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Legendary artists on the BluesFest bill


HALL AND OATES, R’n’B band The Doobie Brothers, legendary hitmakers Chic and Nile Rodgers and 10- time Grammy Award-winning singer Chaka Khan return to The O2 in London for the BluesFest showcase this month.

The festival has also confirmed that a previously announced concert from Steely Dan, whose co-founding member Walter Becker passed away last month, will proceed as scheduled.

The band are lined up to close the festival on a double bill with The Doobie Brothers on Sunday, October 29. Addressing the passing of his friend and former band mate, Donald Fagen said in a recent statement that he vowed to keep the music playing in honour of Becker.

“Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967,” Fagen said. “We started writing nutty little tunes on an upright piano in a small sitting room in the lobby of Ward Manor, a mouldering old mansion on the Hudson River that the college used as a dorm.

“We liked a lot of the same things: jazz (from the ‘20s through the mid- 60s), WC Fields, the Marx Brothers, science fiction, Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Berger, and Robert Altman films come to mind. Also soul music and Chicago blues.”

He added: “Walter had a very rough childhood – I’ll spare you the details. Luckily, he was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter. He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny.

“Like a lot of kids from fractured families, he had the knack of creative mimicry, reading people’s hidden psychology and transforming what he saw into bubbly, incisive art."

“He used to write letters (never meant to be sent) in my wife Libby’s singular voice that made the three of us collapse with laughter. “His habits got the best of him by the end of the ‘70s, and we lost touch for a while. In the ‘80s, when I was putting together the NY Rock and Soul Review with Libby, we hooked up again, revived the Steely Dan concept and developed another terrific band. I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band.”

The full line-up is as follows:

Friday, October 27
Chic feat. Nile Rodgers plus special guest Chaka Khan, The O2 Arena; Jack Savoretti, Indigo at The O2

Saturday, October 28
Daryl Hall & John Oates plus special guest Chris Isaak, The O2 Arena; Gov’t Mule and Kenny Wayne Shep- herd Band plus support from JD and The Straight Shot, Indigo at The O2

Sunday, October 29
Steely Dan plus special guests The Doobie Brothers, The O2 Arena

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