George Shovlin first performed publicly while at college in 1970, at the college folk club and he went on to be an important member of the North East Folk Club circuit for over 15 years as performer and organizer. This involvement resulted in George establishing himself as one of the outstanding blues performers in the region, including supporting American blues legends Doctor Ross, Dave ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards, Cousin Joe Pleasant, George GP Jackson, Eddie ‘Guitar’ Burns, as well as British legends Jo-Anne and Dave Kelly and Isaac Guillory. .
George replaced Ray Stubbs in Pigmeat in the late ‘70s, and played with the band for two years. In the early ‘80s he teamed up with local blues harmonica hero, Jim Bullock and formed the seminal blues duo ‘The Biscuit Kings’. After playing throughout the North East for nearly ten years the duo broke up and George went on to form the George Shovlin Band
First played together in 1995. This band consisted of lead guitarist George Lamb. A veteran of the North East blues-rock scene, George first came to prominence in the 1970s as a member of the hugely successful North East-based ‘Southbound’. He went on to play with various bands and do considerable session work. This included recording with Jimmy Nail, writing a hit for Kiki Dee, and playing in the Eurythmics support band for their last world tour. Bassist Stu Burlison played in the 70s band ‘Gin House’, supporting Free, The Who, Genesis and David Bowie, amongst others. He was a member of the legendary North East band ‘Brass Alley’, whose drummer, Pick Withers, went on to join Dire Straits.
The Shovlins quickly established themselves as one of the leading blues bands in the North East, an area renowned for producing excellent blues performers and bands. This line-up played high profile gigs – supporting Canned Heat, John Mayhall,( a two night support, followed by George doing a solo support for the John Mayall Band), Savoy Brown, the original Blues Brothers, Walter Trout, Roger Chapman and Coco Montoya, amongst others. They featured as guests on the Tyne Tees Television Arts programme @theLive, excerpts of which are available on YouTube. Their debut CD 'Got Blues if You Want it….'(Mystic Records) has re-emerged as a highly sought-after blues recording.
After a hugely successful performance at the Stanley Blues Festival in 2005 the band went their separate ways. But in February 2014 George Shovlin, George Lamb and Stu Burlison reformed the band. In this band, Ian Hamilton has been replaced on drums by Kev Scott. Kev, who was a founder member of the important Sunderland-based 'Smalltown Heroes', with whom he released two albums and five singles, has also toured with the Jeff Healy band, Stranglers, Little Angels, Terrorvision, Thunder, the Beat, the Dammed and Erasure, amongst others, played all over the world as drummer in the Toy Dolls and has gigged most of the big music venues in Britain and Europe, as well as doing significant studio work. He is an excellent addition to the band and brings great depth and experience to their sound.
It is this band, which is now ‘George Shovlin and the Radars’
The band has been re-invigorated by the break in their career. Although always remaining friends, each member needed space and time after a busy, but not always well-rewarded 10 years. But they are back now, with a hunger, excitement and ambition to become the most powerful British blues band to emerge for years.