News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands Announced
Unsigned Artist Competition – Winners Announced playing live on main stage at Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne on Saturday & Sunday.
The festival requested unsigned acts… and received them by the bucket-load! Following an overwhelming response, The Jessica Foxley Unsigned judging panel chose 8 finalists to open the festival main stages this summer.
The eight bands all bring to the stage all the excitement of live music. One of the eight will then be chosen toparticipate in the UK Blues Challenge on 10th September 2017 at the Iconic venue The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
Jessica Foxley Unsigned Band will be performing alongside the four bands, LaVendore Rogue; Elles Bailey; Zoe Schwarz & The Rainbreakers. The winning band will step into the shoes of Kaz Hawkins who in 2017 was semi-finalist at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis and Winner of the European Blues Challenge.
Seeking Festival VolunteersThe festival seek volunteers to help at the event.In return for skills, time and energy, volunteers receive free festival tickets, vouchers for food and refreshments, an exclusive crew t-shirt, plus of course, be part of what is shaping up to be one of the best blues-rock based event of the year.Colin Hill, the CEO of Colne Town Council comments “And… for any young person over 16, not yet experienced in the workplace and wanting to gain some hands-on experience of what running an event like this entails, this a great opportunity to be part of something exciting and challenging…”To register interest and for further information, here’s more…Festival ‘Headline’ Sponsors Announced
Barnfield Construction are based in Nelson and have been established for over 40 years. The family run contractors, developers and investors offer honest, thought-through and practical solutions to a diverse array of new and refurbishment building contracts ranging from industrial, commercial, retail, leisure, plus hospitality and residential schemes.
Roaming Roasters are a farm shop and deli on Barrowford Rd, Higham, and sell locally sourced, grass fed and free range meat, along with handmade pies and loads more tasty stuff.
Hippodrome Theatre, Friday Evening, 25th August
Ian Siegal & Band – celebrating 25 years of professional touring with his songs that are real, shows that resonate and vocals served raw +
The Lachy Doley Group – “The Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ” +
Tom Attah & The Bad Man Clan – A modern, living bluesman…
The Muni, Friday Evening, 25th August
Joanne Shaw Taylor – UK’s number one star in the blues rock world + Stevie Nimmo Trio – one half of Scotland’s highly respected ‘Nimmo Brothers’ + The Revelator Band – unpredictable, fun festival-style blues.
Aynsley ListerWhen explosive natural ability collides with fiery, emotionally charged compositions, the result is Aynsley Lister… + Rob Tognoni Explosive guitar playing and unique songs + TJ & The Suitcase Vocal / Harmonica / Suitcase drum / Home made tambourine beater pedal… Its time to get packed!
The Muni, Saturday Evening, 26th August
Grammy nominee Janiva Magness + the blues, soul, gospel of Jo Harman + The Kaz Hawkins Band – Northern Ireland’s fun, heartfelt, soulful rock ‘n’ roll-blues…, Lisa Mills
Hippodrome Theatre, Sunday Evening, 26th August
Lucky Peterson –Searing lead guitarist, fantastic organist, and first-rate vocalist Clay Shelburn – Funk, rock, blues and country from this incredible selftaught multi-talented artist Michael Messer’s Mitra – A remarkable fusion of country blues with Hindustani music
The Muni, Sunday Evening, 26th August
King King – Soulful, dynamic, blues-rock from Glasgow John Fairhurst – The Wigan Jimi Hendrix Gwyn Ashton – Solo, hardcore, 21st Century, alternative blues
_____________________________________________________________ This is just a snap shot of the array of music available at the Festival:- The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival:
12 Official venues
1 Great Festival
Skegness Solid Live Music
More Blues than Rock in 2017
January drawing to a close, Christmas lights a fading memory. Then your calendar clicks around to Butlins, Skegness for the Great British Rock & Blues Festival, the next year of musical journeys begins. This year the emphasis is on Blues, Rock has fallen if not silent but reduced to a whisper this year, upsetting some and definitely changing the balance and feel of the weekend.
The Introducing Stage got the show underway from 4pm Friday until the early hours of Monday morning. The gaps were minimal the music quality, meeting of friends chatting about what stood out and having fun was the order of the day. The grumble about the lack of rock was justified. The title of the weekend is Rock & Blues so you would expect a balanced mixture. Everyone who knows me knows that I love my Blues of every hue, but I love the energy of Rock, the power of Rock and energy of the stage shows and this year this injection of power was missed. Without the balance of Rock and Blues, we didn’t have the contrast of razor-sharp, sparkling blues guitar and the full-on power chords and stinging licks of granite fueled rock.
Bluesdoodles, Liz Aiken enjoyed the weekend visiting the stages catching acts, missing others. With four stages this was a hectic few days. Starting off with the highlights across the days on Introducing Stage, run by Steve Stanley, of Solid Entertainments with the help from Paul Stiles and the Blues In Britain Team to hand out the voting disks. The Skeggie road takes us to Centre Stage – designated as ‘The Rock Stage’ by the Butlins programming team. The journey continues with a visit to Jaks with its late night sessions jams and a distinctive atmosphere, organised by Blues Matters. Finally, our travels and weary feet take us to Reds, 2017 the Blues stage. The programming was without argument patchy by the Butlins team what was good was very good, interspersed by mediocre and poor. The Road was definitely a Blue cobbled street rather than a rocky trail throughout the 2017 weekend. Let’s hope this is a transition year and next year the balance between Rock and Blues is restored. There are so many young exciting bands on the circuit that would be delighted to entertain the Skeggie crowds.
