Young guitarist Bob Cliffe draws a crowd at Stamford’s Voodoo Lounge

Young guitarist Bob Cliffe. Photo: Alex Drury, Stamford
Young guitarist Bob Cliffe. Photo: Alex Drury, Stamford
Have your say

A GOOD crowd turned up to see the Pat McManus Band at Stamford’s Voodoo Lounge – but it seems not all of them were there to see the well-known Irish rock guitarist.

Although most had indeed travelled from Peterborough, Milton Keynes and as far away as north Wales to watch the band, quite a number braved the fog to support young guitarist Bob Cliffe.

Bob, who is 14 and from Great Casterton, was the support act and played a 40-minute warm-up set before the main attraction took to the stage.

He got the gig as first prize for winning this year’s Young Unplugged competition which was held at the Recreation Ground in Stamford in June.

The three-piece Pat McManus Band, who played a two-hour set at the gig on Thursday last week, are on a European tour and in the past have themselves supported Gary Moore, Bon Jovi, Sting, Hawkwind, Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple.

Bob is a pupil at Casterton Business and Enterprise College, and is studying for GCSEs. He first picked up a guitar when he was just four and has spent many hours since perfecting his play on both classical and electric guitar.

He is taught at school by guitar teacher John Wilson. At the age of 10 he was acknowledged by Hank B Marvin of The Shadows as being “a remarkable and talented guitarist for his young age.”

Bob was last year’s judges’ favourite at Rutland’s Got Talent. Currently, he specialises in the sound and style of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert.

He said this week that the gig had been a great opportunity and he had really enjoyed it.

“It was fun, a couple of my mates came down and my guitar teacher,” he said. “Pat McManus was great, a really nice guy and he gave me some good advice.” In his spare time Bob is writing his own material and one day wants to have his own band.

“I just want to play guitar,” he said.

Michael Houlihan, co-owner of the Voodoo Lounge and Mama Liz’s in North Street said Bob was fantastic.

“It was great to see people turn out for this young local act as well as the main act and we were delighted to be able to give him this opportunity to play alongside an excellent, established touring musician such as Pat McManus,” he said.

“Indeed Pat was complimentary about Bob’s playing. I am sure Bob will have a great future as well and will headline in his own right one day.”