AN evening of blues songs will be performed to help raise vital funds for the Ukraine appeal.

The Witham Public Hall is hosting An Evening of Essex Blues and will feature a double bill of bands Automatic Slim, and Martin McNeill’s Bottleneck Blues Trio.

Automatic Slim burst onto the Essex music scene in the 1980s playing great rocking rhythm and blues.

The band comprises Tim Aves on vocals and harmonica, Ian Cundy on guitar and vocals, Howard J Bills on bass and vocals, and Don Moore on drums.

Although they did disband once, thankfully they decided to get back together, and remain just as entertaining.

They now only play a handful of live gigs each year and have just released a new album Down by the Waterside which has received great reviews.

Martin McNeill is a slide guitarist and singer who is highly regarded by blues fans. 

Whilst rooted in traditional blues styles he is also influenced by vintage soul, jazz, and gospel, and his most recent CD, Sweet Soul Slide, features classic tunes such as Dock of the Bay, Rainy Night in Georgia, Dark End of the Street and My Girl as well as classic blues. 

Martin will be joined by Roy Webber on drums and J J Zarbo on double bass.

Public Hall volunteer Sue Knight said: “Like most people, I am very concerned about the events in Ukraine and wanted to do something to help the people that are suffering from the war. 

“I am a blues fan and therefore had the idea of organising a blues night at Witham Public Hall to raise funds for the DEC Ukraine Appeal. 

“Luckily two top Essex blues bands have agreed to play.

“Having read about other music events to raise funds for Ukraine we thought this would be a brilliant way for people to help the DEC Ukraine Appeal Fund whilst enjoying a fantastic evening of blues.”

The event is on Saturday, June 11, at 7.45pm, with doors opening at 7pm.

Tickets are £15 and are available from, with all proceeds going to the DEC Ukraine Appeal.