Saturday 23rd January 2016 @ Rock and Blues Skegness

Saturday 23rd January 2016 @ Rock and Blues Skegness

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Started off Saturday’s music chain in Centre Stage with a laid back journey through the life of Snake Davies and his alto saxophone. The music flowed gently across the auditorium. Today it was The Snake Davies Band – Classic Sax solos and there were plenty from session man interspersed with tales from the studios. Opening with Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street the tone was set. We had a vast selection of tunes some pop, with soul and a dollop of Jazz perfect for many early on a Saturday and after a long Friday night. With sax solos ringing in my ear the worm was slaughtered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. What a set, and many agreed as they left singing to the songs they had heard. On vocals Robert Hart, formerly of Bad Company was excellent, loved the Bad Company numbers. Mick Rogers still on guitar plays as sweetly as ever and his vocals add to the depth of the current line-up. Everyone loved Blinded By The Light, Davy’s On The Road Again and the inevitable encore Mighty Quinn and the singalong was loud and enthusiastic in a packed Reds. We then were back in the Centre Stage for The Stumble… they always deliver. They are one of the ultimate festival bands raising the tempo and getting you on your dancing feet. The Stumble are a top-notch Rn’B band with the vibe and energy of a rocking and rollicking good time. They are one of the best bluesy live bands around. Paul ‘The Voice’ Melville is up front his vocals are one-hundred percent spot-on. The warmth, emotional shading and the curl of the tones around the band just work perfectly. Simon Anthony to the left of the voice soothes the lions roar with a silky purring of his saxophone. Colin Black’s guitar adds tonal shape and the slide works so well and the rhythm section gives the band its solid back-bone that makes the Stumble walk tall with blues attitude. The Stumble dedicated My Life to Brian who lived for live music and will be forever missed by everyone who met him. Many a tear was wiped away a wonderful moment appreciated by his many friends.

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It is a no wonder they are a Skegness favourite. The complete contrast over at Reds with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown. The world according to Arthur’s is different, made up with every colour in the paint box his head being a focal point. A legend of the British Rock scene of the 60’s & 70’s. He is still as energetic and wild as ever, the voice isn’t quite what it once was but the energy and showmanship made up for that is spades. The majority of the crowd were re-living their youth, a quality rocking bad just what Skeggy needed on a Saturday afternoon. The flamenco dancer was superb and difference is always exciting.

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Late afternoon and four more bands on the Introducing Stage. Starting off tonight’s extravaganza were The Texas Flood. A rocky power trio from Wales they kicked of the show with attitude. They produced a flood of guitar riffs and lots of synchronised head banging with cascading hair. The theatrics never made them miss a beat, if at times a little raw around the edges. There is no doubt that The Teas Flood have bags of potential. Why? Some great percussive bass, guitar riffs that captured the rocking blues energy and the vocals kicked. No wonder the cheers were so loud they set the standard very high for the three following bands all wanting to grab the prize main stage spot in 2017! Next up the second Welsh band Luke Doherty Band, they always deliver blues that have a SRV tinge. Luke the guitarist as ever drove a six-string whirlwind. They were better when singing and playing their own material rather than the rather tired and predictable covers. Luke and his band will always please a festival crowd.

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Catfishopened with a rollickingly good cover of Born Under A Bad Sign. Throughout the set Matthew Long showcased his exceptional guitar-playing talent and with Dad Paul on keys and sharing the vocals the band had balance and kept your interest. Very strong set for the Introducing stage and stormed through a set full of blues twists and turns. Their own tribute to the late great BB King with When BB Sings The Blues, has clever lyrics summoning up Chicago Blues at its best. Last but not least was Wily Bo Walker & The Mescal Canyon Troubadours. Wily Bo is a bluesman with an incredible voice. He turns his hand to many a blues style tonight with his troubadour. Another great band twisting and turning the blues with a sound that is fresh and innovative.

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Saturday night the music continues to pour out of the speakers, sound is definitely better in Centre Stage than Reds. Started off in Reds to catch Lost Minutes, one of the three bands who progressed from Introducing Stage to a main stage. This Rock outfit delivered a set full of emotional angst, and this needs to be captured and distilled into a more focussed and polished performance. The experience of performing in front of a large audience will stand then in good stead as this young band develops their niche. The vocalist was solid as she delivered the self-penned numbers. Now off to the comeback of the year Sean Webster on Centre Stage. He now has a four-piece band with a double helping of guitars. What a powerhouse of controlled blues. Sean’s vocals are as pure as ever and the interchanging between the guitarists added a depth of tone and interest. There were helpings of clean and dirty guitar sounds and layers of sound and textures. Sean captivated and enthralled with his version of I’d Rather Go Blind and when Aynsley Lister joined him the jam was a delight. More of this entertaining British Rn’B please.

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Quick stroll over to JAKS to catch LaVendore Rogue. Wow what a performance, Butlins – please put them on a main stage next year. The heart of the band ex- Hokie Joint trio, JoJo Burgess, vocals, Stephen Cutmore Drums and guitarist Joel Fisk with the addition of Hammond. LaVendore are different in a good way from Hokie creating their own vibe and sound. A mix of own numbers and Hokie classics including Chocolate Cake made sure that JAKS rocked as they then told the cautionary tale of Mrs Jones. It was wonderful to see the generosity as a bucket was passed around to help Roxi walk. JoJo’s daughter needs an operation in USA so I am sure this was a help to raising the money required.

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Back to Centre Stage to catch on Otis Grand and The Big Blues Band, didn’t stay long what a boring blues set. Otis was late on stage and his arrogance won few fans. What I heard, this is blues merging towards jazz and the guitar lead breaks were far too long! Still Reds had music to offer there is always something to listen to and Hawkwind didn’t disappoint in delivering Space Rock. The visuals on the backdrop linked in to the songs and added another focal point. The vegetation was green and dense for Hashish along with the psychedelia sound from keys and the aerial that emits a sonic noise. For the set reality is suspended as we are transported to the swirling world of Planet Hawkwind. Missing from the set was Silver Machine and there were no added extras as in the last time they played with the people on stilts. Nevertheless they were entertaining.

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Next was a total contrast Aynsley Lister who with his band bought the blues to the rock stage. The sound was not the best! but he delivered. We heard a sneak preview of new tracks and old favourites like Early Morning Dew. His version of Purple Rain was as ever a superlative rendition the guitar playing is immense. what a delight to hear slide guitar being played and the six-strings being used to shape the chords around the lyrics. Aynsley definitely won new fans tonight. His many fans were as delighted as Aynsley was to be on a main stage at a rocking Butlins weekend. Come back Aynsley and Rock and play the Blues at Skegness again.

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With the last notes dying away it was an end of some excellent music, good music and acts that just didn’t rock my boat. That said I heard enough crochets and minims, chords and shuffles to satisfy my music DNA.

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