Now, for the music. GT’s Boos Band got the show under way and they were one of the thirteen excellent bands who delighted the crowded area at the heart of the Skyline Pavilion. The bands played for the chance of performing on a stage at Butlins 2018, decided by public vote. The three successful bands this year were Friday Night –Tom Walker Trio, Saturday, Southboundand the final finalist on Sunday was Greg Coulson Band. The competition was tough every band bought an interpretation of blues and rock that shows the depth of live music in the UK today. Tom Walker Trio, played a set that sparked including originals and an interesting, entertaining interpretation of Joe Bonamassa’s John Henry. Hitting the authentic blues spot Backwater Roll certainly pleased the audience in a packed area. Saturday night showed that this stage is getting more popular every year as the place to find new festival gems that you will want to see live again. Southbound were great on the night with a live performance showcasing the power of the rhythm section as they delivered their distinctive Blues Rock with a bucket of soul sound thrown in for good measure. Matt Edwards Band with Stuart Dixon on bass impressed as did their 2015 album Four Berry Jam. Matt has a voice that makes you listen and his guitar playing has an infectious tone. Amy Eftekhari’sperformance of Somewhere Over The Rainbow got the crowds purring with delight. Then it was Sunday two performances really stood out and on another day Elles Bailey would have won. Her vocals have power and the addition of Nick Garner on harp added another dimension to this class act; for me the winner of Sunday night. But the popular vote went to Greg Coulson, who delivered by surrounding himself with excellent musicians and a confident stage presence on the day. His experience as keyboardist with The Selectors shone through combined with strong numbers from his forthcoming debut album. This was party music that lit up the Introducing Stage.
Centre Stage is where queues form every night long before the doors open. At least now they are entertained by the adjacent Introducing Stage. This year designated The Rock Stage for the first time had one certainty rock would be hard to find. Friday night opened with one of last year’s winners Sugarman Sam & The Voodoo Men. Wow, the transition to main stage fitted the band perfectly with a strong set. The music was hefty blues-rock, punctuated with authentic blues licks that curled around the rhythm section. Sugarman Sam, is growing as the new number She’s A Woman demonstrated. The following act was Eric Sardinas & Big Motor highly anticipated and deeply disappointing in the delivery. Yes, a string did break, but why the length of time off stage, as so many said surely someone of this calibre should have a spare guitar tuned for slide, do a different number or have a guitar tech. It was left to the bass player, Paul Loranger who held the fort not once but twice as Sardinas left the stage and flounced off again. What the band played was good but the flow of the set was disjointed and definitely an off night for this colourful performer of Rock-blues.
Saturday with two sessions the afternoon opened by Texas Flood another winner from 2016. What a winning Rock n’ Roll set. Texas Flood definitely washed away any cobwebs with a rip-roaring high octane set that rocked. This is the rock we want to hear at Skeggie, but why the early timing? It was not as if the evening bands were that exciting. The energy was high, the timing sharp they certainly did Wales proud! The interplay between guitar and bass was sharp and entertaining. Closing the afternoon the Helen Hardy Band entertained. A good R n’ B band the covers we know and flowed through the auditorium as Saturday afternoon drew to a close. Saturday night. Kenney Jones & The Jones Gang, may not be classic rock but this was a band that delighted the crowds with songs from his vast back catalogue. Kenney Jones, the drummer who was the heart of three of the great bands The Small Faces, Faces and The Who. The crowd sung along with delight to Itchycoo Park and more. Leafhound, a rock band were well received with Luke Rayner’s guitar sounding superb, the most underrated of the weekend. (Bluesdoodles spent most of the time in Reds and Jaks this just didn’t rock our boots)
Last day of the festival with a feeling of the night after the day before. The last of 2016 Introducing Stage winners the Rainbreakers started things off. This is a band that never rains on your parade but brings a ray of sunshine Once again proving what a great launch pad the introducing stage is as they also stepped into Centre stage limelight delivering a storming set. The testimony to this was the queue for the merch as people wanted to get their hands on the latest E.P. Rise Up. This was R n’ B with attitude, full of tasty riffs and delicious licks in the eclectic selection of numbers. A class act with loads of potential to be a name on everyone’s lips. Popa Chubby Band closed out the afternoon with his own brand of Blues and R n’ B with his trademarked lead breaks, held together by a solid rhythm section. The crowd really warmed to him many hearing him for the first time. Definitely class blues BUT definitely not Rock as Poppa described his music as Working Class Blues. The night was not about rock but there were three acts that delighted the audiences. Kicking off the double celebration of the Rocking Blues was Laurence Jones with his new line-up. He built the energy, excited the packed house, the guitar was sweet. Laurence full of confidence gained from years of touring and playing live across Europe and the UK. The set was one-hundred percent Laurence with ribbons and bells as he showcased his latest album Take Me High. That is definitely what he did he took us high in to a dazzling blue encrusted music with the edge of rock With Joanne Shaw Taylor up next we were going to be in for a Wild ride. Reflecting her current album, the set was full of deep blues riffs and licks that curled around the audience with a sensuous and stylish flow. The interaction between Joanne and her bassist Luigi Casanova adds energy a visual focal point. Then she breaks away and soars into her renowned guitar solos that hit the spot where musical memories are made. Tonight, was the best I had heard her vocals the balance was perfect so voice and guitar were in balanced harmony. Closing out the festival on Centre Stage was Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel where many re-lived memories and reminded many of the sound track of their youth.
