Save Old Bush Blues Festival Sign the Petition Now

Save Old Bush Blues Festival Sign the Petition NowSave Old Bush Blues Festival Sign the Petition Now

Save Old Bush Blues Festival Sign the Petition Now

 

The Old Bush Blues Festival is a special weekend for many. Potentially being spoiled by the very few. The bureaucrats are turning the cogs, using their power make common sense be heard and acted upon. Make your voice heard by supporting Matt & Karen Williams.

Save Old Bush Blues Festival Sign the Petition Now! HERE

I declare Bluesdoodles has a vested interest. Not money but the feeling of attending a festival that is about music and friendship. I love taking the photographs, laughing and hearing old favourites play and then new bands that add to the flavour of the weekend. Bluesdoodles has a vested interest in the love of live music, fun and friendship.

Background to Save Old Bush Blues Festival Sign the Petition Now!

In the case of Old Bush Blues Festival. Common-sense has gone out of the window and it is the views of the minority (just two people) who appear to be wielding the power in Callow End.  The majority have welcomed the re-opening of the pub as Matt Williams the previous Landlord twenty years ago returned to run the pub. The festival happens on one weekend during August, bringing visitors to the area, campers who spend money in the shop. The festival has a true community feel with fun at the heart of the weekend’s proceedings.

This year the third Old Bush Blues festival was held. What a success despite the worry that the objection by two neighbours regarding noise pollution caused. Matt a true professional dealt with the complaint putting in noise absorption and suppression, noise assessments and control, constant monitoring to the Malvern Hills District Council requirements and a dedicated telephone hot line for any complaints. Did the festival play on into the early hours – no, the music was finished by 11 pm. I know that if you walked up the lane to the main road running through the village the music was a faint background hum.

The two complainants live near the pub. Once again like so many music venues, people buy a place nearby and then complain about noise and inconvenience. If you want to be in a quiet area buying near a popular community Pub is not the best location for you.

Save Old Bush Blues Festival Sign the Petition Now! HERE

We want community pubs at the heart of villages. To make a business sustainable Pubs have to offer more than a dusty ale house with a decaying dart board in the darkest corner for entertainment. Old Bush Blues Festival one weekend a year is just such an enterprise that is making Old Bush Inn a popular place to visit.  To run the festival extra staff are employed, and Matt, has improved the pub inside and out making this an attractive Pub for Callow End to enjoy all year.

 

Live music has always been at the heart of village communities.  The garden in the pub is child-friendly, people can enjoy a drink and eat knowing the children are in a safe environment. Villages get a discounted ticket for the weekend. The festival brings a buzz to the village and in the past, many villagers loved the fact they could sit in their gardens and listen to the music. Not This year they complained. Two people are complaining ruining the fun and live music for the majority.

Stop the unfairness and support Matt & Karen Williams who want to run a successful business that includes a festival loved by the many.

Save Old Bush Blues Festival Sign the Petition Now! HERE

Show your support keeping music live, local and at the heart of the community.

Read Bluesdoodles ReviewsOld Bush Blues 2017  – Old Bush Blues 2016Old Bush Blues 2017

 

 

Fun and Music creating Perfect Mayhem Old Bush Blues 2017

 

 

2016 Old Bush Blues Traditions, Fun, Music Continues

2016 Old Bush Blues Traditions, Fun, Music Continues

2016 Old Bush Blues Traditions, Fun, Music Continues

This year Bluesdoodles could only enjoy Saturday and Sunday under the umbrella of blues hospitality that Matt Williams provides every year. For the second year Old Bush Blues entertained us, fed us and supplied some quality ale all wrapped up in the company of old, new and yet to meet friends. I was reliably informed that Friday, was the best ever opening for the friendly festival that relocated from The Star In, Bentworth losing nothing of its pizzazz and energy. Bluesdoodles was especially disappointed to have missed Lucy Zirins and Debbie Bond who entertained us with amazing Alabama infused blues at Blues on the Farm.

