four decades.

"I've talked up a lot of bands and I’ve had a lot of variation with bands," he says. "But I've gotta tell you this is a band that I really want to keep. They are very creative. It’s the first time in 37 years that I have actually had people that truly think like a real band. I’m really thrilled with these guys - like I said they could go in any direction."

He gives BluesInLondon the scoop on the band’s new album – it will be titled The Fabulous Thunderbirds and it's due for release later this summer. "We're very pleased with it. The sound’s a little more contemporary, but it's still pretty bare-bones. There's not a lot of production, not a lot of gimmicks."

BluesInLondon readers can judge for themselves by heading over to the band’s MySpace site where they’ll find some special track previews.

And advance copies of the new album will be available when the T-birds play the famous 100 Club later this week for the first time.

Says Kim about the iconic venue: "I know it’s got a big history, which is great. I love rooms like that."

And he loves playing in front of UK audiences too. "You're our allies, right? It doesn't matter how much we fuck up, we’re still friends!"

Come back to this site soon, for a review of the 100 Club gig, a taste of the new T-birds CD and a full post-gig interview with one of blues' most gifted and hard-working performers.

Other fabulous Fabulaous Thunderbirds stuff on Bluesinlondon:

2007 Mean Fiddler gig review >>
2005 Mean Fiddler gig review >>


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