The weekend selection at Jaks was vast, full of delights and festival gems plus the fun of Saturday afternoon Jam. Ranging from the gently harmonious blues from Fran McGillivray to the dynamic sounds of blues with a punk attitude and sassy energy from the Husky Tones as this duo caught your attention. With a new album out soon this is a band we will be hearing lots of as they ask Who Will I Turn To Now? Closing the night as the other stages fell silent we danced into the early hours with The Revolutionaires led by the charismatic and energetic Ed Stephenson. Saturday afternoon is all about the Jam which two young men, Mikey Maclennan and Steve Liddle ran with style as unfortunately Jam stalwart Gary Boner from Roadhouse was unwell following a recent operation. Everyone wishes Gary a speedy recovery and a hearty welcome back to Skegness 2018. Saturday evening was a night of magic live-music. With two of the acts for many the bands of the weekend. Firstly Catfish who played a blinding set. Deep emotional blues full of verve and style as Matthew Long with his voice and guitar dominated the stage capturing the audience so that no-one was tempted away. Catfish’s rendition of Make It Rain was stunning and the emotions were charged and there were tears of joy as the passions of the audience and the band connected. Their new album, out 28th January, Broken Man will be a hit of 2017 there is definitely nothing broken about this band. How do you follow that with Dom Pipkin & The Ikos and some New Orleans infused music. Closing the night and welcoming in Sunday were LaVendore Rogue. A band that is like marmite with the supporters outweighing those who cannot connect to their interpretation of the blues. Mixing up the set with old Hokie Joint numbers and tracks from the debut album, Light Up With they definitely shone music into our soul tonight. Sunday evening, without Roadhouse they pulled a blinder by filling the gap with Ash Wilson. The anticipation was high, many had seen him play dual guitar in the Sean Webster Band. On stage he was joined by Bob Fridzema and Roger Inniss who played on his debut album, Broken Machine. Joining him on drums tonight was Wayne Proctor sitting in for his brother Phil Wilson who was otherwise engaged playing drums with Laurence Jones on Centre Stage. The set was mature, accomplished a quality performance of R n’B from everyone on stage. We heard covers like My Babe done the Ash way. Ash’s vocals are strong at times sounding like molasses with the bass drum the heartbeat like cotton popping in a sun-drenched field as he Holding Hands was sung. The Revelator a Jesse Davey number picked up the tempo. There was a pure synergy between these top drawer blues musicians a delight to behold and listen to. Be delighted to see him on the Blues main stage next year. Following this Will Johns & Friends, with Mikey Maclennan once again coming to the rescue as stand-in drummer. He met Will and the band a few minutes before stepping on Jaks stage with them to play a festival set. What a brilliant job he did. Very entertaining with witty repartee, brilliant guitar with a fantastic tone. What a high quality set of blues. The festival had one more act as the clocked turned into Monday, Jaks was packed as everyone squeezed a few more musical memories out of The Great Rock & Blues Festival 2017. Kris Barras Band, who delivered blues rock with power and a force to be reckoned with. Another live act that delivers every time building on the studio sound heard in their current album Lucky 13. Blues Matters once again delivered music that will hold many memories and hats off to the DJ Clive Rawlings who each year acts as the glue that held the sessions together.
Reds this year was coloured with Blues of every hue and shade. With Friday and Saturday dedicated to firstly to the harmonica and then to Alligator Records. Opening the festival for Reds was A Harmonica Explosion, a night where this German folk instrument was re-shaped in tone and playing by Southern States Blues musicians to be forever connected. Blues and harmonica are a perfect pairing. Opening the night was Giles Robson Band, a very entertaining set engaging the audience who were delighted to participate when asked. The music was an explosion of blues harp as we stepped on board the steam train and followed Giles on a ride full of tonal twists and turns of the blues-harp. Later on in the evening he was joined by three more renowned harp-players Magic Dick, who for some reason was not on top form, James Harman beset with frustrating technical issues so his harp was silent for far too long and the cream of the night a musician on fire Billy Branch. When they all played together at the end of the evening we were treated to a harp firework display. The acoustic set from Martin Harley opening on Saturday afternoon was a melodic delight as he explored the tonal ranges of his lap Weissenborn guitar. The covers took us deep into the Delta full of acoustic twists and turns gently kick-starting a harmonious Saturday in Reds turned Blue. The tempo then changed and Reds was packed as loyal fans of Nine Below Zero were once again caressed by the band that knows how to deliver. The only disappointment was this set was on in the afternoon many felt it suited an evening slot. The music drew you in the blues was delivered and everyone left with a deep sigh of contentment. The evening was a celebration of all things Alligator. With a first for Skeggie a Q&A session with Bruce Iglauer President and founder of Alligator records. Lots of interesting questions and we all gained an insight into how a blues label works. Three blinding sets unfurled showing the diversity of electric blues. Marcia Ball got the Alligator Party rocking turning Reds into a Roadhouse for this Blues Spectacular. Proper Chicago blues played by a wonderful group of musicians who with a smile opened up the joy of the blues and entertained. Marcia Ball sung like an angel accompanying herself on the piano with the musicians that pulled together to showcase the sound they just love to share with everyone who listens. Blues is heavenly when played this well. The harmonious and interesting combination of drum shuffles, sax, keys and the power of vocal lyrics was infectious with the guitar pulling the show together. Wow! How do you follow that? Easy when you have the depth of Alligator artists to choose from. Next up blues with a difference a trio, Moreland and Arbuckle. All eyes are focused on Moreland with his cigar box guitar and Arbuckle’s, harp and vocals. A high octane band playing Roots music that rocks you to your core. Electrifying raw delta infused music that gets the adrenalin pumping feet tapping and you get a warm feel good glow as the music surges through your veins. Closing tonight we headed deep into Southside Chicago for authentic urban blues with Toronzo Cannon. Having learnt his craft in the competitive and demanding Windy city club scene it takes a special blues magic to rise above the crowd. Toronzo has that with style and a flourish as he melds smooth vocals and stinging guitar chords. With a mix of his own numbers with strong lyrics and a couple of covers; what a dynamic end to an evening that enveloped you in Chicago Blues and so much more.