2016 Old Bush Blues Traditions, Fun, Music ContinuesSaturday – it is Hat Day, midday and the music starts with a storming set from Red Butler. We heard tracks that have become mainstays of their set including Pensions Blues that Jane Pearce wrote after receiving a letter at nineteen about planning for her future. Music is this band’s future building on the solid foundation with their debut album Freedom Bound. We are all anticipating their follow-up album with relish, Nothing To Lose may be the title but this young band has everything to again as they build blues that connects to listeners of all ages today. The crowd smiled, danced and got it the festival mood on hats day with their take on Shakin’ All Over and party piece Jay Walker. What a band to start the proceeding as the hats weaved between the two outside marquees Car Park and Garden and the acts in the bar this was a festival where the music entertained. Next up we had classic blues as Cryin’ Out Loud picked up the baton before passing onto a firm festival favourite Five Field Holler. This is the band who ensure that sound works throughout the three days and always provide an entertaining slot. Joined by Italian key board player and Tristan O’Kelly adding guitar and taking over vocal duties. The blues were firing in every shade and now into the bonfire of the blues some harmonica lead swing influence blues from the charismatic Rollo Markee & The Tailshakers. The hats were bobbing in time to the rhythms and the dancers just love to dance. Bringing the Saturday to a stylish close with a double act, back for the second year Catfish who wowed the bar last year. A great set of a mix of blues-rock with scintillating licks and riffs that are picked up by Paul on keys. His pedal board was vast, yet it was used with thought so no effect ever overpowered the great tone Matt conjours from his Les Paul. Matthew Long’s guitar playing influence by Joe Bonamassa just gets better and better the perfect run-up to Northsyde and bobble hat fun with Lorna Fothergill up front with their own brand of blues with rock and style. Old Bush Blues festooned with hats had a winner, then Lorna tried on for size and sung dressed as a beer keg! As Saturday due to an intoxicating close as guitarist Matthew Long & Sam Anderson joining Northsyde and played up until the curfew.

2016 Old Bush Blues Traditions, Fun, Music ContinuesSunday, Shirt and Dresses day back with music, beer, coffee and sunshine today drying up the rain from yesterday. Starting the proceedings were an up tempo Del Ray Rockets. This rockabilly trio delivered rock n’ roll lifting the Sunday spirit. Many of the attendees were so excited about Chris Farlowe singing this afternoon. The New Amen Corner started the proceedings the crowd was excited as they smiled danced and sung along to remembered songs from the sixties. Starting the set of featuring Jules Benjamin on keys was Bend Me Shake Me. An anthology of hits from the sixties the perfect mix for a Sunday afternoon, Chris Farlowe greeted by a loud cheer raised the temperature. Once again Matt has found the perfect set for the festival that curls around his pub in Callow End. Robin Bibi was on fire this afternoon. His playing was superb and the new numbers from his barn storming latest album, No More A Secret were electrifying. We were treated to a tribute to BB King, Waiting On You, as he did his walk around. He entertained with blues that filled the marquee as he stood on the table and then invited Richard Clarke to take a turn twiddling the six-strings and finally it was Matt Long’s turn. The title track ensured that albums were in demand and the Bo Diddle inspired Little Annie Brown had the dancers jumping with delight. Sunday saw the music flowing and spirits high with Danny Kyle, solo inspiring as he sat with guitar and vocals and enchanted the festival. Back Water Roll, an authentic six-piece rock n roll band kept the tempo rolling as they played the classic that will always be enjoyed. Next up was a band formed for the festival 633 Squadron, featuring Jules Fothergill (Northsyde), Stuart Dixon and Cliff Brown with his 633 amps. This was quality jam music that flowed and makes a festival zing with the spirit of fun, music and laughter. They may never have played before, no one would know this was blues with curling rock the perfect music as the evening darkened. Ending the festival in traditional style with a Jam with the other Jules. Old Bush Blues just keeps on entertaining and will continue to be an annual pilgrimage for many.

