BLUES rock outfit Mama-Sang and The Robot have been away from the live scene for the past year, but a massive summer booking has sparked them back into action.

The trio, whose members hail from Whitehaven and Egremont, have landed their first gig outside of Cumbria, playing at the prestigious Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne in August - the highlight in what is shaping up to be a big summer for the band.

"We have been away for a year due to our drummer - my dad - going for an operation early last year," says guitarist and vocalist Ryan Burns.

"We thought he would be back in action sooner than he was, so had booked in gigs all over the country - sadly these had to be cancelled, but we hope to get them all re-booked this year.

"We were asked to use a stand-in drummer but it wouldn't of been the same.

"I think Colne will be great - it’s a place we have always wanted to play, the whole town is taken over by blues fans and last year attracted 20,000 people. We played a gig with one of the organisers, Paddy Maguire, a few years ago in Whitehaven, and he contacted me to book us for Colne.

"I obviously snapped his hand off and it seems to have re-lit that flame for playing live again."

With drummer Arthur Burns back fighting fit, and Steven Butler picking back up on bass, Mama-Sang and The Robot are determined to make 2018 the biggest in their seven-year history.

Cumbrian festival outings at Aspatria Music Festival, Lowther Fest, Silloth Music and Beer Festival and Egremont Crab Fair, as well as bookings in Harrington and Whitehaven mean that it will be a busy summer, but Ryan is most excited to finally get out of the county for the first time.
Mama-Sang and The Robot (photo by Mark Regan Photography)

"Sometimes a break is what is needed and we are back fresher than ever," he says.

"We have always had great gigs in Cumbria and we are very appreciative to all the venues that keep booking us and our fans. There seems to be a lot more local bands around now, and this can only be a good thing as it keeps live music going.

"We have never really felt the need to play anywhere else until now, but we want to widen our fan base and do a bit of travelling at the same time.

"I have just visited the Isle of Man for a meeting regarding a tour of the island some time soon, and we are booking our first UK tour for the back end of the year."

With 12 months of down-time to play with, Ryan has been busy writing new material for a debut album, with a single and a video also in the pipeline.

A totally revised set-list also features some new covers too, making it feel like a fresh start for the band, who had previously become local festival favourites and first choice to support major visiting blues rock acts, such as Wishbone Ash.

Ryan continues: "Whilst being off gigging, it has given me time to sit down and get pen to paper.

"I still used the time where we would have been practising as a songwriting session, and we have come out of the other end with lots of new material. This will be getting tried out on our upcoming dates.

"We have also learned a rake of new covers - I like to have a wide selection of songs to cater to any venue or audience .

"All of the songs for the album are written, and we have a video crew set up for when it is done. We hope to have this complete by the end of the year.

"We are currently in contact with a number of different studios to find the right producer. We want the outcome to be as good as possible, so it’s a case of finding the right guy for the job."

The next live outing for Mama-Sang and The Robot will be at The Lifeboat, in Harrington, on Saturday June 16. For a full list of live shows and new album updates, follow the Mama-Sang and The Robot Facebook page .