Sunday at Reds was a mixed package for me opening with Lil Jimmy Reed featuring Bob Hall on Keys this was the perfect blues smoothie for early Sunday afternoon. Followed by Paul Jones and Dave Kelly as a duet Sunday was a smooth affair. The evening was a mix David Knopfler on acoustic guitar, disappointed, The Blues Band as ever delivers British blues with style and aplomb. Closing the night is Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective; this is blues infused with English Folk and roots music. Closing the festival on Reds they delivered a stylish set that didn’t for me shout out the blues. Not a celebration but a party we all enjoyed.
There were many highlights of every Blue hue the strongest stages over the whole festival weekend were Jaks and the Introducing Stage. The night celebrating Alligator Records was a combination of brilliant blues drenched music. The three young bands who won The Introducing Stage Sugarman Sam & The Voodoo Men, Texas Flood and The Rainbreakers, all added a shine to the festival. Memories of 2017 will be many and all tinged in blue rather than rock. The acts that you should run to see again are Catfish, LaVendore Rogue, Ash Wilson, the winners of the Intro Stage and Elles Bailey. Joanne Shaw Taylor in this form is a force to be reckoned with, Marcia Ball , Moreland & Arbuckle, Toronzo Cannon and the harp supremacy that is Giles Robson.
What a line-up this not just promises to be exciting it will be with scintillating guitars, powerful voices as blues is twisted, turned creating a rainbow faceted jewel of every shade of blue. will be rocked, amazed and excited by the music from the first to the last note.
HRH Blues are proud to fly in yet another incredible talent for its 3rd round of Blues rock infused fun in Sheffield.
The Billy Walton Band compliment an already stellar Blues Rock line up and with under 90 tickets remaining, it looks like it will sell out even earlier than last year.
Ten Years After and Bernie Marsden performing at last year’s HRH Blues 2
Ten Years After
HRH CEO Jonni Davis praised the band by saying “ Walton’s talents are no secret among everyone in the Jersey shore music scene and with the founding of the Billy Walton Band, there’s little doubt his reputation will grow far beyond the Garden State. The Billy Walton Band’s sound is a combination of hard blues reminiscent of Hendrix, Clapton and Vaughn mixed with a healthy dose of Warren Hayes and Derrick Trucks.
“Live, Walton has always been an explosive performer with Jaw dropping talent but with the addition of bassist William Paris, Richie Taz on sax and drummer Johnny D’Angelo the Billy Walton band churns out a singular brand of funky blues that has deep roots in both the jam band musical tradition as well as the Jersey shore Walton has cut his teeth on. We can’t wait to see him perform next year in Sheffield.”
HRH Blues 3 takes place on 15th & 16th April 2017 @ the 02 Academy , Sheffield and the last few tickets can be booked online HEREor by ringing Lisa on 0207 097 1521
Rocking across the Bay, it must be the first week in December, Trecco Bay, Porthcawl and Planet Rockstock hits town the rocking jamboree from Planet Rock with three days and nights of live music. Bluesdoodles had a rocking good time Rockstock is a brilliantly organised festival, thanks to the hard work, smiles of everyone involved backs stage and throughout the resort. The sound was of the highest quality, the lighting electrified the stage, change over between the bands was kept to a minimum and the background music entertained, the Trecco Crew where helpful serving us coffee, food, beer always with a smile. When Stage 1 was silent during the day there was plenty of music on stage two, a quiz, auditions for Darren’s DIY band. This made the festival friendly, fun and a pleasure to be part of – now what about the rock music.
Rocking across the Bay – Friday Night:-
… the stage was set and the film reel rolled as a dramatic opening for the festival using Star Wars to relate the history whetting our appetites as we cheered for the first of many times the exploits of Wyatt and his magnificent Bike ride to Trecco Bay raising over £33, 000 for the nominated charity CALM. Then Inglorious hit the stage at a high-octane speed with real energy. Inglorious packed a punchy set and the forthcoming self-titled album is waited with even more anticipation by many who heard the band play live for the first time. Inglorious have been getting loads of attention including airplay on Planet Rock and they didn’t disappoint. Breakaway their single was played with rocky riffs and Nathan’s vocals are the perfect tonal shape and control to front a rock band that means business and wants to excite. The debut self-titled album will be in demand when released in February 2016.
What a start how to follow that with blues that rock courtesy of South African mega-guitarist Dan Patlansky and he rocked the blues out of Trecco bay. The wind may have been howling outside but inside it was the guitar storm that had everyone mesmerised. Focusing on the deft lay of fingers on the six strings, we heard from the album Dear Silence Thieves. Every time I hear him pay live I feel the passion and the music just gets better his manipulation of the six strings, in fact the whole guitar needs to be seen to be believed. You know when he starts to manipulate the guitar strings you are going to hear and see dynamic guitar that is magic. What a start with young guns on the UK music scene igniting the stage.
The Dead Daisies, a supergroup that plays rock they want to share and enjoy the interaction with the audience keeping the music fresh and live. Mixing original tracks including some from latest album Revolucion including the single Mexico they added there take on Hush getting in some crowd participation and All Right Now. John Corabi’s vocals were stunning having joined the band in 2015 he fitted perfectly and the 12 string acoustic added another tonal texture. The line-up is fluid tonight we saw a group of musicians who play to the crowd who just want to join in the fun full of energy a music collective that works this is a group that plays classic rock playing such great songs.