This is a festival that is about a community coming together to enjoy the weekend. Jules Benjamin throughout the weekend controlled the timing acted as MC. The BBQ ranged hot as burgers were demolished and Karen and her staff ensured food was available hot and well cooked. Old Bush Blues works due to the hard work of the whole festival team that surrounds Matt, the musicians and festival goers. Thank you, Old Bush Blues has delivered all it promised to here’s to 2017.

This year Bluesdoodles could only enjoy Saturday and Sunday under the umbrella of blues hospitality that Matt Williams provides every year. For the second year Old Bush Blues entertained us, fed us and supplied some quality ale all wrapped up in the company of old, new and yet to meet friends. I was reliably informed that Friday, was the best ever opening for the friendly festival that relocated from The Star In, Bentworth loosing nothing of its pizazz and energy. Bluesdoodles, was especially disappointed to have missed Lucy Zirins and Debbie Bond who entertained us with amazing Alabama infused blues at Blues on the Farm.

Saturday, midday and the music starts with a storming set from Red Butler. We heard tracks that have become mainstays of their set including Pensions Blues that Jane Pearce wrote after receiving a letter at nineteen about planning for her future. Music is this bands future building on the solid foundation with their debut album Freedom Bound. We are all anticipating their follow-up album with relish, Nothing To Lose may be the title but this young band has everything to again as they build blues that connects to listeners of all ages today. The crowd smiled, danced and got it the festival mood on hats day with their take on Shakin’ All Over and party piece Jay Walker. What a band to start the proceeding as the hats weaved between the two outside marquees Car Park and Garden and the acts in the bar this was a festival where the music entertained. Next up we had classic blues as Cryin’ Out Loud picked up the baton before passing onto a firm festival favourite Five Field Holler. This is the band who ensure that sound works throughout the three days and always provide an entertaining slot. Joined by Italian key board player and Tristan O’Kelly adding guitar and taking over vocal duties. The blues were firing in every shade and now into the bonfire of the blues some harmonica lead swing influence blues from the charismatic Rollo Markee & The Tailshakers. The hats were bobbing in time to the rhythms and the dancers just love to dance. Bringing the Saturday to a stylish close with a double act, back for the second year Catfish who wowed the bar last year. A great set of a mix of blues-rock with scintillating licks and riffs that are picked up by Paul on keys. His pedal board was vast, yet it was used with thought so no effect ever overpowered the great tone Matt conjures from his Les Paul. Matthew Long’s guitar playing influence by Joe Bonamassa just gets better and better the perfect run-up to Northsyde and bobble hat fun with Lorna Fothergill up front with their own brand of blues with rock and style. Old Bush Blues festooned with hats had a winner, then Lorna tried on for size and sung dressed as a beer keg! As Saturday due to an intoxicating close as guitarist Matthew Long & Sam Anderson joining Northsyde and played up until the curfew.

Sunday back with music, beer, coffee and sunshine today drying up the rain from yesterday. Starting the proceedings were an up-tempo Del Ray Rockets. This rockabilly trio delivered rock n’ roll lifting the Sunday spirit. Many of the attendees were so excited about Chris Farlowe singing this afternoon. The New Amen Corner started the proceedings the crowd was excited as they smiled danced and sung along to remembered songs from the sixties. Starting the set of featuring Jules Benjamin on keys was Bend Me Shake Me. An anthology of hits from the sixties the perfect mix for a Sunday afternoon, Chris Farlowe greeted by a loud cheer raised the temperature. Once again Matt has found the perfect set for the festival that curls around his pub in Callow End. Robin Bibi, was on fire this afternoon. His playing was superb and the new numbers from his barn storming latest album, No More A Secret were electrifying. We were treated to a tribute to BB King, Waiting On You, as he did his walk around. He entertained with blues that filled the marquee as he stood on the table and then invited Richard Clarke to take a turn twiddling the six-strings and finally it was Matt Long’s turn. The title track ensured that albums were in demand and the Bo Diddle inspired Little Annie Brown had the dancers jumping with delight. Sunday saw the music flowing and spirits high with Danny Kyle, solo inspiring as he sat with guitar and vocals and enchanted the festival. Back Water Roll, an authentic six-piece rock n roll band kept the tempo rolling as they played the classic that will always be enjoyed. Next up was a band formed for the festival 6333 Squadron, featuring Jules Fothergill (Northsyde), Stuart Dixon and Cliff Brown with his 633 amps. This was quality jam music that flowed and makes a festival zing with the spirit of fun, music and laughter. They may never have played before, no one would know this was blues with curling rock the perfect music as the evening darkened. Ending the festival in traditional style with a Jam with the other Jules. Old Bush Blues just keeps on entertaining and will continue to be an annual pilgrimage for many.

