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Music in the Quay of Exe

Music in the Quay of Exe is a loose collective of venues and musicians spawned by the First Thursday Club@The Hourglass, Exeter. All events are currently hosted by The Coffee Cellar, Exeter Quay: our church, our home, our blues boudoir.

Praise but forget: Liverpool and Manchester, Birmingham and Coventry, London and Bristol (Memphis for a moment). We have and we are the Exe Delta. The Arcadia of drift to the south and the west. Strung between Beer and Brixham, Exmouth and Dawlish, the Exe runs south to the sea. Drought and sleep give way to monsters from the deep. The river heaves its back and gigs land.

Music in the Quay of Exe featuring Rob Brown's IN A BIT OF A STATE was back at The Coffee Cellar for a packed pre-Christmas gig on Thursday 14 December 2023. And a Music in the Quay of Exe programme for 2024 is taking shape. Keep your ears to the ground! 

IN A BIT OF A STATE's first release, Jesus is Coming Soon, from the band's forthcoming album has landed:

Email for a .wav file if required.

Music in the Quay of Exe history...

In September 2022, Rob Brown with Adam William Sweet and Ian Jennings (Fingers Crossed – an abbreviation of IN A BIT OF A STATE) presented an evening of spoken word, dark blues, fear and fun. The dynamic duo Southern Fried Groove Queens joined us in October. Think White Stripes, even more obstinately focused on deep south and hill country blues. 

We welcomed the wonderful Vince Lee and Sophie Lord in November, while in January 2023 James Dixon, fresh from a tour with Seasick Steve, treated us to a fantastic evening of acoustic and cigar box guitar, stompbox, foot tambourine and vocals.

The hugely talented Jess McAllister + band wowed a packed cellar in March and winner of the UK Blues Acoustic Act of the Year 2023, Trevor Babajack, with Jesse Benns, entertained us with an impressive set of original blues in May. Rob Brown, Adam SweetIan Jennings and Lucy Piper performed as house band, IN A BIT OF A STATE, in June, while Derby zydeco legend Lil Jim, treated us to a wild, irresistible night of accordion, harmonica guitar, vocals and foot percussion in July.

"An absolutely magnificent night of music. Three stellar musicians orchestrated by a musical maverick. Live performance doesn't get much better than this. Till the next time." 

"Four world-class musicians enriched our lives with virtuoso performances. It was a great night at The Coffee Cellar, Exeter... the place was packed. Rob Brown, Adam Sweet, Ian Jennings and Lucy Piper, you are the best."

Rob Brown’s IN A BIT OF A STATE: Adam William Sweet, guitars; Lucy Kate Piper, drums; Ian Jennings, double bass; Rob Brown, vocals

For up-to-date information, visit

The Coffee Cellar, Exeter Quay

Music in the Quay of Exe is a loose collective of venues and local musicians spawned by the First Thursday Club@The Hourglass. All events currently held at The Coffee Cellar, Exeter Quay – our church, our home, our blues boudoir – and hosted by Rob Brown.

The Hourglass basement
First Thursday Club

The Hourglass, Exeter was our original venue for the First Thursday Club

Gets/z Loose

Not a singer but indubitably a voice. We filmed and recorded a whole gig. And we can bear to watch it – blindfold.

Jesus is Coming Soon

Jesus is Coming Soon by Blind Willie Johnson is the first release from an album by IN A BIT OF A STATE due in 2024. It is a driving preacher blues which recalls the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Blind Willie warns, not of a Christmas coming of Jesus, but of the End.

The Disappearance of Finbar

Rob sang the key narrative 'pop' song in Jonathan Rhys Meyers' first film.

Back in the days

When the days weren't numbered. We haven't changed a bit. But the technology has. This was filmed at the Monmouth Festival. Gets/z Loose were briefly famous in Wales.

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