THE stunning blues-rock music of Paul Kossoff, the lead guitar prodigy whose soaring playing lit up 1970s rockers Free, is coming back to The Half Moon, Putney, on Thursday, March 8.

Kossoff, of course, died tragically young after a drugs battle aged just 25, but his music lives on with The Band Plays On, a band featuring Terry Slesser, the lead vocalist of Koss’s post-Free band, Back Street Crawler.

The Band Plays On will feature the very best of Free’s back catalogue and also Back Street Crawler’s two-album sojourn. The band’s name is fittingly also the name of BSC’s first album with Kossoff from 1975.

Highlights include Free’s world-wide hit and rock anthem “All Right Now”, “Fire and Water”, crowd pleaser “The Hunter” and “Molten Gold”, one of the first tracks Slesser and Kossoff played together with Back Street Crawler.

Slesser is joined by guitarist John Buckton, a Kossoff afficianado, who was paid the ultimate tribute by Ex-Free and Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, who said: "If Free were to reform, John would be my first choice as guitarist."

It’s not a cheap compliment, either, as both Kirke and the late Free bassist Andy Fraser, have paid the compliment of playing with Buckton in recent years.

“This is no cheap tribute band,” said Slesser.

“I led Koss’s Back Street Crawler band and I’m honoured to call him a friend. He was a great talent and it’s great to keep his music alive. In John Buckton, I’ve the perfect ally as he does a great job capturing Koss’s tone and feel on guitar.”

So, more than four decades after Kossoff’s untimely death, Slesser and Buckton are keeping the flame burning with an eight-date spring UK tour, including the gig at the Half Moon and they then appear at Leo's Red Lion, Gravesend, the following night.

Also included in the line-up is drummer Clive Edwards (UFO, Wild Horses, Pat Travers), bassist Rick Hunt and highly respected keyboard player Dave Chapman.

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