PAUL Jones has always been one of the cool kids.

He was ‘cool at school’ when the older pupils told him what blues or jazz records he should buy and ‘cool’ when Paul McCartney turned up at his dinner party in 1967 with an advanced copy of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles.

The key to his coolness has been music and especially the blues. An intoxicating combination which has linked together to help shape Paul’s career from school when he discovered blues records to being invited to join a band being put together by Brian Jones (the band became The Rolling Stones), being the lead singer of Manfred Mann and establishing The Blues Band, his own pet project in 1979.

He will be appearing with the Blue Band (Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Tom McGuinness, Rob Townsend and Gary Fletcher) when they are at The Playhouse Theatre in Weston-Super-Mare on Thursday, July 19.

Paul explained he realised music was important to him before he realised it actually was when he was 11-years-old.

It was at this time when in school in Portsmouth, he spoke to two lads who were one year older than him who told Paul which records he should get-Jo Stafford and Percy Faith.

He saved up his pocket money and bought them but didn’t enjoy them as much as a Sammy Davis Jr record he got where the singer impersonated all different styles of singing.

The next time he spoke ‘to the lads’, they were telling him to get jazz records. it was because of this he found King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band:- “Dipper Mouth Blues”.

By 1956 he had heard Lonnie Donegan singing Rock Island Line and then listened to the original song as record by Leadbelly and the rest as they say was history.

Paul’s Blues journey was well underway and he soon became a regular playing at The Marquee Club in London.

Speaking about the blues, Paul said: “It gives me a range of feelings after playing it for over 32 years as well as playing records on the radio (Radio 2 The Blues Show). I have been able to hear all the different types of blues and they are very seductive.

“There is not one feeling I get but a range of feelings. There were two kinds of blues 12 bar and 8 bar but now there are no specific forms. What amazes me now is seeing so many young kids listening to the blues.”

Paul joined the Manfred Mann in 1962 but by 1966 he had left, despite hits such as “5-4-3-2-1”, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, “Pretty Flamingo”.

Speaking about his departure he said: “To be honest the real reason I left was we were doing the same things. 90 per cent of our musical interest was the blues, rhythm and blues and jazz/soul but we were playing too many Bob Dylan songs. It is not that I did not like Bob Dylan but I did not want to become a Bob Dylan tribute band. I wanted to go on doing what I was doing in music while trying to be Marvin Gaye or Ben e King.”

His solo singing career did not materialise but his acting one did. And for ten years from 1968 to 1978 he was an actor-which he thoroughly enjoyed.

It was after what you might call a sabatical, Paul established the Blues Band, he said: “After the first wave of punk, there were bands such as Dr Feelgood who were playing the blues and I thought I do not want to miss out on this.

“We have been together nearly 40 years and have had some unforgettable gigs. We play the songs we like and are delighted with the amount of people who like what we play.”

Recently, Paul stepped down from his Radio 2 show. The last record he played was Mighty Long Time by Sonny Boy Williamson. He had been told many years ago the track would ‘shred his mind’. It certainly blew it and this track is one of his all time favourite blues tracks.

While Paul might not be one of the founding fathers of the blues n the UK, He lists Chris Barber, Lonnie Donegan and Alexis Corner as those. He sees himself along with Long John Baldry, Jack Bruce, John Mayall, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger as second generation.

Paul is looking forward to being in Somerset at what he calls ‘a proper theatre’ with his band.