Why We Love: #1, Coach & Horses Blues Jam

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Every Wednesday night it’s all narrow-brimmed feather-bedecked hats, perfectly turned-up jeans and lots of fancy footwear. Oh, and the music is ace too

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Coach and Horses blues night
Coach and Horses: blues night. Photo: CH
If it’s a Wednesday, we have been known to decide on a post-dinner nightcap at the Coach & Horses on Leyton High Road. A cutting edge beer and lagers selection may not be its selling point, but on the plus side it’s a darn sight cheaper than most boozers these days. And super-friendly, too.

But the real draw is the Tardis-like back room, a huge live music space with loud blues action rocking the capacity crowd. We can’t tell you exactly who was playing on our last visit (we were admittedly a bit squiffy) but the place was packed and everyone (us included) was having an excellent time. And – admittedly this is an aside – there was some very good accessorizing going on in the crowd too, which would rival anything you’ll see at London Fashion Week. We spotted narrow-brimmed feather-bedecked hats, perfectly turned-up jeans and lots of fancy footwear.

The weekly Blues Jam dates back to 2003 at the Heathcote Arms in Leytonstone, where it was established by the late Ray Bartrip, a highly respected hammond-player. But since 2010 it’s been firmly ensconced at the Coach and run by bassist supremo Terry Duggan and his wife Vera. And they know how to pull in the best players in the wider area.

Normal-looking boozer on the outside, tardis inside. Photo: SE
Normal-looking boozer on the outside, tardis inside. Photo: SE

But what is a blues jam for goodness’ sake, and how does it work? The rules are on the Coach & Horses Blues Jam website (which is very entertaining by the way, and the best place to go to find out the headliners ahead of time). In short, if you want to jam, turn left as you walk in. Vera will be there to relieve you of £1, at which point you tell her your (full) name and what you do (singer, guitarist, drummer, whatever).

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You’ll be assigned a group and when your turn comes you’ll get to play up to three numbers, led by an experienced player/singer. Jammers (bar keyboard players and drummers) need to come with their own instrument, cable(s) and tuner. If you simply want to be a spectator, it’s £2 in for three hours of aural pleasure, which has to be one of the best value nights out in Leyton.

So yes, we’ll be back very soon (probably a bit squiffy, as is our wont).

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Find The Coach & Horses at 391 Leyton High Road E10 5NA. 8.30pm – 11.30pm. Admission: £1 for jammers / £2 for audience. More info here
  • Show Comments

  • Hil Do

    Erm… this is Leyton – but nice to know about!

  • Phil Hardcastle

    It does say in the blurb on the left that it includes more than just Leytonstone, Hil. And as a born and bred Leytonian I’m glad to see it here.

  • Hil Do

    We are a bit sensitive you know Phil – someone told me they were already in Leytonstone the other day and they were actually a mile away in Leyton! So you can see the confusion it can cause… 😉

  • Leytonstoner

    If you actually read the website, and our About us section, you’ll understand what we’re trying to do.

  • Ben Smith

    Good to see this continuing, but I can’t help thinking the pub could be a hundred times better if sold to the right owners. Most of the time it looks stale and unfriendly. Still, will give the night a go soon.

  • ernie king

    DONT FORGET TO LOOK AT SLOMO947 ON YOUTUBETO SEE THE COACH AND HORSES JAM EVERY WEEK

  • Phil Hardcastle

    Yes, the borders between the two are downright confusing in places to be honest. Do a left and left out of Leyton tube station and apparently you’re in Leytonstone. Still feels like Leyton to me but what the hey.