Triple Helping of Rock Joy at The Fleece Bristol

Triple Helping of Rock Joy at The Fleece Bristol

After the disappointment of the show being postponed in Pontypridd by snow and a Red weather warning, there were no dramas as we crossed the bridge heading for The Fleece in Bristol for a triple helping of Rock Joy in Bristol. Two bands joining the headliners Stone Broken to create a night of winning combinations of great guitar playing, vocals and rhythms. As The Bad Flowers, Jared James Nichols and Stone Broken took to the stage tonight the last night of the U.K. leg of the tour, it was fitting that the show was SOLD OUT!

First to warm the stage and excite the audience was The Bad Flowers the new band that has roared out of the gigging starting blocks with the firing of their album Starting Gun. With a thirty minutes slot, Tom Leighton kept the verbals brief but still took time out to thank the audience for the support as they played a stylish set.  They hit the ground running with Tom’s vocals soaring above the band on the perfect opener Hurricane. The Bad Flowers is a trio that plays with a high energy classic rock style they sound so much more than a three-piece. Tom’s voice has the scope to roam around the lyrics by superb musicianship. The rhythm section is a power base, the combination of drummer Karl Selickis and Dale Tonks on Bass locking in the drive, energy and structure of every number. The guitar swirls with lead breaks that introduce Tom on vocal he is a skilful operator. The great riff ensured that Secrets went down like a storm with the crowd. What an opening set. Closing out a faultless set that left you wanting more with the single that got airplay on Planet Rock Thunder Child and their signature number City Lights. The closing track on the album and is contemporary moody rock with great lyrics. He sings “can’t afford Champagne” – playing like this you will be able to soon, very soon.  We want more and we wanted to hear Jared James Nichols who was next on the bill what a wonderful dilemma to be in.

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Jared James Nichols trio turns heads whenever they play from the first guitar chord to the last. Jared James Nicholls rock driven by the deepest blues for me was the best guitarist on the stage tonight his playing every time takes my breath away. It was unsurprising he opened his short and what was to be a very special set with the first track, Last Chance from his latest album,  Black Magic. Jared whatever he plays shows what an incredible virtuoso guitarist he is by making those six-strings sings, with finger-picking rockin’ blues of the highest order. The Rhythm section laid down by Erik Sandin and Dennis Holm whose bass & drums respectively lay down the shape and groove that is deep and true.  Now for the evening treat how to raise the temperature as an opening act. Bring on Bernie Marsden for a spectacular jam. With his signature amp the beast was plugged in tonight Bernie was playing his 1959 Les Paul Standard. Jared and Bernie the smiling gentleman of rock, really complimented each other the two guitars were friends. Throughout the jam, they never crowded each other out or overloaded the sound with too many chords. Jamming is an art and this section of the set was a Jam Sandwich of the highest order, sweet, fruity and aurally delicious. Tasty! The slow Blues in G was perfect Bernie demonstrating that he is no stranger to the blues the foundation of early classic rock. The licks we simply gorgeous. This is the highest class of jamming you could ever hope of seeing and hearing. The shuffles from Dennis set the tone and The Fleece was turned the deepest shade of rocking blues. The set was superb as Jared took control again closing out with his signature Mississippi Queen. Another string set of the highest quality blues, Jared just gets better, what a gig this night is proving to be and we still have the headliners Stone Broken to complete the triplet of joyous live music.

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Headliners now the crowd is ecstatic. A grand entrance with flashing lights and coloured smoke announce Stone Broken is in town. With an acclaimed new album, Ain’t Always Easy they have a lot to smile about as they showcase their debut album on Spinefarm Records.  The four-piece meant this was not a night of power trios.  There is a link with the opening band as they both hail from the well of great musicians that have their roots in the Black Country. The unmistakable flash of red hair and a wide grin, Robyn Haycock is in control behind the drums. Rich Moss was on top form with his PRS guitar and vocals that have power confidence and the ability to shape the emotional texture and tone of every number they played.

Tonight was the first opportunity for many to hear live the music on the new album that Rich was happy to announce that was number 15 in the mid-week national charts #15 (all genres, not just rock) and they deserve to be higher  Interweaved through the set were old favourites and tracks from their debut album Not Your Enemy. It was certain that everyone was Stone Broken’s friend tonight tomorrow and beyond. This is rock music that clicks with your inner DNA. It is rock played from the heart with verve and is loud for a reason. The combination of two guitars of Rich and Chris Davis weaves a magic and compelling formula. The Stone Broken sound builds from deep in the heart of the rhythm section with the winning combination of Robyn and bassist Kieron Conroy. Stone Broken are four-musicians who understand the music they play and the interaction between them is superb creating warm tones, stinging riffs and licks that curl around the vocals of Rich. The set was powerful opening with Worth Fighting For. This is a song that has a personal feel as they have fought for recognition through hard work and tireless touring greeting fans with a smile taking time to get to know the people that love being part of the Stone Broken Army.

The many fans were lapping up every note happy to sing the lyrics back to Rich on I Believe. The highlights of the set that displayed why they are headliners now were numerous every number sung and played was fun to hear.  The stand out spine-tingling moments was Better the lyrics sung with such emotional connection – the refrain Stop Wishing Your Life Away reflects the trajectory of the band who have followed their dream now working hard to ensure this is their reality. From the new album, Just a Memory and I Believe worked so well live. Then the encore as Rich played acoustic taking the energy down as he sung Wait For You. His fans will wait for him and the band who joined him on the chorus. We will wait impatiently for the next time Stone Broken play Bristol once again.

