The Blue Bishops

The official site of the Blue Bishops, the UK Rock and Blues band.

Jim Rodford 1941-2018

February 5th, 2018 by admin

It’s not often enough that we update our website. So it’s sad that what’s forced me into doing something I should, in this day and age, do very regularly, is the loss of Jim Rodford.  I simply cannot let the passing of such a great friend, man and musician, without saying something on behalf of his former bandmates in The Blue Bishops.

I approach this task with a heavy heart.

I simply can’t believe we have lost our great friend and former band member. One of the finest payers and nicest guys I have ever met. His enthusiasm, encouragement and musical talent have made a huge contribution to The Blue Bishops. And his friendship and humour have been part of the essence of what playing together in a band is all about. This is a very sad time for me and the band and it’s all come as a real shock.  There has been a massive outpouring of love, affection and appreciation across the world, in the press, on TV and over the internet.  Every reference consistently says what a wonderful guy Jim was.  And they’re all true. So there’s not much I can add other than to say, just like everyone else, you couldn’t meet a nicer guy. We miss him and our thoughts go out to his family.

R.I.P. Jim.

Blue Bishops at the BBC 23 May 2011 014

Geoff Grange, Jim Rodford, Justin Hildreth and Simon Burrett . The Blue Bishops at the Crawdaddy.

jim and geoff

Surprise Surprise…

November 11th, 2015 by admin

Surprise surprise…One of our rare blogs appears out of the woodwork. A slightly lop-sided one on the typing front (from my end anyway) as the reason we have been off the scene for while is to give my right hand time to recover from a carpal tunnel operation. No big deal really, except I have been ‘off games’ on the guitar for some weeks and we have had to postpone the first date we thought we would be back. However, it is healing and I am allowed 15 minutes playing a day for the moment as I build up to proper playing form. So with the mending process progressing I am very happy to announce our first date back.

On Thursday 3 December, 8pm, we will be at The Retreat, 8 St. John’s Street, Reading, Berks RG1 4EH.

Please come along if you can. Our special guests for the event will be the extremely talented Matthew Jones on drums, coming all the way from Bristol to join in. And our old pal and frequent member of the band, Russ (son of Jim) Rodford, on bass. While Russ has joined us on many an occasion across the country, Matt has played less frequently, but in line-ups that included Jim Rodford and, going even further back, Martin Turner. This promises to be a blast – and I can assure everyone we will have some surplus energy to let rip after a long lay-off.


Looking forward to seeing you!


It’s Been a While…

September 19th, 2014 by admin

Back with our old bass player Martin Turner, Simon, Justin, Geoff and Mike Rivers of the Crawdaddy

Ok. Quite a long while really. And quite eventful.

So first, apologies for the fact that, as the designated blogger I, Simon, have neglected my post for a long time. No excuses. Except maybe the usual stuff of time/gigs/holidays/family/sickness etc etc. The fact is that, while I welcome the instantaneous sense of connection we all get from the web, I always dip in with a sense of trepidation that it’s the tip of an iceberg that may mean I am spending all day looking at a screen of some sort or another, rather than the world around me as I get on with my life. But you, the loyal Blue Bishops friends, family, fans, stalkers, groupies, members, past members, depping members, physicians and therapists, deserve better. So…in the future, I will try and keep you more up-to-date.

In the meantime, let’s fill in some gaps. Many of you will have seen Voyager’s founder, Chris Hook, and more recently, Russ Rodford (son of our regular bassist, Jim), joining us onstage for recent gigs. Both of them are highly talented players in their own right and I hope, as we do, that they feel as much a part of the band as Jim does. The reason for needing deps to help out is the fantastic success the Zombies have been having over the last couple of years. Long-term Blue Bishops followers will know Jim divides his time between a lot of projects, not least of which is his role with Rod Argent (who played some cracking stuff on our ‘In the Red’ album) in the Zombies. Last year alone they did 2 Stateside tours, a tour in Japan, a European tour, a trip to Russia and a UK tour. So while he is back with us for some more dates soon, he is one busy man.

On the live music front we have been having a great time playing in different places, to different people, and having a ball meeting up with old friends and making new ones. In the current music climate where it’s so difficult for promoters and venues to keep their heads above water we have nothing but admiration for the effort that goes into every gig. And of course, we have nowhere to go without the fans who turn out, whatever the weather or economic climate, and put back the energy we give out by joining in the fun that can only happen when music is not just live, but ‘alive.’

So, whoever and wherever you are, thanks for coming back to these pages. Let’s hope I can make a visit once in a while, worthwhile, with news and updates of what we are up to.

In the meantime, you can look forward to some new material at gigs, as we work up the new numbers, bit by bit. And some more recent photos as they come in. We plan to record again as soon as we have selected the songs and put them through their paces. Long-term Blue Bishops followers will know that, with us, it can take time. But there’s no point in doing it until it feels right.

Meanwhile, ‘In the Red’ is still available at gigs and we are immensely proud of the album, and the performances our amazing guests Rod and John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick who are both a privilege to work with. Not to mention the efforts of two legends on the other side of the recording desk. John Leckie and Stu Epps.

So…in the meantime, watch this space. And keep checking the gig dates and venues.

Let’s rock.


Blue Bishops. The Crawdaddy. 2nd March

February 28th, 2012 by admin
Jim, Simon, Geoff and Justin

Blue Bishops outside the Crawdaddy

In the 50th anniversary year of the club that launched the Stones, Yardbirds, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and so many of the stars who went on to invade America in the British Blues Boom, the Crawdaddy re-opens at the site it was relocated to when the Station Hotel in Richmond simply couldn’t handle the crowds.  On friday 2nd March [doors open 7.30]  the re-opening will take place in the very spot at the Richmond Rugby Club where so many careers took off. And we are honoured to have been asked to play the gig.

BBC Session

May 31st, 2011 by admin

A great session, with Rabbit along on keyboards. Words Left Unsaid from our ‘deep’ album and Blues Stand in Line, Credit Card and The Black Diamond from ‘In the Red.’ Broadcast will be on Paul Jones’ Show,BBC Radio 2, 7pm to 8pm, Monday 6th June.

Rab, Geoff and Si

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