Bootleg Blondie 2019


Photo credit: Tim Hale

Clem Burke and Bootleg Blondie (CBBB) completed their mini-tour of the UK between 18th January – 4th February 2019.


The line up included: Clem Burke (Drums)


Debbie Harris (Lead vocals)


Andy Harris (Lead guitar and vocals)


Sam Coates (Keyboards)


Mike Higson (Bass Guitar)


The whole band (Sam, Mike, Clem, Debbie and Andy … spot Clem’s drum stick!).


The band were expertly supported by Simon Taylor (sound engineer)


James Wheeler (Drum technician)


The band and crew (Simon, Debbie, Clem, Andy, Sam, Mike and James)


The band and crew travelled ‘old style‘ with Andy’s Taxis covering ~2,900 miles.

On arrival everyone adopted a ‘roadie‘ persona and lugged equipment into the venue.

 When on the road you have to grab every chance to catch up with the basics … such as washing your clothes. Clem taking advantage of the washing facilities at ‘The Brook’ (Southampton).


Prior to stepping on stage musicians often combine physical and mental routines aimed at enhancing their ‘live‘ performance. Clem typically enjoys going for a walk about 60 minutes prior to each gig, before focusing on combining whole body exercises with fine motor drumming skills.

A vital component of Clem’s physical warm up is the practice of drumming rudiments. Always inspirational to practice using a drum pad autographed by a legendary drummer – in this case Dominic Joseph ‘D.J.’ Fontana – long time drummer for Elvis Presley.

Let the show begin … did you know that immediately prior to stepping on stage your body experiences a hormone rush that is often labelled the ‘flight or fight response‘. The challenge is to ‘embrace the opportunity‘ to perform rather than suffer ‘stage fright‘ through anxiety and uncertainty.


Emotion is all part of watching a band play ‘live‘. Watching a world class performer enjoying their craft is awesome.


So when you look at the picture below, what comes into your mind? Drop us a message via the ‘Contact Us‘ page to discuss all things related to drumming.


Visual cues on stage between performers is key to having a ‘tight’ band. Clem is forever mixing up the structure of the songs … just to keep Andy on his toes!!


The word ‘flow‘ is often used to describe a mental state in which optimal performance is made possible. In a musician it may be triggered by positive feelings associated with a particular song due to it’s personal significance.


Is there any better feeling than having your talent recognised by an appreciative and knowledgeable audience?


Playing is so much more gratifying when your having fun.


View from the drum kit … without doubt the energy from the audience plays a key role in encouraging musicians to give of their best. The crowds attending CBBB Tour 2019 were awesome and did not go home disappointed.


Playing the drums like Clem is physically demanding. Time spent in the gym and running are used to supplement the hours of drumming specific practice required to play with such dynamism.


Often a back and white photo focuses your brain to pick out different parts of an image. For the first time I’m drawn to Clem’s grip of the sticks.


Playing ‘live‘ … nothing like it.

Power‘, ‘passion‘ and ‘pleasure‘ … perhaps this is why Clem always appears so content when siting behind his drum kit.


Debbie’s signature ‘DEBBIE DOES …’ black bin liner, complete with name of host destination. A prized possession for any Bootleg Blondie fan.


Revisit the Blondie back catalogue and you will see the level of detail put into each song by Debbie Harris. Phenomenal.


What a thrill, singing ‘Heart of Glass‘, accompanied by Clem Burke                        (aka, ‘Doctor of Rock!‘).


Confidence is key when performing a role. This comes from hours of practice, dedication and talent.


Just love this image. It’s not just about singing the songs. It’s also about stage presence.


The challenge for the lead vocalist is to protect the vocal chords, especially when playing so many gigs in a relatively short space of time. However, sometimes you’ve just got to let rip!!


There are so many words I could use to describe this photo … my choice is ‘CHEMISTRY‘, as the relationship between them is fantastic!


Not easy playing lead guitar when Clem keeps changing the chord sequences!


… or perhaps the word I should have used is ‘HARMONY’! (great photo).


Every musician enjoys their moment in the limelight. Well deserved for an incredibly hard working and talented guitar player.


Authentic Debbie Harry and Clem Burke signature on Andy’s guitar. Did you know that Andy hand built the guitar Debbie plays in the song Union City Blue (based on the original).


Connection between Debbie, Andy and the audience is always a highlight of the Bootleg Blondie shows.


To give CBBB the Blondie sound it was great having Sam and Mike, contributing keyboards and bass guitar, respectively.


When listening to Sam play the early Blondie songs you appreciate how important keyboards were in defining the Blondie sound.


The use of technology is really important when learning new song arrangements in a very limited time.


The backbone of any band is the bass guitar and drums. Great understanding between Mike and Clem throughout the Parallel Lines album (part 1) and Blondie covers (part 2).


Great fun playing bass guitar to some of the greatest hits in popular music.


The lights go on and the crowd scream for more … best feeling ever!


Thank you CBBB!


Let’s do it all again tomorrow night!


Time to break the kit down and get it in the van.


… but before we go .. let’s meet and greet …

This tour was FUN …

Until next time …

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