Once again the gem that The Fleece delivers live music we want to hear night after night. This music venue is too valuable a resource to music beyond the boundaries of Bristol, providing the space, lights and sounds for musicians of this calibre to perform. Tonight Stone Broken conquered Bristol completely.

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds At Rock and Blues Festival 2018

Every January there is a migration of blues and rock fans they all have one destination on the sat nav Skegness, Butlins for three days and nights of music, fun and meeting friends. This year the anticipation was higher than ever since the line-up was the best in years. Yes, we would have liked some more rock but the quality was there across the four stages that fill your ears with music that you talk about all year. The Introducing stage does just that you find new bands and the main stages put on the shows that fill your heart with musical gladness. Then there is Jaks that special bar that plays on into the early hours of the next day, memories are made and are recounted do you remember this set and that and will the magic of Larry Miller’s set be repeated this year? The rumours about Jaks permeated the weekend the only dark spot on the horizon, being knocked down, not being replaced and every variant in between. The common cry was we need a venue with a smaller stage, creating an intimate atmosphere and playing live music long into the night. Now for what made this year very special to bring smiles to people faces.

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018The Introduction stage is now an integral part of the Skeggy narrative in January. Twelve bands play over the weekend attracting enthusiastic crowds. The success of the concept of the winning bands appearing on one of the main stages the following year has proved a winning formula they all step up and perform to the audience’s delight. This year the bands raised the bar with each night a difficult choice as to who to award the blue discs that get counted and decide the fate of three bands, they will be back next year on either Centre or Reds Stage. The winners were, Mike Ross, Storm Warning and STAN The Band. They wowed the crowds, got them dancing loving the music and we wanted to hear them again and we will in 2019.

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018

So how did last year’s winners do? First of the three bands, Tom Walker Trio now a four-piece and by the end of the set, there were five musicians on stage. The fifth was special a guest with his Hammond Bob Fridzema who would be playing as part of the new Engine Room when Sari Schorr stepped on the stage. We saw Bob for the third time later when Ash Wilson played Jaks to close Friday night’s entertainment. They had the privilege of opening Centre stage for the weekend. Wow! They performed and for many were one of the highlights. The rocky blues and soulful sound of Southbound started the day’s bands at Reds on Saturday. Whilst, on Sunday Greg Coulson, warmed the Centre stage. His guitar, keys and vocals were stunning and the interaction with guitarist Stuart Dixon was mesmerizing.

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018Across the festival, women were ruling the stages! Friday Night,  Monica vocals opened the weekend as Saiichi Sugiyama Band stepped onto the Introductory stage,  Maya on vocals that caught your ears attention as Deep Blue Sea entertained from the Introducing Stage as the closing act. Centre stage was set alight as Sari Schorr arrived with the power of her voice and the Engine Room’s ability to play the deep blues that reflect the tonal qualities of her voice. Saturday saw the return of Rebecca Downes, what a rising trajectory her career has taken after performing on the introducing stage back in 2015. This was not the first or last time we heard Rebecca this weekend, as she joined Slack Alice and then a special duet with Connie Lush on Sunday. Yoka with her Sugarbeats captured the ears of everyone in the Introducing stage audience. Another day I am sure she would have won her vocals we stunning combined with the magic of her flute and saxophone. Centre stage was silenced by the performance of Jo Harman as her vocals with the clarity of a bell and warmth of an open fire reached out and touched the audience. Amnesty is always a spine-tingling emotive journey and as a rock fan said to me I just sat and listened with delight. Sunday night three stages and three different women Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018who knew how to entertain. Connie Lush on Centre stage full of warmth with her voice that tells a story with her old favourites and tracks from her latest album renaissance. Blame (It All On Me) the band flexing their depth of tone and power with the vocals shining above them and the women in the audience were still singing the refrain long after the set finished. Then the guitar wizardry of Chantel McGregor as she captured the rock power with her new band and tracks for her forthcoming third album. Closing out the festival in Jaks, the final set being played on the stage run by Blues Matters who tonight celebrated their hundredth edition. Elles Bailey, is a Wildfire on the stage and she kept the partygoers awake and ready to party until Jaks closed ad Clive Rawlings put on Freebird for one last time. So it was Goodbye to Jaks a scene of so many happy memories and a farewell to Clive Rawlings who has worked the DJ slot for the last ten years.


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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018This weekend is billed as The Great British Rock & Blues Festival. 2018 line-up is strong this year a huge improvement on last year but rock was here not in capital letters. Reds stage was cool not just temperature but the level of quality British Rock acts. Some acts from the past but where were the up and upcoming rock acts in every hue. Classic, heavy, metal and everything in-between. With that moan over Screaming Eagles from Belfast certainly got the Friday night off to a flying rock n’ roll start. They certainly raised the temperature and showed us that young rock bands know how to entertain. For many, Roger Chapman Family and Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018Friends took people back to days gone by they certainly delighted the audience who happily sang with passion and the fans were very happy. Stray and Dare if you look at feedback were among the favourites. Del Bronham and Stray set the stage on fire and they rocked the crowds on a Sunday afternoon. The stage was packed for Nazareth showing once again the pulling power of quality rock. With two acoustic rock acts entertaining with tales, acoustic guitars and old favourites revisited with Bernie Marsden and then Edgar Broughton. Always interesting to see a different side of the rocker we love and Ain’t No Love still works and the crowd willingly gives voice.