Closing the night were FM; regulars at Rockstock who closed the night with live music that ensured Friday night rocked; now for Saturday.
After auditions a short time to practice before the stage lights shone on Darren’s DIY bandIron Made-Up, taking a leaf out of The Dead Daisies the line-up varied not for a tour but for each song! This was Carosel rock – Foo Fighters, Learn To Fly with Wyatt on Drums rather than a bike! Sounded really good a cracking idea for a festival high-grade audience participation. Then re-building the drum kit for right-handed Kim as she kicked off the beat and Darren completed the rhythm section for I love Rock n Roll all too soon it was Living After Midnight with a flavour of Judas Priest. This is festival fun without mayhem and then the extra number with another line-up Si King and friends performing Wishing Well, what a great start to the Saturday night musical fun.
Last year they rocked Stage Two and back again by popular demand on Stage One Gun Metal Gray. This is a young heavy rock band that gets deep into the groove of rock they distill the essence of rock in every beat and the lyrics. With the title track of the album played with verve and passion no wonder the merch desk was stormed as fans made tonight wanted a copy to take home.
They were followed by Heaven’s Basement who performed rock fuelled with British influence and sharp lyrics as they sang and shredded tracks including Lights Out in London and I Am Electric. The tempo rose and eased back on the throttle with bluesy influences and this is Rock n Roll that opens up the gates of hell rather than heaven!
Heaven’s Basement Gallery
The blues today was handled byJoanne Shaw Taylor a rarity at the festival a trio where the focus was on a guitar and a woman performer. JST is no power trio, Joanne handles the fender with authentic R N B and lead breaks that take you deep into the land of music. Delighted that in the pick of tracks from her current album The Dirty Truth she played Wrecking Ball one of my favourites. Joanne distilled her emotional energy and angst deep into the guitar and her vocals rolled around the auditorium as she sang Tried Tested and True a low autobiographical number with a sharp quip at the beginning. More fans were won over to the blues side of rock tonight with her singing and guitar playing. Joanne Shaw Taylor Gallery
Then the headliners of the evening Rival Sons, the anticipation rose the standing area became a packed crush once again we all wanted to be up close and personal with this fantastic band the buzz at Rockstock rose to a crescendo of joy. Opening with Electric Man from Great Western Valkyrie the band hit a high note with a barnstorming opening and the crowds sung along and screamed with collective shared pleasure. This is a band that puts on a show and Jay gets the crowd excited with the crowd continuing to sing along after the song finishes the guitar playing rocked and rolled around the chords and the slide from guitarist Scott Holiday using a gun shape slide on his ring finger courtesy of Jetslide Guitar Slides all adds to the rocking event that is Rival Sons. Music comes first with layers of sound and then the rocking cherry on top of a stage show and presence that makes Rival Sons the complete rock package.
All too soon a rollicking Saturday night came to an end with everyone very satisfied, having enjoyed an array of bands during the day.
Sunday got off to a great start on Stage Two withBuffalo Summer and Cairo Sons being mentioned as the pick of the bands in lots of conversations why they played music that hit the spot and added layers of rock tone to the proceedings with some individuality and many were disappointed that Buffalo Summer ran out of CDs the demand outdid supply.
Rocking across the Bay – Sunday Night:-
Sunday evening on Stage One kicked off with Scorpion Child and finished with The Darkness with a full range of bands interpretations of rock in between. Scorpion Child’s use of synth keys to add to the rhythm section combined with punchy riffs from lead guitar caught your attention. This was a short set and may not have given the band scope to expand and shape the music. They certainly opened the evening and got the crowds in a rocking mood. Scorpion Child Gallery
Many were excited to hear Crobot, for me this was the band that impressed me the least over the weekend. For me the head banging and antics on stage did nothing to add and in a way disguised the quality of the music. The bass player’s attire or lack of it left nothing to the imagination. As ever music is subjective and many loved them.
Danko Jones a rare power trio followed as he delivered fast furious and frantic rock. Danko’s tongue curled around and shaped the lyrics ass he spat them out like crushed gravel, Danko Jones knew how to entertain with quips and songs that connect to a Sunday night crowd who wanted the music to be fun this is music from a stalwart of a festival a crowd pleaser.
Danko Jones Gallery
Fozzy up next another powerful entrance with Chris Jericho wearing a jacket of jewels that glittered like a Christmas Tree. This is a band full of the theatrical combined with heavy metal that wanted the crowd tonight at Planet Rockstock to participate and we were happy to oblige. This was a set of heavy, grungy sound, it was a great set full of hefty numbers and then a great take on ABBA’s SOS. Proving once again a great song written well can be reinterpreted across the spectrum that is music. For a few minutes there was a sixth member – Gregory in the crowd who held the microphone, this is festival fun at its best combined with music that went down a storm.
All too soon it was the final set of Planet Rockstock 2015 – The Darkness. Justin Hawkins in a silky suit and his hair cropped ruled the stage and the audience. They blew the roof off with the opening number, despite the sound on vocals being poor. This was quickly rectified. Then the snare drum was replaced but the banter between Justin and the audience was entertainment in itself as Rufus Taylor the drummer and crew sorted the drum kit into working order once again. The high notes from Justin were electrifying and adding a cowbell and this certainly is a band with chemistry. British Rocking and rolling that pleases closing the festival on a high energy riff that will sustain us all until next year.