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This is a festival that is about a community coming together to enjoy the weekend. Jules Benjamin throughout the weekend controlled the timing acted as MC. The BBQ ranged hot as burgers were demolished and Karen and her staff ensured food was available hot and well cooked. Old Bush Blues works due to the hard work of the whole festival team that surrounds Matt, the musicians and festival goers. Thank you, Old Bush Blues has delivered all it promised to here’s to 2017.

Old Bush Blues Festival 2015 ~ Formerly known as Bentworth Blues

Howlin' Mat  - Old Bush Blues- August 2015_0017lOld Bush Blues Festival
@ Old Bush, Callow End. Worcestershire
2 1st – 23rd August 2015

 

 

It may have been the inaugural Old Bush Blues Festival at Callow End, Worcester, but it is in fact another Matt Williams extravaganza with a little (well lots of help from Karen and his many friend)this is Old Bush Blues formerly known as Bentworth Blues!

Slide show of the weekend more at Bluesdoodles Photography

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The festival was wall to wall music across three areas from midday Friday through to 11pm Sunday. There was music to suit festival goers who wanted to chill, dance and have a thoroughly great time. This review is a snapshot of all the fun and delight in hearing music live catching up with friends and making new ones; there was always a glittering of magic over Bentworth and this Matt has miraculously managed to transfer to his new pub The Old Bush. This is a new location but the positive Matt vibe is shining strong overcoming every obstacle thrown at him first re-locating the festival and the British summer weather over the three days, rain, hot sun, clouds and then the mini whirlwind that ran through the festival on Saturday followed by a deluge and the power going out the stage going dark but all was overcome and the festival was a roaring success. The bar is well stocked, the food delicious whilst the bands playing in the bar had a cosy alcove and the music floated across the throngs into every corner and crevice. The two outside stages were close together, great for moving between when the weather was inclement, the only tiny downside was you could hear the sound check of the next band occasionally when the act was playing on the adjacent stage, a minor irritant that never dampened the music.

 

The highlights on Friday from chatting to people as we missed the opening day were two old Bentworth favourites Five Field Holler who always run the sound desks and show their talents on stage and making sure every band has the sound just perfect and Trafficker so now Tommy Allen and the boys have a new home.