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018The Blues of Rock and Blues was strong with young bands, those from States and Europe. Blues of every hue and shade were covered.  Robin Bibi delighting the crowds in Jaks as the first band of the weekend on the stage. His stage presence and guitar playing always capturing the blues vibe. For so many, the act of weekend was Thorbjørn Risager and Black Tornado who played a Saturday afternoon slot. With the joy and pleasure a top band, that never disappoints with their Danish blues; with a brass section that wowed and added that depth of tone that makes this brand of blues very special. The set was as strong as Thorbjorn’s fantastic vocals and charismatic delivery, as they showcase their superb album, Change My Game. With playing like this we say keep playing the same game. They deliver a very modern take on the authentic R&B sound in a word BRILLIANT! Marmite of the blues from Tasmania via Germany Rob Tognoni gave the devils music a rocking workout.  Sunday evening and music gremlins stormed the stage whilst Lucky Peterson delivered a wonderful set despite the troublesome Hammond. The fault was repaired by the techs and we heard Lucky explore the keys and driving power of the Hammond. Whilst the Hammond was silent we explored through Lucky’s slide guitar southern delivery of classics, including Dust My Broom. The trumpeter with the Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018judicious use of his wah pedal added a wonderful unique tone. Lucky continued despite in his words ‘shit happens’ and his wonderful rendition of Stand By Me was impressive and the audience was on his side we loved singing back the words and this was a set full of fun, blues and deep musical delights. What a weekend of fun and mayhem in Jaks, Jack J Hutchinson fitted in perfectly. With his the Boom Boom Brotherhood following his guest appearance the day before on the introducing Stage with Mike Ross. Jack, with his latest album Paint No Fiction is set was a blinder including Mike Ross guesting for him and a double guitar we saw every dimension of the Hutchinson Blues artillery.  Troy Redfern in Jaks played fast and furious he excites the audience and Jaks was jumping. Benjamin Bassford, Sunday afternoon had an unexpected opportunity to showcase his acoustic talents before the band’s set. He filled the shoes left vacant as Al Hughes was ill with music that was filled with blues that flowed from the stage and across Jaks. Both his acoustic and bands sets were talked about for the right reasons they hit the blues spot.  Billy Walton New Jersey style rocking blues-fueled party music. Whenever and wherever they step onto a stage the crowd is warmed by the music we are all looking forward to the next album, as they delivered the music that makes you feel good.

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018Festivals are often remembered by the headliners did they deliver it was a mixed bag Yes, No and maybe. Those that didn’t quite fit the billing fade into the background as they are subsumed by the highlights. For the second time tonight we heard the delicious guitar work of Ash Wilson, first with Sari Schorr and now with his band in Jaks. With the set list filled with tracks from Broken Machine, one thing for certain is there is nothing broken about the vocals and guitar work. Ash struts the stage with such authority and confidence now, a complete artist Is there anyone better in the UK at playing this style of blues as he closed with Peace & Love. Saturday saw a trio of headliners who delivered Earl Thomas, picking up the soul vibe left lingering in the air as Jo Harman left the stage. Earl really is Mr Charisma, super cool, big voice and stylish footwork. A genuine get-up and dance party sound. With a clever story that continued through his delivery of track eight on Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018his new CD, it was a clever sales pitch infections fitting perfectly into a marvellous set of soulful blues. Quick check-in at Reds to catch up with Xander & The Peace Pirates and what a wonderful set as he filled the stage with glorious southern rocking blues. It is unsurprising that he was a firm favourite of the weekend. The music engaged and captured your musical soul impressive playing and a band to catch paying live whenever the opportunity arises. Back in Jaks Rainbreakers let us party through Saturday night and into the early hours. This is a young band that delivers with music that you dance and party to they certainly Rise Up to every occasion. Sunday night needs music that keeps us on our feet we have heard so many good bands. We had perennial favourites Dr Feelgood to keep the crowds hot, happy and enjoying Milk & Alcohol as someone in the crowd said while we were waiting they are the double cherry on top of the most delicious ice-cream sundae.  The opposite sound on Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018Reds with the rockier Chantel McGregor. Chantel has matured and changed her style since her first time on Reds when she was invited after her set to play with Deborah Bonham. Her new style is different and is still guitar focused, winning new fans and now definitely rock not blues.  Now the clock is ticking down to the closing of the weekend. As the other stages fall silent the final midnight shift of the weekend Elles Bailey. She delivered a great set to send everyone off in a good mood. It was somehow appropriate that another great powerful female vocalist closes such a fabulous weekend.

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Before we talk highlights and close for another year, Bluesdoodles wants to register that thanks and appreciation on the thousands that attend of all the staff at Butlins who work so hard to make sure the food is hot, the public areas are clean and always have a ready smile. You are a big part of why the migration will happen once again in 2019.

