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Mike Whellans at Edinburgh Folk Club / EFC
The Pleasance Cabaret Bar
Edinburgh United Kingdom
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Mike Whellans at Edinburgh Folk Club / EFC
MIKE WHELLANS is the real thing, a keeper of the one-man blues band flame that burned so passionately in the work of this highly specialized forms masters, including Doctor Isaiah Ross, Jesse Fuller and Whellans great British forerunner, Tony Duster Bennett.

Like all true bluesmen and women, when Whellans sings and plays, he means it. He can set a scene of darkness and foreboding as the Boogie Man lurks, play twelve-string guitar in the grand driving blues tradition to propel his Winding Track, and sing of hugging his babys deserted pillow so that you really feel his loss.

Born in the Scottish Borders, Mike began his musical life in the late 1950s/early 1960s playing his father's drum kit. By age 14 he was playing in local dance bands before turning professional in 1969.

In the early 1970s, he teamed up with Aly Bain, the brilliant and renowned traditional fiddler from the Shetland Islands, and for four years toured the UK, Europe, USA, and Canada, showing off his ability for playing amazingly clean and crisp flat-pick guitar behind Aly's fiddle. He was also a founder member of the Irish/Scottish line-up of The Boys of the Lough, but he was always drawn towards the blues and he left the band after a year to forge his own musical path.

In the 1980's and 1990's, Mike lived in Denmark and toured all over Scandinavia, Germany and the Low Countries, as well as working back home in the UK touring solo and turning out with those madcap Scottish musos, The Vindscreen Vipers Skiffle Group (Tich Frier, Bill Nolan, Malky McCormack and the late Danny Kyle) and the Block Bros Blues Band from Edinburgh.

Mike's returned to Scotland in the early 2000's, working as Scotland's premier one-man blues band - with his guitars, mouth-harps, vocals and drum-kit - and of course his show-stopping, beatboxing 'vocal percussion'.

If youre already familiar with Whellans, youll know to expect a fired up and ready one man blues band explosion. But if this is your introduction, prepare to hear a talent whos not only his own man as a singer, guitarist and ace blues harpist, hes his own rhythm section, too.


Most recently from three gigs Mike did in Cumbria in November 2017, some unsolicited and unattributable audience members' comments ... "Very talented and versatile guy ... "Quirky, range of skills, great entertainment ... "consummate skill ... fantastic, amazing ... brilliant music, very talented man, good interaction with the audience.

From Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme (Aug 2017): "Acoustic Music Centre sell-out 2011 to 2014 (inc)! Winnner -"Best Act" Mettman Blues Week 2008 (Germany). Unashamedly good rockin' 12-bar blues on 6/12-string guitars (accurately picked at eye-watering speed), mouth-harps (Mike just packs 'em with great music and blows it at you), and a wee tottie drum-kit. Hear his show-stopping vocal percussion; a veritable tour de force. Mike sings, plays drums, writes songs, plus seems to have boundless energy -that's what it's all about: energy! The most dynamic one-man blues band around the Forth delta. There's one guy on-stage, but close your eyes ...it's Mike Whellans Band!"

'...packing a blinding array of material into these 53 minutes. The breathless rush as riff follows boogie on it's way to feelgood factor is often exhilarating... Engaging, well-crafted & rockin', the album's a blast throughout.'
Living Tradition, reviewing 'Fired-Up & Ready, Nov 2008

'If he was American he would probably be hailed as a folk hero and ride to gigs in the back of a freight train. ...a man that knows his craft and really puts his heart, soul and everything into his blues.' Fatea, reviewing 'Fired-Up & Ready, Sept 2008

'...one of Scotland's heroes, a bluesman of amazing ability...a totally brilliant one man band.' Mike Harding, preview of 'Fired-Up & Ready', BBC Folk & Acoustic Website Sept 2008

'... Britain's foremost 'one-man' blues band...An uplifting album by a Scottish master'
Scotland on Sunday, reviewing 'Fired-Up & Ready', Oct 2008


The Pleasance Cabaret Bar (View)
60 Pleasance
Edinburgh EH8 9TJ
United Kingdom


Music > All Ages
Music > Blues

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!



Becca R.
EDINBURGH United Kingdom
Dec 13, 2017 8:26 AM
Brian M.
EDINBURGH United Kingdom
Dec 13, 2017 8:26 AM
Calum M.
EDINBURGH United Kingdom
Dec 13, 2017 8:26 AM
Andy L.
Edinburgh United Kingdom
Nov 06, 2017 8:04 AM
Jean H.
Edinburgh United Kingdom
Nov 06, 2017 8:04 AM

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