Slide show of the weekend more at Bluesdoodles Photography

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Saturday was a bright summers day and the tones of Luke Doherty’s guitar playing with his band opened the proceedings delighting the crowd with a mixture of Blues standards and some new material off his latest album Six Strings and A Stetson warming the crowd on a sunny afternoon once again. To make a festival work the music needs to be varied and Matt has woven together an interesting mix as Lucy Zirins not in her usual solo guise but with her new band her Southern Company and they mix her stylish acoustic guitar with double bass, keys, fiddle and drums which add texture complimenting Lucy’s songwriting. The tracks from her debut album Chasing Clocks had an authenticity as the Southern Company all worked on the album. Her performance was faultless with a calm charisma that warms the audience and the smile is infectious we are all looking forward to her forthcoming EP especially after hearing some live this afternoon Falling To pieces in particular is a gem and we all celebrated her airing on Paul Jones’ Radio 2 programme with a live rendition of Morning Light. Today the shiny Tallulah guitar may have been left at home she was missed but we loved Lucy and the band.
The music played on The Mustangs now picked up the beat on the other stage and they had the crowds on their feet and dancing to blues that hits your shoe-tapping, hip-swaying inner soul. They played a mix of classics and numbers off their albums to a very high standard full of high energy guitar and harp driven melodies of R n’B that rattles and rolls. While the stages were re-organised we had an entertaining set in the bar from Lenny James and the Gator Squad, then back out into the sunshine to listen to a trio who enthralled with their brand of the blues and the lead breaks were definitely ear entertainment; fitting in with the vibe of this happy laid back festival.
Now an act that many had been waiting with anticipation for all weekend The Blues Duo, Tommy Allen & Johnny Hewitt as they sat down to entertain with Chicago inspired blues that rolls of the guitar and harp across the stage and drifted throughout the festival site. As we all sat back to enjoy the music no-one expected what was to happen next the clouds filled in the blues skies, there was a calm then a mini twister tore through the site taking marquees and parasols and then the torrents of rain the music played on a bit of tempestuous weather was going to dampen our fun then it went silent as the power failed and the music stopped. No it didn’t! Within minutes Tommy had an acoustic guitar and they played on with no mics the stage was dark and the music took on an authentic feel as the staff tried to find out what was the problem with no quick solution the acoustic theme continued with Dan Sowerby in the Bar as the trio delivered the set in an unlit bar but nothing was going to silence the Old Bush Blues and the hand pumped beer still flowed from the tap.
Having lost less than an hour of electric music the festival picked up the schedules with a barnstorming and appropriately re-named Electric, formerly known as Sugar Mama.  As usual this power trio hit the ground running with verve and electric energy the music zinged and the captivating performance of Sam Anderson on guitar re-energised the festival. This was tempestuous playing the perfect antidote to the idiosyncratic weather thrown at us during the day. The set was powerful delivered at a furious, but controlled pace. Baby Please Don’t Go came alive, all the covers given the Electric treatment including Summertime Blues; Alien Alien in between self-penned numbers. Everyone was on their feet ready to party then we had the added bonus of Ross Barnes on Saxophone a young talent to look out for.
Northsyde - Old Bush Blues- August 2015_0151lThis is a perfect festival band and with Northsyde to follow we were in the mood to party.  This band are like an institution at Bentworth and like all good traditions it was continuing at Old Bush Blues.  Lorna’s vocals were full of passion as her tongue curled around the lyrics and then they were sung with a purity that raised the roof; the band are a complete item no wonder they have multi-nominations once again at this year’s British Blues Awards. Jules on guitar plays sweet licks, dynamic riffs and the lead breaks mesmerize as Lorna’s voice has a break, the rhythm section Ian on bass and drummer Haydn provide the ground from which Lorna and Jules can fly. Matt distributed bobble hats (a favourite fashion accessory of Lorna’s) to the dancing crowds, we certainly didn’t need them with the temperature rising with every note delivered they definitely added to the festival vibe. The music flowed with Hard Shoes, their sublime version of the Allman Brother’s Whipping Post, and the extended version of Statesbro’ Blues added to the emotive festival atmosphere. As the clock ticked on the set finished far too soon as the closing notes of the title track of their latest album Story Teller’s Daughter faded away the stage fell quiet and then the whoops and cheers began – what a show. Bringing the Saturday night to a close was the festival’s MC and all round entertainer Jules Benjamin Saturday certainly was a roller coaster ride but the music won through, live up close and fantastic and there was still Sunday  to come.

