A MAJOR Keighley music club will close tomorrow after eight years of bringing international blues stars to the tiny village of Laycock.

The Brontë Blues Club is folding after hosting more than 100 performances and taking many musicians into local schools to play for pupils.

The club, based at Laycock Village Hall, which was dubbed a 'local International blues venue’, will bow out with a performance by hard-rocking Kansas trio Moreland & Arbuckle.

Founder member, Michael Ford, said: “We had a wonderful team of unpaid volunteers running the club, which deserved its reputation as one of the UK’s premier blues venues.

“We agreed earlier this season that rather than go over old ground and become repetitive, we should finish the club whilst audience numbers were healthy and top artists were still keen to play here.”

Mr Ford said among highlights of the 108 shows were performances by the likes of Andy Fairweather-Low, Ian Siegel, Matt Schofield and American performers Doug MacLeod, Hamilton Loomis, Sherman Robinson, Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges and Lisa Mills.

He added: “An important part of the work of the club was our Blues In Schools project, through which about 10,000 children experienced live blues music in their own school halls – it was the biggest such project in Europe!”

Mr Ford, himself an experienced Keighley musician, started booking blues acts to Keighley in 2005 at the Spectrum Blues Club, later Keighley Blues Club.

He added: “In 2007, I and a core group of organisers decided to look for an out-of-town venue for a new blues venture and settled upon the Village Hall, Laycock.

“It gave us the opportunity to create an authentic ‘Juke Joint’ environment, which enhanced everyone’s musical experience."