Mark Flanagan - Jools Holland's guitarist of 30 years - will be performing live at Fairycroft House in Saffron Walden with his band.

The evening will start at 8pm on Saturday, April 29, and will be hosted by local singer-songwriter Joanna Eden, who will play a short support set.

Mark initially bonded with Jools Holland over a shared love of the blues. The pair jammed Ray Charles tunes together at Jools' house, and since then Mark has been Jools' guitarist for TV and live shows - backing an impressive roster of stars including Amy Winehouse, Ry Cooder, Eric Clapton and Gregg Allman.

Both Jools and Mark realised their parents had almost indentical record collections, which had influenced both their careers.

Mark's father, a merchant seaman from Liverpool, would bring back instruments and records from overseas.

"In the mid-60s, he came home with a ukulele," Mark said. "My brother and sister didn’t really bother with it – but I stuck at it – and we played together for the next three or four years, until I was 12, when I got my first real guitar.

"My dad was very encouraging – and very patient. All the family would join in with three-part harmonies, and that 'musical sense' was all around the house."

Jools Holland praised his long-time collaborator, saying: "Mark understands everything from jump-jive to modern music – he can swing, then rock it… Eric Clapton describes Mark as a truly great guitarist."


The first booking for the concert was postponed because of lockdown and then because of the death of the Queen.

Joanna Eden said: "I can’t wait to finally host Mark and his band at Fairycroft House! The venue has doubled in size since we first booked Mark! 

"Since the original booking Fairycroft House has become a much bigger and better music venue since the removal of a wall and the addition of new sound and lighting equipment."

Tickets are available at the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre, Amy Louise Flowers on the high street and online at

A licensed bar and free parking will be available on the day.