The highlights are so many we have tried to capture them in the net of words and photographs, I will always remember that 2018 delivered Lucky Peterson, Connie Lush, Rebecca Downes, Xander & The Peace Pirates, Jack Hutchison, The Rainbreakers, Tom Walker Band, Stray all on the same bill plus so many more amazing acts. Bring on Butlins 2019; three winning acts have already been announced Mike Ross Band, Storm Warning & STAN The Band!


Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and Mates

Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and Mates

Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and Mates


Steelhouse family came together on a Welsh Mountain united by rain, sun and MUD! The glue binding us was live music and the super glue the brilliance of Bernie Marsden not once, not twice but all three days on the stage entertaining.  We had dragon magic gracing the festival that you climb up slowly to the top driving up a rough track to the top of a Welsh Mountain above Aberbeeg. The weather may at times be trying, we all know the welcome and cwtch from the Steelhouse volunteers will be full of warmth. So many memories for the music memory box, friends, brilliant bands Planet Rock DJs and the array of stalls to kept us fed and watered, the endless cuppa’s from Motley Brew hot and refreshing the gallons of Trooper consumed and the selection of cocktails. The festival is for everyone young and old, family friendly with a play area, camping, glamping and merchandise. We may only be in each other’s company for a few days but the friendships forged last forever.


Bluesdoodles, Liz Aiken could not make Friday night, rain, parking and other issues conspired against her. Nothing though was going to deter us from getting to the festival on Saturday that started warm and sunny with the weather for now set fair. We missed Free Friday, but those who got here in time were entertained with Revival, the awesome Hand of Dimes joined by Bernie Marsden already a festival favourite and Trucker Diablo.


The two bands that open the show were local bands, Saturday, Florence Black & Texas Flood on the final day all setting the bar high rocking the show for the first notes always a challenging slot and they got our attention. Then the new line-up from Tequila Mockingbyrd who flew the flag for women and rock Steelhouse know how to weave the line-up reflecting styles of rock and peoples different tastes.

So many thoughts whirl around as I edit the photographs, the excitement that the festival has left spilling over to Monday, continue to be motivated as the work continues listening to the music that fuelled the weekend, Steelhouse 2017 delivered the best line-up ever and it was a triumph. Music for all tastes across rock. There are always bands and for everyone the list will vary for us at Bluesdoodles it was Rival Sons, Last In Line, Monster Truck, Stone Broken, Broken Witt Rebels, Jared James Nichols, Wayward Sons, Saxon and the hero of the hour Bernie Marsden across the festival Friday, Saturday and the unplanned return on Sunday. The list is a mix of styles, ages and experience the common link was quality, performances.

Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and MatesStone Broken bought a vitality, energy and love of performance to the stage, heating up the atmosphere. The set was played out with every note played and song sung confirming the meteoric rise from a self-funded album to the band they are today.  The journey has just begun they will soon be headliners wherever they play, why the crowds will demand it the Broken Army will not be silenced.  With a follow-up album to debut All In Time tantilisingly close live performance will keep us entertained until the release date early 2018. Every fan is waiting in anticipation which will just build and build, with every performance and radio play. Stone Broken play the music rock fans want to hear. Every time they play live they grow in stature tighter, more confident. Everyone’s day is brightened by Robyn’s infectious smile and drumming.  Rich leading from the front energised with vocals that demand to be listened to. Chris & Kieran, guitar and bass creating the sting in the tail with the strings ensuring there is nothing broken about Stone Broken. They nailed it at Steelhouse 2017.


Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and MatesMonster Truck, were monstrously good, the guitar sound is loud and we are pulled into the hot atmosphere they create. It was so hot it was as if the rain vapourised before it hit the ground! Awesome sums up the performance lifting the crowd’s mood into the stratosphere.  The set included all the numbers you want to hear live from Sittin’ Heavy as we heard staggering vocals, hard rhythm and licks that curl around the stage and cascade across the field in melodic delights.  There will be other bands but for now it doesn’t get better than this performance or will I eat my words?

Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and MatesHaving never heard Last in Line live, this was a band I was looking forward to having listened to Heavy Crown, loud and often since reviewing early in 2016. The band named after Dio’s second album carried the torch shining high and burning bright with a set that was full of Dio classics. The two orginal members of Dio’s band Vinny Appice on Drums and guitarist Vivian Campbell are joined by vocalist Andrew Freeman, Phil Soussan on Bass an keys from Erik Norlander.  They delivered adrenalin fuelled rock that pounded the mud and the sound that was Dio. Andrew’s vocals were reminiscent of Ronnie James Dio. The rain did not wash away the sound and atmosphere of a festival that was now rocking as the skies darkened on the Saturday.


Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and MatesSunday dawned bright and clear with blues skies and warm sunshine we all knew the music was going to be hot. The Sunday came alive as Broken Witt Rebels may have opened with Low from Georgia Pines but the music took us to new highs. Danny Core’s vocals are outstanding they pierce with a depth of emotion. The feel of the guitar sound tinged with blue, heated by southern rock from James Tranters lead guitar. The sound builds with tambourine and rhythm added by Danny and a rhythm section that burns the groove as Luke Davis and James Dudley join forces. This is a young band who are growing in stature as with every performance the layers of polish are burnished, the beat tightens and the sound gets bigger, bolder as the Broken Witt Rebels blow the mist away through Georgia Pines, what a Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and Matesnumber.  They were quickly followed by the guitar-led blues-rocking power trio of Jared James Nichols. The talent of the guitarist who is making a name for himself as he flashes his prowess with the six-strings, this set was the most guitar-dominated set of the weekend.  Another young performer who never fails to deliver, always improving developing the Nichols tone and sound. Building on his album and the last EP Highway Man.

