Dennis Greaves forms Stan’s Blues Band with bassist Pete Clark, drummer
Kenny Bradley and Harmonica player Mark Feltham.
1978 Stan’s Blues Band play the London pub circuit and start to
develop a strong reputation as an excellent live act.
1979 A tape of a live concert, recorded at The Apples & Pears pub in
Bermondsey, starts to earn the band bookings at London’s credible club
venues. The band find management after a blistering show at The Thomas A
Beckett pub, and a change of name comes swiftly, one that preserves the
Blues flavour and in tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson, the guys adopt one
of his song titles and are renamed Nine Below Zero.
1980 Nine Below Zero release the ’Pack Fair and Square’ EP. Shortly
afterward, the band sign to A&M Records and are able to give up their
day jobs. March 1980 sees Mickey ’Stix’ Burkey replace Kenny Bradley on
drums. On July 16th, Nine Below Zero release their first album, ëLive At
The Marquee and Derek Green head of A&M Records says I have booked the
Hammersmith Odeon for a headline gig in three months time. They sell it
out with special guest Alexis Korner and the support act was Jools
Throughout 1980 the band takes just one week off.
1981 Recording sessions for their second album ’Don’t Point Your
Finger’ - their first studio album produced by the legendary Glyn Johns,
who says they are the best he has seen since The Who. The album enters
the charts twice, remaining there in all for five weeks. The band play
tours dates supporting The Who (after Kenny Jones saw them in the
studio) & The Kinks. In June 1981 the band part company with bassist
Pete Clark, who is replaced by Brian Bethall. Towards the end of the
year Nine Below Zero record TV appearances for ’The Old Grey Whistle
Test’, the ’South Bank Show’.
1982 Nine Below Zero start recording a new album at Glyn John’s
studio in West Sussex. The classic ’11+11’ is written during these
sessions. Nine Below Zero make their legendary appearance on the very
first-ever episode of The Young Ones, performing ’11+11’. This recording
of this new album is completed under the production ears of Simon
Boswell and becomes ’Third Degree’. Probably the most under-rated Nine
Below Zero album, Third Degree does not deliver the progress the band is
expecting and results in a ’time out’ for the band.
1983- 1989 Dennis Greaves forms ’The Truth’ and this keeps him busy
for the remainder of the eighties, including a Top 5 R&B hit in the US
charts. Mark Feltham, having earned a high reputation as a harmonica
player, enters the session world and quickly establishes himself with
some amazing credits.
1990 After some serious persuasion from various sources, a 10th
Anniversary gig is announced at The Town and Country Club in October.
The gig sells out and another gig is subsequently announced. Gerry
McAvoy and Brendan O’Neill are in the process of leaving Rory
Gallagher’s band and, through Mark Feltham, hear that Dennis is looking
for a rhythm section to complete the line-up for the new Nine Below
Zero. The chemistry is tested and the results are explosive. The public
welcomes back Nine Below Zero with open arms and a sell-out UK tour
takes place in December.
1991 Nine Below Zero sign to China Records and ’On The Road Again’, a
significant and apt title, is recorded and released in April. Tour after
tour continues for the rest of the year, establishing Nine Below Zero as
a force in the UK once again, and earning them high regard in Europe.
1992 Mark Feltham himself takes a ëtime outí and Alan Glen, who has
previously played with
Johnny Winter and
Albert Collins, fills the gap. As the touring continues, another
album called ’Off the Hook’ is released on China Records, garnering rave
1993 The band secures the support slot for Sting on his European
1994 With a diary full of live dates and healthy record sales, all
the hard work is starting to pay-off. The bandís reputation has reached
the ears of Eric Clapton who has loved what heís heard. Nine Below Zero
are invited by Eric to open for him at The Royal Albert Hall, playing
The Whole ëTwelve Nightsí and going down a storm. In the audience at one
of these ëTwelve Nightsí concerts is Sting, who loves the band so much
he signs them to his newly formed record company, Pangea Records,
distributed through A&M. After this, long-time Nine Below Zero fan Ray
Davies books the band for his UK tour, which includes a date at Wembley
Arena. Following these dates, Brian May invites the band to play six
shows during his UK solo tour. October and November 1994 sees the band
touring America and Canada with Alannah Miles &
Lee, promoting their U.S. album ’Hot Music for A Cold Night’.
1995 Alan Glen leaves the band due to the heavy touring commitments.
Alan is replaced by Billy Boy Miskimmin, from Ireland.