Bluesdoodles, had fun heard bands live for the first time took far too many photographs and met many people. Bluesdoodles says hi to you all and a special shout out and thank you to Claire and Vincent from Coventry who stood up front he whole weekend and made sure that I could get back up front to take the photographs that hopefully captures the essence of the weekend.
The Darkness Gallery
Planet Rockstock organisers deserve applause and all the plaudits as they managed to weave the variations within the rock family and created a festival where bands reflect the wide ranging tastes of everyone. Talking to people there was approval for the guitar wizardry of Joanne Shaw Taylor and Dan Patlansky from the Blues corner – Gun Metal Gray for many was the band of the weekend also mentioned in dispatches must be Rivals Sons and The Dead Daisies. Summing up Planet Rockstock in three words, organised rocking fun. Rocking across the bay 2016 is going to be even more fun until then there is wall to wall rock playing over at Planet Rock Radio.
On 3rd December 2015, after his show on Planet Rock, Wyatt is going to cycle over 180 miles from our Central London studios to Planet Rockstock – our annual weekend of live music in Porthcawl, South Wales.
Yep, he’ll be cycling ALL THE WAY THERE, through the night, to arrive on the first day of the event on Friday 4th December.
Why? Well we all feel down sometimes but you may not know that suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK, so Wyatt’s raising money for The Campaign Against Living Miserably (or CALM) who exist to help change that and are the official charity partner of Planet Rockstock 2015.
We’re hoping to raise £10,000 so any donations are very gratefully received! You can sponsor Wyatt and donate to CALM via JustGiving!
Still few day tickets left – going to be rock fun..
Old 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!
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.
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. This 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.
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 bluesChicago 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.
NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL
19th September 2015
On the 19th September 2015 Hartlepool will host its first major music festival at Hartlepool Marina, celebrating and showcasing some of the finest talent in the North East.
WE ARE FAMILY Festival is curated and produced by Hartlepool collective The Jar Family and will feature exciting performances by some of the greatest musicians from the area. Showcasing over 15 artists WE ARE FAMILY presents a diverse range of artists such as Sunderland’s outfit Hyde & Beast, indie rock band Frankie & The Heartstrings, Newcastle’s northern funk duo Smoove & Turrell and Hartlepool heroes The Jar Family themselves, alongside a wealth of breaking talent, internationally renowned special guests Alabama 3 and many more to be announced.
Hosted at Jacksons Landing, a council owned 5,000 capacity venue which has been disused for over a decade, WE ARE FAMILY will regenerate and transform the su-perbly located facility into a top class event hub. With an entrance price of only £6 per person WE ARE FAMILY is a bold move to galvanise the area with an accessible music event of distinction. WE ARE FAMILY are working alongside regional organi-sations including Camerons Brewery and Tees Music Alliance to bring a vibrant and innovative festival to Hartlepool.
Jar Family member Max Bianco says “We wanted to create something that really cele-brated the vast musical talent in the North East and to acknowledge the support the local population has given us… and give them something to smile about!”
Dali from the band says “We’re always blown away that there’s a Poolie in the crowd at every gig, wherever we are in the country. We really want the town to get behind this so we can host one every year!”
The Jar Family are synonymous with the North East, from playing to an 80,000 strong crowd in Stockton-on-Tees to taking part in the BBC’s Music Day Hadrian’s Wall Of Sound event with a live performance on a boat speeding up the Tyne, they are
now firmly established as one of the biggest live acts in the area. Conceived from the Hartlepool music scene, they have forged a distinctive style of North-East blues & roots, uniquely coined as ‘industrial folk’. Their new album, produced by acclaimed producer Rupert Christie, will be titled FAMILY FIRST and is set for release on September 4th.
WE ARE FAMILY tickets cost only £6 per person and are available HERE:
And in person at
Tees Music Alliance Box Office, Stockton (01642) 606525
Christ Church Booking Office, Church Square, Hartlepool (01429) 890000
For more information visit www.wearefamilyfestival.com and follow us on Twitter @WeAreFamilyFest or Facebook www.facebook.com/wearefamilyfest
A weekend that was crammed with delights for your taste buds and musical ear and the weather was kind. Whether you like a hot cup of tea, a summer fruity jug of Pimms or real ale and cider the liquid refreshment was available on tap and consumed with relish by the number of empty barrels by late Sunday evening. The food was varied from falafel and all things veggie, curries chips and hog roast all served with a smile and provided a tasty appetizer between the music shows; then there were the hot sweet freshly cooked doughnuts to be dipped in sugar or cinnamon not licking your lips between the bites was impossible! Face painting and henna art were enjoyed by adults and children alike! Then at this friendly festival there was the music with so many highlights and acts that hit the spot it seems a tad unfair to select a few but they were the sparklers and cherries that stood out of the cocktail of delights that Julian and his team had artfully blended to form Blues On The Farm 2015. Friday was full of shows that just prove the diversity and depth of British Blues for me it had to be The Jar Family they add that dimension that make festivals fizz and sparkle closely followed by Layla Zoe, The Hoax and the final special moment the firework lighting up the sky Mud Morganfield and his authentic blues. The sparkle in Saturdays cocktail definitely shaken rather than stirred was Kaz Hawkins and her Band O’ Men and Sunday’s it had to be that act with a difference with fire in its cocktail mix Rodney Brannigan & John Pointer where beat box meets acoustic with a novelty trick or two thrown in. We are now counting down to the 25th Blues on The Farm 2016.