A new band, Wayward Sons that has every one talking. Why? It is a Toby Jepson band this, the bands third gig and first festival appearance, did not disappoint. The opening was intriguing as we entered the Twilight Zone before the opening line of Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas and then the band stepped on stage.  With a debut album out in August, Ghosts Of Yet To Come the sound we heard was grittier this is a rocky sound that sets quivers of an earthquake erupting through the audience on top of a mountain.  As to be expected Toby’s vocal shone through the rain drops With the Little Angels – Young Gods – song dedicated to Alan Nimmo, who to many people’s disappointment was not swirling his kilt with King King on a mountain. The whole Steelhouse family wish Alan a speedy recovery.

Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and MatesRival Sons, well worth the wait in the mud and rain they delivered with music that sears the heart and soul. Jay Buchanan’s voice is always stunning as he strode down the stage in rolled down wellies he captivated – what a band. The only slide guitar of the weekend cascading notes swirled across the mountain courtesy of the slide of Scott Holiday. The rhythm and structure added a depth of tone thanks to David Beste and Michael Miley. There is nothing hollow in the bones of the rock they deliver every track has something to say with sweet licks, righteous riffs and lyrics that draw you deep into the heart of the music Rival Sons are simply electric.

Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and MatesClosing the festival with lights, pyrotechnics and a metal eagle Saxon left their mark on the mountain once again.  A band that the fans wanted to see many so excited seeing a band that was one of the first bands they had seen back at Steelhouse once again. The rain did not deter Biff as he strode down the runway kneeling on a towel and rising again hands aloft uniting with the fans as he sang in the rain. The festival went wild as Biff sung to them Battering Ram soared out across the mountain quickly joined by many classics Princess Of The Night & 747 Strangers In The Night. By now there were no strangers in the crowd, we were united by music, mud and Steelhouse friendship.


Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and MatesCometh the hour cometh the man. Steelhouse 2017 it had to be the one and only Bernie Marsden.  Scheduled to play with Hand of Dimes of Friday and the acoustic set on Saturday that was a delight. With King King having to pull out there was a yawning gap. Hand of Dimes stepped in with Bernie on electric guitar that was exciting but this was the Steelhouse Band with two special Planet Rock guests.  Hand of Dimes always popular and they know how to please as they add keys and harmonica to Nev’s special brand of rock. Nev was back on stage with Bernie Marsden joining after a couple of Hand of Dimes numbers to massive cheers of Bernie, Bernie!! Hand of Dimes has a new album out Raise so we heard Guilty and Pin-Stripped Arrogance, what a band. Then we had the change as Ian Danter took control of the drums and Darren Redick on Bass for a couple of numbers this is what festival magic is all about memories never to be repeated. The ‘cover’ of Whitesnake classic Here I Go Again was superb vocals from Neville McDonald took the roof of if there was one! Bottom of Form

The heroic Steelhouse Band created a great atmosphere what fun a pleasure for everyone listening to Hand of Dimes and friends over the Bernie weekend.

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Then if I could only pick a band it would be  a toss-up between Rival Sons and Broken Witt Rebels both were superb the vocals stunning, out I have made the rule only one band so it will be Rival sons, why? Soul made me cry as I was absorbed by the music an even stopped photographing during Electric Man.

Steelhouse 2017 raised the bar in terms of music and fun we are counting down the days until Steelhouse 2018. Thanks once again to the band of volunteers and Mikey and Max  who make sure we all have a wonderful Mountain top festival.

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Steelhouse 2018 the clock is ticking ! show your interest and keep to-date on Facebook Event

July 27th – July 29th 2018

Steelhouse 2017 Simply Marvellous Mud Music and Mates

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend Blue

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend Blue

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend Blue

This was a weekend where the colour blue was stretched and melded with a range of musical shades. From Deep hard rock blues through to Texan clear blue skies and the British Royal Blue of blues taking everyone back to the 60’s British Blues revolution. The music was fantastic from the opening act Sugarman Sam & The Voodoo Men through to the closing notes of Dr Feelgood.
HRH Blues ensured that music was the thread that bound the sold-out crowd in the O2 Academy over the weekend. The outside may have been bright April sunshine inside we left that reality, it was dark and the stage lights beckoned. What didn’t excite and beckon was the price of the beer, resulting in people stepping outside the festival to sample the ales in town that were more affordable. I and many who I spoke to would have liked coffee and some food to eat the schedule was packed so going out of the venue for food and beverage ate into the time you wanted to be listening to the bands live. With these irritations set-aside the weekend was about the fabulous music.