1996 Nine Below Zero release a new album, ëIce Station Zebro’. With
several tracks co-written with Nik Kershaw, the album is regarded as the
best they have recorded up to this point. Nine Below Zero headline many
festivals across Europe and, finally, get the chance to headline The
Colne British Blues Festival. Towards the end of the year Nine Below
Zero receive an invitation from Bruce Willis to play with him at Planet
Hollywood in London after the premiere of ëTwelve Monkeysí.
1997 ñ Nine Below Zero form their own record company called Zed
1998 ñ The year starts with a tour of Bangladesh. Working with The
British Council, this was a truly memorable experience for the band. The
band takes to their task as ambassadors & blues representatives very
well, making a lot of friends along the way. Even in Dacca people want
to learn how to play Hideaway like
Freddie King! The band then start work on the ’Refrigerator’ album
and record a single for the first National Curry Day with Indian artist
1999 - The band successfully negotiate with A&M Records to license
their back catalogue to Zed Records, culminating with the release of
’Live at the Marquee’ on CD for the first time in October 1999. The band
finishes recording and mixing the ’Refrigerator’ album.
2000 ñ The band spends The Whole year touring ëRefrigeratorí. This
album has eleven self-penned songs and is critically acclaimed by MOJO
Magazine. The band celebrates the 20th anniversary of ëLive at the
Marqueeí with two shows at The Thomas a Beckett pub, where they started
their career. Mark Feltham plays both nights and the shows are
2000 ’Don’t Point Your Finger’ is released for the first time on CD.
2001 ‘Third Degree’ is released early in the year. This sees the
completion of ëThe A&M yearsí released on CD. Significantly, Mark
Feltham rejoins Nine Below Zero after the success of The Thomas a
Beckett concerts in London. The definitive band is now back together
again and concert tours, festival appearances, and interview requests
start to flood in. The band then work constantly for the best part of
the next seventeen months.
2002 - 2003 The ON THE ROAD AGAIN DVD is filmed and recorded in
Wilbarston, England and is released in May, complete with interviews and
a full two-hour concert. In addition, the band release an acoustic album
called ëChilledí. Recorded over a two week period in deepest Hampshire,
the album was produced by Stephen Smith, with Paul McCartney and
Pretenders guitarist Robbie McIntosh adding some background guitar to
Dennis Greavesí already weeping blues guitar. Nine Below Zero then set
off around Europe to tour the album, with rave following them on the
exhausting touring schedule they have embarked upon.
2004 As Nine Below Zero fulfil the dream of playing one of Europe’s
greatest blues festivals, PISTOIA BLUES, in Italy. Dennis and
MAYALL chat away backstage with
LEE and Steve Winwood, as
headlines the following night. NBZ are to later meet up again with
MAYALL at the BANDOL blues festival in France. Before the year is out,
Nine Below Zero recorded a truly analogue blues record, where the guys
literally take off their hats to some of the great blues artists they
love so much. The record is recorded in KONK studios London, owned by
RAY DAVIES of The Kinks, who regularly pops in to see his old mate
Dennis to see how the project is going. The resulting record is aptly
named ëHATS OFFí, and yet again, the band takes off with contributors
BEN WATERS and PETE WINGFIELD on the subsequent shows around Europe.
2005 One of the highlights of the year is two sold-out shows at The
100 Club in Oxford Street, London. PETE WINGFIELD of The Everly Brothers
and Albert Lee fame has become such good friends with the band that he
has became an unofficial 5th member whenever the situation warrants some
classic blues piano. Tours in SERBIA, SLOVENIA, MACEDONIA, and CROATIA
take the blues to places that have been starved of touring artists for a
long time. Nine Below Zero are by now regarded as a truly international
2006 Sights and Sounds Vol. 1 is released, which includes many rare
video & TV appearances the band have made during their career, and comes
complete with an accompanying CD of live tracks. The rest of 2006 sees
the band touring extensively throughout Europe.
2007 Nine Below Zero film two acoustic concerts at Rheged in
Lancashire, UK. The results are worked on over many months to produce
the DVD Bring It On Home, and including a live CD, which has by now
become a tradition of the band. Bring It On Home is eventually released
in the autumn of 2007 after a successful but exhausting summer festival
season. Rave reviews for the DVD followed, along with a sold out G.A.S.
tour. On one of the dates to promote Bring It On Home, Gary Moore sits
in with the band.
2008 The year starts in fine fashion, with the band being asked by
special request to open the show for the legendary Chuck Berry at The
100 Club on Oxford Street. The band also starts work on a forthcoming
original CD, It’s Never Too Late!, the first collection of new songs
since Refrigerator. In between recording sessions, the band plays a
string of festival dates, including The Colne British Blues Festival.
2009 The band prepares to release ëItís Never Too Lateí, while taking
in shows across the UK and Europe. The band also start working towards a
special concert to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of
their debut album, Live At the Marquee.