From Thursday evening through to Sunday night, the weather stayed fine, the sun shone, people had fun, food was enjoyed and the beer and Pimms flowed what more do you need to make everything perfect quality live music and that we all had with the twenty live acts and a drum workshop it was a full festival banquet.
Opening the event were two fine bands that got the crowds in the mood and the campers full of party spirit, with the surprise of an impromptu guest singer when Jo Harman joined Kokomo on stage. Friday afternoon the crowds swelled as the award of a Friday afternoon away from the office were rewarded by a talented young band Stark who a put the electric into rocky blues with a different way of playing the resonator and arrangements of classics including some Blind Willie Jefferson. They were fun and entertaining a young band with lots to offer. As ever this is the festival that rings the changes no band is ever the same as the rest on the set, with a quick sound check and the ever superb sound and lighting men had the stage ready for a five piece Owen and the Mockingbirds they knew how to entertain with their country blues with self-penned numbers that, despite at times lacking that magic that makes them different, the appreciative crowd enjoyed this knowing that the choice of beers and cider to be tasted throughout the weekend and then the lure of yummy doughnut rings would provide entertaining accompaniment.
Returning again this year following a successful debut at the festival in 2015 The Jar Family built up the tempo and added their unique, eclectic mix of folk, roots and a touch of Hartlepool Americana shaped into their music, which they call Industrial Folk. They certainly didn’t disappoint they were very good last year but the excelled in 2015, a team of six men make the jar full of music that fills the marquee, across the field and into the campsite beckoning everyone to get up dance, smile and enjoy this band that adds a spark to any festival. They delivered a spellbinding set as they all took turns to lead sharing vocal duties with their fine tuneful voices and songs that reflect the experiences of life of folk today, they took the roof off the marquee and no wonder an encore was screamed for and they happily obliged, as they left the stage the whole festival wished Lee a happy wedding day on the Saturday. How was Julian going to follow that act, easy for a man who has planned festivals for twenty-four years he follows up with three headline acts in a row, Layla Zoe; The Hoax and Mud Morganfield who just kept raising the excitement of the festival. Layla Zoe knows how to pull the crowd in close she has a voice that is full of emotion mirroring the drama she brings to the stage with her flowing hair and raunchy approach to her interaction with her guitarist and all the good things musically, the rhythm section is solid and the guitars solos were pure delight; she showcased her latest album Live At Spirit 66 and The Lily was a special moment in the set but the real tingling on the back of the neck was her a Capella encore of The Beatles Let It Be; follow that The Hoax. They certainly did returning once again to the farm having first performed at Pump Farm twenty-two years ago we were all so much younger then. The group is as popular today when they play a few special gigs when they can all get together. Jesse’s guitar work is sublime with Jon to match at the other side of the stage and Hugh as the frontman still draws our attention. They are still a British Blues super group the tent was crammed and the fans up front were transfixed as they sang along to every lyric they played our favourites and raised the roof with Feeding Time, Gimme A Drink and Shine On were mesmerising as the music cascaded up and down your spine they have the Hoax effect on audiences every time they step onto the stage. The sky was darkening as midsummer sun set on closing this night of festival delight was Mud Morganfield, with his authentic Chicago Blues sound, close your eyes and it is his father the great Muddy Waters on the stage. Leaving you wanting more and already wanting more music tomorrow beckons with another line-up of delights.
Beer tent visited another ale sampled and Idlewood a young band with loads of potential got the blues tempo underway. There self-penned numbers showed the power of harmonising and had a British pop blues feel that certainly had a pleasing tone. The tempo was raised with a Memphis/Detroit take on the blues when Ricky Cool and the In Crowd stepped up onto the stage. They delivered an accomplished set of rock n’ roll with the twin sax and the hint of swing this was Saturday afternoon dance and party time as we heard some Booker T and so much more. Following the opening acts the vibe was good as the quartet of acts to follow beckoned, the first of this lucky four-leaf clover of blues was the effervescent Sam Kelly’s Station House. They are always a welcome sight on the stage and a pleasing cocktail of free-form eclectic music that stirs you from the sole of your feet to the top of the head. The whole set was perfect for a Saturday afternoon with a twist of funk; a dollop of bleggae and the delight of listening to a quintet of musicians who just love to play the music that sets them on fire. Spy on bass is the smartest player and Sam on drums kicks the band into action their version of Pink Floyd’s Breathe captivated and I Shot The sheriff was fun come back soon you are welcome every time to this friendly festival. Now we have some heavy blues guitar delivered with attitude Ben Poole strode on to stage and let his guitar do the talking, raising the volume and clear any cobwebs we had. Hey Joe is definitely his festival piece with the intriguing intro, you recognise then as you pinpoint the tune he launches into a full assault making this Hendrix number his own.
Who could follow that high voltage performance well a lady from Belfast could and did the one and only Kaz Hawkins & Her Band O Men. This is a high energy live act that focusses around the power and delivery of Kaz’s vocals with the added swish of petticoats, stomp of her bright red boots; on top of all that she can play guitar. None of this would be possible without the skill of her band O Men who play to her tune with skill and make sure they are keeping up with her random approach to her show. She has stage presence nay stage domination she is a flash of polka dot whose voice sings the blues with a gruffness, gospel with clarity and her rendition of Nina Simone’s Feelin’ Good the second of the festival was for me the best I have ever heard. The croThe crowd at times were rowdy but she dealt with them there is a no-nonsense approach to Kaz when singing her music and dealing with fools in the crowd, if you missed her this weekend check out the act and get to see her soon; closing with Etta James’ I Just Want To Make Love To You we were in heaven and wanted more. There was more music, this was time to refresh yourselves, put on your dancing shoes as the stage was set for The Jive Aces; a band coordinated in eye-catching yellow they swung into action with some jive and rock n’ roll numbers that were the perfect finale to party Saturday night away.