The opening set confirmed this was a blues weekend, Sugarman Sam and The Voodoo Men delivered blues that appeals and on the back of winning a slot on the main stage of Skegness 2017 he has the confidence and the desired swagger to deliver. This they did with a mix of classics and their own tunes including Coming Home off their EP. How to follow that lets have a duo drum and guitar the Welsh wizardry of Henry’s Funeral Shoe delivered a festival set that excited especially people who haven’t seen the antics and heavy blues they deliver with showmanship. Slipped between some of the acts were the ‘unplugged’ sessions on a small stage upstairs; the first of these showcasings was The Dirty Thrills. The sound was interesting and certainly whetted the appetite and anticipation for the full festival set later in the afternoon. For this the drum kit became a Cahon, the guitar acoustic slide, bass and vocals. First of the weekend trio’s was next on the main festival stage. The Mudcat Blues Trio were a young band, and delivered an energetic set of authentic blues. The difference being the drummer was the vocalist, this local Sheffield band kept the blues pure and the festival tempo growing. Then two more unplugged sessions, an introduction and a promise of what was to come with Pig Iron including the first harmonica of the weekend; followed by Sam sugared and with his voodoo spin stripped down and it really worked. Sam’s vocals were reminiscent of a young Tommy Allen. The unplugged sets work giving an insight into the base-line of the main stage act.

The turnaround time of the main stage was kept to a minimum throughout the weekend. Now it was time for The Dirty Thrills what a difference a hyper rocky sound. These guys owned the stage as they moved with choreographed grace and kept the beat. This was a high octane fuelled modern twist on rock where the blues were hidden in the shadows but the band knew how to entertain. Live music with attitude and sparks that spat off the guitar and across the venue.


The excitement and anticipation for Ten Years After was high and we had a chance for a sneaky preview a toned down version with the members on the small unplugged stage up close and personal. This is a new line-up Marcus Bonfanti on vocals and bassist Colin Hodginson joining Rick Lee and Chick Churchill. This was a magnificent trio of songs, Hear Me Calling, I’d Love To Change The World, Me and My Baby. What a band tonight’s main stage show is going to be exciting. Marcus and Colin have added an extra dimension. The time was moving on the music flowing with Pig Iron on main stage. This was blues drowning in heavy rock that really packed a musical punch. This was a band that added heat to the line-up they knew how to excite the music ears of the festival goers. The combination of the Firebird Gibson and Rickenbacker bass worked so well the tonal qualities were deep and shaded with blue granite. This was a powerful set where the band worked in harmony and the vocals shone. Now for the last unplugged session of the day a duo from Mick Ralphs Blues Band. Adam Barron on vocals and guitarist Jim Maving. This was acoustic, bluesy, mellow and sublime. A real authentic blues set for the weekend leaving you wanting to hear more when the full band entertain later tonight. Three bands left to entertain us on the main stage. Ten Years After, Mick Ralphs Blues Band and The Yardbirds how could the excitement not be rising. Ten Years After may have had a change of personnel but the music continues and there is a spicy freshness. The re-energizing of the music excites. Marcus Bonfanti on vocals is electrifying and his guitar skill is Alvin Lee with his own hooks and bells added extending the phrasing. We had harp and scintillating guitar fireworks topped off with his deep and honeyed vocals. We had the drums take centre stage with Rick Lee’s masterpiece The Hobbit, surrounding this was a chance to hear I Would Love To Change the World, a dramatic, lengthened version of this classic number, took your breath away with the spirit and magic of the sound. Ten Years After just kept weaving the melodic groove that meant they were still going to be talked about when the was festival over. No wonder they were many people’s favourite of the night and even the weekend. How to follow that uplifting and exciting set? HRH Blues had the answer in the Mick Ralphs Blues Band. Mick Ralphs formerly of Bad Company and Mott The Hoople was on form tonight with new songs and a new album. If It Ain’t Broke not only the album’s title but the ethos of the blues. The music taking us back to the British blues scene so loved and valued of the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Interspersed was some Bad Company tinged with the blues and delighting the crowds. They lapped up Too Bad, a number Bad Company never played live and Feel Like Making Love and Can’t Get Enough. Then Freddie King’s Same Old Blues proving the blues is timeless. Adam’s vocals curled around the music the timing was crafted and Mick Ralphs guitar work shining through with a gilded touch. Saturday was drawing to close not with a whimper but a shout for The Yardbirds, keeping the feel of the 1960’s in the building. The members may have changed once or twice but the music stays the same ending day one with so much music, friendships made and others strengthened through the power of music that is the Blues.

Sunday was another day that promised to bring new bands to your attention and hear the music from your favourites. Once again the blues was shaken up, and the R n’B vibe promised this was going to be a blues Sunday brunch, Tea and Dinner.



Sunday Brunch, was hardcore not for the faint-hearted this was rock heavy blues from the Tasmanian Devil himself Rob Tognoni. He tore up the main stage what a start to the second day of HRH Blues. The set was Rob through and through, the rhythm section was the base that allowed the blues to be scorching. We had some jamming and then the gentler side with Butterfly Girl written for his German wife setting up the day with Antipodean Blues power. From the heat of the Tasmanian it was cooler Scandinavian blues from Pontus Snibb. Texan blues was strong throughout the set with the tone and shape of SRV. This trio knew how to show the bluesy side of Swedish music. The third trio, John Verity hit the main stage. His unplugged session was inspired. Now on the main stage the depth and breadth of his tasty blues licks became apparent, as he showcased numbers from his latest album My Religion. Blues runs deep in the music when playing re-vamped classics and new material. John played genuine electric blues with buckets loads of panache. He certainly kept the blues with a capital B in the festival. This was blues guitar heaven, pleasure for your ears as Prove Your Love flowed live and his version of Peter Green’s I Need Someone To Love was a joy. HRH Blues proved the Sunday afternoon did not need to be tame, three trio’s on the trot did not have to be about power guitar the mixing up of styles and approaches kept your music ear interested. Back upstairs to hear Pontus Snibb as a duo Pontus on guitar and his Dad on snare drum with brushes. What an absorbing duo great vocals and rhythm stripped down superb blues. The simplicity and purity shone through with a stellar version of Jimmy Reed’s Ain’t That Lovin’ and closing with Texas Flood. Tasty!