Slide show of the weekend more at Bluesdoodles Photography

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Sunday and we all wanted more music and the opening duo of Kyle and Shaw retain their established slot opening  the last day of the festival an acoustic duo who deliver music that is soothing and intriguing as they find songs with a difference those not often heard . The set hits the right spot as we sip our coffee, have the first pint of the day and build ourselves up for the feast of music on offer. Danny Kyle is a skilled guitarist and vocalist building the tension and emotion in the lyric driven songs and the bass line from Pete Shaw is the perfect punctuation a bluesy act that fits the festival like a glove. Now for a solo act that is different, nothing quiet and laid back as Yorkshire man Blues Beaten Redshaw entertains with tales, guitar, banjo and his Diddly Bow. This is music that has a rough edge with hints of country and his own unique in-your-face delivery making him a crowd pleasing favourite.  Not everything went to plan first one then a second string pinged on his banjo and then without missing a beat he used the banjo as a prop to keep time and continued delivering the music. He melded classics together creating a melody that explored the origins of the blues and made the songs come alive with his unique act that does truly entertain. If you love electric blues Chicago 9 certainly hits the right notes but they never set the marquee alight.
Whereas Catfish in the Bar certainly did and everyone I spoke to said they should be back next year on a stage where more people could get to hear this act that knows how to get the best out of classics giving them a new lease of life. What set them above others who play Born Under A Bad Sign and other such classics is hard to define in words the musicianship was first class above all they played with that essential and often elusive ingredient “feel” and understanding and pure enjoyment of the genre.  Matt Long on guitar shredded the notes and put them back together as a true blues number with superb keys from Paul Long and between them they shared vocal duties each selecting songs that suit their vocal tone and delivered an accomplished set. The studio album, So Many Roads is very good but live they have a special magic They played some stupendous, formidable numbers delivered with panache, energy and passion, the band of the day for me, and running a very close second was Will Wilde the next band up. He plays harmonica with tone and style that are quite unique and the band just gets better. He is a harmonica player that squeezes every note and tonal effect out of the harp to produce music you want to listen to.  He can play a guitar decently too, it was abandoned when tuning went awry, and he simply picked up the harp and continued. On The Road Again is a Will Wilde cover that is becoming a signature number on his live sets with tracks from his current album, Raw Blues and some new songs including Jealous Woman. He and the band may have arrived late but made up for it by producing the musical goods on the stage.  With a quick break and change of stage the four-piece Voodoo Sheiks picked up the music baton, they launched into a set full of tracks from their latest album Voodification. This was a set that the dancers liked and the crowds tapped their feet in time with the Chicago driven blues set and were just what the Doctor ordered on an early Sunday evening as the shadows began to lengthen.  With just three acts left people’s thoughts began to turn to the journey home later that night or on the Monday as the campers prayed the rain would stay away.
Howlin’ Mat – (yes Mat with one not two t’s) an entertaining solo act entertained in the Bar and the second Diddly Bow of the day was introduced. His take on Little Red Rooster has a real rough edged, earthy and dirty sound that Mat delivers with a smile and really does hit the sweet-spot. He has great banter and connects with the audience and with Matt who joined him on the bongo drums adding an unexpected and different vibe to the set. The set was a mix of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf all given the Howlin’ Mat treatment with accomplished and stylish guitar playing. Back out into the beer garden for Andre Bisson and the first trumpet of the festival, the horns certainly add a tonal texture to the music and a layer of musical colours to the sound.  With their unique mix of blues, soul and pop classics they always are a crowd pleaser bringing a warm atmosphere to the closing hours of the weekend. Their version of I Heard It Through the Grapevine has a warmth of delivery as Andre sings the lyrics and adds layers of guitar riffs and licks. They are a perfect band to close a festival as they play music we love to hear that is always pleasing to the ear. Old Bush Blues though has one more act as people start to pack up it is Jules Benjamin and friends who serenade the festival as he is joined by many of the musicians that have played throughout the weekend.

Slide show of the weekend more at Bluesdoodles Photography

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Well Done Matt and your team you pulled it off and we are now on the countdown to year two at The Old Bush Callow End.

Slide show of the weekend more at Bluesdoodles Photography