I’ve spent over 40 years as a promoter, an arts administrator, music librarian, record buyer, agent, writer, author, Mystic records employee, grant bid writer, copywriter, features editor, blues judge, reviewer, interviewer, broadcaster, blues DJ, stage manager, emcee, lyricist, songwriter and a band manager without port folio.
I’ve promoted over 50 venues in 7 countries, written or researched 4 books, 30 plus magazines, 3 brochures and penned 60 or more album liner notes.
I’ve appeared on TV, radio and received a European and UK Lifetime Achievement Awards for services to the blues and other awards* for my 2 radio shows on Get Ready To Rock Radio.
I discovered the blues via Muriel Young’s 5 O’ Club TV show which featured Alexis Korner Blues Inc, as the house band. Although primarily a Beatles fan, singles by The Pretty Things, John Lee Hooker, Big Bill Broonzy, Spencer Davis Group and albums by Jethro Tull (This Was) and Zappa’s Hot Rats led me to the blues.
The 1970 Nottingham Blues & Prog Festival with Family and Rory Gallagher was a seminal event for me, while Nottingham’s Colin Staples and Leicester’s Mick Pini kept the blues flame alive.
My first ever promotion was in June 73 with Welsh band Man in Nottingham, but a combination of further education and travel meant a stuttering start to my vague ambitions.
By the late 70’s The Falkoner Teatret in Copenhagen and a cutting edge bikers bar in the city’s Christiania commune gave me the experience of promoting, while Albert Collins ‘Ice Pickin’ and Alligator records provided a bluesy port in a post punk storm.
I moved to South East London in search of a “proper job, accepting a full time post with LB of Southwark libraries.
Former Salt local heroes Stevie Smith, Mick Clarke along with the late Steve Waller and Stan’s Blues Band (i.e. 9 Below Zero), fed my blues addiction.
A post-grad course in Ealing led to some short term BBC library contracts and then a job with LB of Hounslow, initially as a music librarian and then as an arts officer, as part of a groundbreaking ‘Outreach’ programme
I booked and marketed rock, blues, jazz, folk, fusion, Afro beat, world music, cabaret and talk shows in theatres, leisure centres, town halls, festivals and spent 7 years promoting the 600 capacity Feltham Rox, featuring early Walter Trout, Sherman Robertson & later Canned Heat shows etc...
I learn’t from promoters like Bill Kerr (Kings Head, Fulham), blues harp player Shaky Vic (100 Club) and George Blevings - 35 years at The Torrington N12 - who I later superseded for 12 years.
I wrote a music column in 3 local newspapers and became a contributing co-editor of Real Music and Sound Check magazines.
I freelanced for Capital M, Highly Strung, Classic Rock Blues, First Hearing, Jazz FM magazine, Music Week, Jazz Journal, British Blues Review, Rock & Reel, Folk Roots, Irish World, British Blues Connection (later Blues In Britain) and penned a few obits music for the Independent and The Guardian.
I later became Rock & Blues Features Editor for Get Ready To Rock.
In the mid 80’s I formed the Urban Rumour agency with Greg Upchurch, booked The Blues Burglars, Poormouth, Kokomo & established a European circuit including Paris’s La Locomotive club.
Books: Books on Family (Roger Chapman), Streetwalkers, Walter Trout, a chapter in Rock’s Diamond Year (Supernova Books)
Currently working on autobiog called “Waiting For The Walk Up.”
Significant Venues: The Shepherd’s Bush Bottom Line, the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Fairfield Halls Croydon and The Mean Fiddler in Harlesden.
I established The Boom Boom Club/Sutton Utd, (20+ years), The Stormy Monday Club at Bulls Head Barnes (20+ years), The Beaverwood club, Chislehurst (14), Worcester Park Club (8), Beards Blues, Tooting (5) - Joe Bonamassa’s 1st London shows.
Also The Torrington N12 (12 years), Rayners Hotel, Harrow (7 years ), The Half Moon’s in Herne Hill 8 years and Putney (4 years) Catford Blues club, Farnborough FC, The Cool Room, Croydon, Real Music Club N20, All Saints Arts Centre N12 , Astor Theatre in Deal Kent & occasionally The 100 Club, The Astoria & Borderline in London.
Festivals: I emceed the Skegness Rock and Blues stage (3 years 2014-16), Minehead Giants of Rock (2 years 2015-16) and the blues & Jazz stage at the 2014, 3 day Hop Farm, Kent.
Songwriting: Albums with Voodoo Ramble, Black Pearl, Zoe Schwarz & Blue Commotion, Mick Pini & Audio 54, Zed Mitchell, Marcus Flynn, The Sharpeez, and 3 singles with Feenstra And Simpson
In progress: Boris Zamba (Voodoo Ramble), Black Pearl (Marcus Malone & Muddy Manninen), Ivana Galic.
Link to Radio shows: https://getreadytorockradio.com/members/pete-feenstra/
*Awards: 2016 British Blues Awards - Lifetime Achievement award
2016 European Blues Awards - European Blues Awards
2019 Best Radio Show award
2021 UK Blues Federation / UK Blues Awards UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year
2021 & 2022 Wrinkly Rockers - Best Rock & Blues Podcast