Pontus Snibb unplugged WM-9391 HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend Blue

Now the shadows outside were lengthening and the intensity of the music grew. First, Irish distilled blues form Pat McManus. It was fantastic to see Pat on stage, still with a smile playing the music we love as he mixes Irish Roots, Rory Gallagher and a touch of Pat’s own leprechaun emerald green dust. What a trooper did he give up when his equipment was stolen at the beginning of the current tour… not a chance. This is a trio that blends and twists the rock into a shape that they want you to hear. The first violin of HRH Blues added a dancing intensity. Entertaining, pleasurable as we listened spellbound to an acoustic tribute to Rory Gallagher. The rendition of Parisian Walkways from the late great Gary Moore was breathtaking. This was classy blues, with the energy and verve that colours the music with every shade of blue. Pat plays and we listen.

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend BlueNow for the first piece of Whitesnake history at HRH Blues on a Sunday with the Micky Moody Band. The band featuring Ali Maas, vocals the first women of the weekend who sang the blues with soulful intensity. Stuart Dixon on rhythm/lead guitar added another depth and breadth to the sound. This was another classy set ranging from rip-roaring Southern Rock to really subtle quiet soulful ballads, punctuated with spine-chilling breaks from Stuart’s Strat. Micky entertained with finger-picking slide and guitars that sang deep with the feel of the blues. Same Blues, Different Day, full of salivating Moody slide delight. The set also included a taste of numbers from the forthcoming Moody & Maas album, like their great take on Dylan’s Serve Somebody. Closing the set that thrilled when Ali sang A Cappella interspersed with tasty mouth-watering licks from Micky. Closing out with a medley of Rolling Stone’s numbers we were flying with the music.

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend BlueNext up was Bernie Marsden ever the entertainer. The next segment of Whitesnake past playing the blues Bernie up front with the original bass player Neil Murray. We had one Whitesnake number from Mickey would Bernie deliver as well? The set was a mixture of blues, with tracks from his current album Shine. The blues rocked and the smiles on people’s faces gleamed there was no need to ask if they were enjoying this. We had rollicking blues, instrumentals and Bernie’s version of Born Under a Bad Sign. There was nothing bad about the music the chords were full of power whipping up the energy throughout the auditorium. A tribute to Jack Bruce we were Sitting on Top of the world with Bernie as he played the classic Howlin’ Wolf number. Bernie plays real mean blues when he wants to. Dragonfly from his latest album was beautiful as was his intuitively delivered Peter Green’s, Need Your Love So Bad. Then the temperature rose for Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again, Bernie orchestrated the crowds singing we need no reminding of the lyrics the whole venue erupted with the pure joy that is live music. As the lights dimmed and the band left the football like chant was taken up Bernie! Bernie repeated louder and louder. He is a very popular guy in the Country, and we had more, the encore included the Bobby Bland number Whitesnake made their own! Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City, we were now in heaven the energy from the music was more powerful than any drug. Closing with Fool For Your Loving. The silence was deep and sudden then everyone started to talk about the magic that is Bernie and the blues.. Starter was tasty Micky Moody, the Main Course the depths of flavour of Bernie and his band and now for the sweet course. Dr Feelgood. The energy was electric, the words rolled out like our much-loved anthems. We just loved the tasty blues, rock punk sound that is Dr Feelgood.

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend BlueSunday closed with a set from Dr Feelgood. The music was definitely the power that was driving the weekend forward, this is music that pleases, yes everyone has a favourite. The favourites varied and led to warm and intense discussions what shone through was the music which was top-notch.

Throughout the festival, the lighting was varied and interesting and the sound was spot on the vocals were warm cadences of tones that could be heard and enjoyed.

HRH, may stand for ‘Hard Rock Hell’ but they know how to deliver the blues. Now HRH Blues is alive and kicking up a dust storm of music, the community and the aim of the organisation is strong with staff listening to the views of the attendees of the weekend. This is the third blues event the momentum’s growing for HRH Blues 3 in Sheffield 15th & 16th April 2017!!!

Blood Money – Blues from Master Danny Bryant

Danny Bryant Blood MoneyBlood Money –

Blues from Master Danny Bryant.

With a moody bounce of the drum, stinging guitar and vocals from Danny Bryant means only one thing the Blues are back in the room. Full of moody lyrics and riffs and lead breaks that are spellbinding, everyone will have a willingness to exchange Blood Money for a copy of Danny’s latest work.

Danny is a bluesman finding his roots deep in a dirtier, rougher sound less about guitar power more about cadences, the exploration of the light and shade with the chords. Yes, the lead breaks are full of electric energy but there is also a controlled verve that gives a venomous feel to every track on Blood Money – Blues from Master Danny Bryant.
Danny Bryant is never far from a stage playing live the music that he loves and this studio album captures a deep inner spirit that glows with the fingertips of the past and is at the same time a complete contemporary album, full of lyrics of hurt and pain of living each day in the modern world.
Blood Money is intense, driven by a personal mission every lyric is delivered with heartfelt passion that grinds out a guitar that picks up the mood and embellishes the tone from the high to the low notes.

Opening with the title track the guitars growl around the chords as Danny is joined by Walter Trout. The number written explicitly with Walter in mind. Why? Walter has been his guitar mentor since a chance meeting when he was thirteen, the emotion on Danny’s voice as he says “take it” and Walter takes the lead break and closes the track making it very personal. Danny’s guitar is the heart soul and musical lifeblood of the album the fingering and phrasing is intricate and adds depth and underpins the lyrical sentiment on moving tracks including Slow Suicide and On The Rocks; you need no words as the instrument says it all.

This is an album full of musical tones and textures Sugar Sweet is not sweet but full of huge sounds, this is rock that has stepped into Blues and then expanded it beyond the horizon. Bernie Marsden joins Danny’s guitar on Just Won’t Burn, with a Hammond and two huge guitars this isn’t clash of the titans but a melodic co-operation that produces a huge deep sound it works perfectly. How do you bring this immense album to a close with its variety of styles, sweat drenched emotions and cascading chords, you sing Sara Jayne a poignantly beautiful ballad.
This is his third album produced by Richard Hammerton, and will get Danny noticed for all the right reasons mature musicianship and stunning guitar.
RELEASE DATE: 29th January 2016, – Jazzhaus Records; YES it is too early to be album of 2016 but I have no doubt come the end of December we will still be playing the album and it will be in the mix.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

1. Blood Money (featuring Walter Trout),
2. Master Plan
3. Slow Suicide
4. Unchained
5. On The Rocks
6. Sugar Sweet
7. Fool’s Game
8. Holding All The Cards
9. Just Won’t Burn (featuring Bernie Marsden)
10. Sara Jayne

Dannyy is on tour throughout FEBRUARY 2016 – Check out dates and book your tickets HERE

Joanne Shaw Taylor @ The Globe Cardiff with Bernie Marsden

Joanne Shaw Taylor - The Globe - Nov 2014_0181lBernie Marsden supporting Joanne Shaw Taylor
The Globe, Cardiff
18th November 2014



The Globe was a sell-out, no surprise when the live music on offer tonight the combination of Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake) and the British female Joe Bonamassa – Joanne Shaw Taylor, the music lovers from Cardiff and beyond definitely wanted to be at this event tonight.
Bernie Marsden showcased his new alJoanne Shaw Taylor - The Globe - Nov 2014_0086lbum Shine leading the acoustic duo of himself and Jim Kirkpatrick, who accompanied on guitar including sliding and backing vocals. Bernie played a very entertaining set and a real advertisement for his latest album Shine. The highlights were the outing with his famous double-necked guitar on Ain’t Gonna Cry No More and wonderful cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dragonfly. This was a great set from a class act!

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Joanne Shaw Taylor - The Globe - Nov 2014_0166lAfter a short break Joanne Shaw Taylor and her band stepped out on the stage to an excited crowd who all had great anticipation for the next musical delights on tonight’s menu.
The Albert Collins signature telecaster was definitely dancing to Joanne’s tune tonight. All members of the band were attired in black the exception was the orange suede shoes Joanne was wearing – there was nothing dark about the music this was electric blues.
The sound guys had done a great job which meant Joanne’s vocals were sounding on top form, and she had the confidence that her band were tight never missing the beat and acting as the perfect backdrop for her searing guitar performance as she delivered a set including numbers from previous albums and her latest The Dirty Truth.
Joanne lets her guitar tell the story, tonight we saw her warm smile and banter about never thought when she started performing blues guitar at 14 she would have to defend herself over a song title, Wrecking Ball which is inspired by Bruce Springsteen rather that Miley Cyrus! She then showed she had no need to justify anything this was a vintage JST number oozing zinging passion from the strings and heart.
Bernie joined her for a couple of songs adding his guitar and vocals for a duelling of guitar work that they both thoroughly enjoyed, this energy spread across the audience as they loved to see such fine guitarists in Cardiff on a Tuesday.
This was a night where the guitar was played by the Queen of Guitars Joanne Shaw Taylor, tonight was an evening many will be talking about the amazing gig they were at and Going Home, from her latest album was the perfect finale.

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Bernie Marsden Set List
Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City
Linin’ Track;
Wedding Day;
Till the Day I Die;
Who Do We Think We Are?;;
Ain’t Gonna Cry No More;
Here I Go Again.

Joanne Shaw Taylor Set List

Mud Honey* – The Dirty Truth Album
Just Another Word – White Sugar
Watch ‘em Burn – White Sugar
Jealousy – Almost, Always, Never Album
Diamonds in the Dirt – Diamonds in the Dirt Album
Wrecking Ball* – The Dirty Truth Album
Tried, Tested And True* – The Dirty Truth Album
Walking in the Shadow of the Blues (w/ Bernie Marsden)
Let It Burn (w/ Bernie Marsden) – Diamonds in the Dirt Album
Tied and Bound* – The Dirty Truth Album
Going Home – White Sugar

The Dirty Truth* – The Dirty Truth Album