With a few hours’ sleep it was all too soon the final day many friends met and new friends made it was time for the music opening with Malaya Blue who coincided opening the last day of the festival with the launch of her single Hope from her forthcoming album. Following up from Bourbon Street, Malaya’s approach to the blues is very different form the energy charged approach of the two power divas Layla and Kaz. Malaya’s approach is gentler more constrained and it is fantastic to have three women heading talented bands one each day for the festival; this set-up is fairly new and building their presence on the circuit which will surely grow as we get to know Malaya’s brand of blues with soul. The next band, The Cajun Roosters, drew the audience away from the sun and into the stage area to hear Louisiana Cajun based music, with fiddle and squeeze box this was sunny afternoon music you have to dance and smile as the beat with its infectious quality as much of the set was sung in French patois. Now newt was something completely different, a duo of Rodney Brannigan and John Pointer. Rodney has entertained this festival before and today accompanied by a fellow Texan he added more to the always entertaining event. There was everything in the set some great acoustic guitar with the addition of percussive fingerstyle guitar pioneered by Michael Hedges, which captivated everyone listening this afternoon. The Stomp box was huge, the beat box was a stylish and the mix of instruments changed with a blink of an eyelid. This was a complex act for any sound desk with twenty-seven inputs but nothing phases BOTF who are never afraid to book acts that stretch your boundaries and delight every time . Closing the imaginative set with his trademark playing two guitars at the same time Rodney once again delivered what a festival needs some excitement this certainly pleased the crowds with its originality, energy and skills. Phew after that you need to draw breath and before you know it Champion Doug Veitch changed the groove again with a mix of Cajun swing with a brass section which added energy and that unique musical range. We saw some country dancing as the audience enthusiastically joined in with the musical delights, a real feel-good band playing music they love with the audience warming to the show with every song delivered. With just two bands left on the longest day that coincided with Father’s Day there were lots of happy people who were delighted to dance and join in the fun as Brilleaux from New Zealand delivered Dr Feelgood style music much of which were self-penned. In between they played some great early British R ‘n’ B from Yardbirds to Billy Fury. This was a crowd pleasing high energy set and the delight of the band and many of the audience was when John Potter key board player in bands with WilKo Johnson including Solid Sender, Wilko Johnson Band adding some authentic 1960’s vibe. This was a real festival moment that everyone present will remember for a long time leaving Brothers Groove to close this 24th Blues On The Farm Festival. This was the perfect set to bring a blues festival to a cheering, barnstorming close leaving everyone wanting more music and countdown to the twenty-fifth anniversary Blues on The Farm Festival; with Julian asking if we had any bands we want to hear next year, let him know and they will be considered!
Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival: Blues takes centre stage 17 – 26 July 2015
Edinburgh goes blue of every hue for the 38th year of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival the festival mood is growing as they deliver a programme that covers jazz, blues, swing, funk, soul and gospel. There will be 150 concerts over 10 daysda. 2015 has a very strong line-up of varied styles and always high quality blues acts with over 25 major blues shows from 17th – 26th July 2015.
We present a host of major American names, many of whom are making exclusive UK appearances. We have a big night of Chicago Blues, and a celebration of the centenary of Willie Dixon. In a special project, two leading Scottish blues musicians have been on a US road tour, hooking up with great musicians from San Francisco, Memphis, Mississippi and Florida along the way. They’ll be coming over to Edinburgh in July.
Ticket Information: Tickets are available from midday on Wednesday 6th May:
· Online at www.edinburghjazzfestival.com
· By phone on 0131 473 2000.
· In person from The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE.
Check out the whole programme HERE With Dates, Venues and time
Edinburgh crosses all blues styles, from Mississippi country blues to contemporary rock-blues, but our emphasis is on the core of the music, and picking out the original, the special, and the innovative.
With MAGGIE BELL and TIM ELLIOTT And featuring Micky Moody, Papa George, Sandy Tweeddale, Brandon Santini, Ben Rice. Maggie Bell and Tim Elliott lead an all star cast paying tribute to one of blues’ most iconic writers and performers, Willie Dixon, in his centenary year.
Energetic and lively Vintage Jazz – a mix of Tin Pan Alley, the Great American Songbook standards, and traditional New Orleans Blues as sung by Bessie Smith, Mildred Bailey, Louis Armstrong and Ma Rainey from “stunningly expressive” (San Diego Union Tribune) singer Alison Affleck and her all star Edinburgh band. With 60 days to go until the
Chicago Blues sparked the British blues boom in the 60’s – The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall – and it was Muddy Waters who personified Blues from Chicago. Muddy Waters’ son, Mud Morganfield, sounds uncannily like his “pop” and sings his great tunes with a band that recreates the authentic sound. Lurrie Bell is another great son of Chicago, and the guitarist is currently enjoying a golden moment with his latest album winning awards for the best Blues Album of the year.
Supercharged harmonica and vocals from the hottest ticket of today in Memphis’s legendary Beale Street Clubs. Santini is the new man on the block “evoking the sounds of his forefathers, hypnotising the crowd” ( National Geographic).
Born and raised in Holly Springs, Mississippi; singer and drummer,Cedric paid his dues by going on the road aged 13 with his grandfather, the legendary RL Burnside, and learning the North Mississippi Hill Country blues heritage from a master. An intoxicating drummer and powerful vocalist, his long term Project partner is the brilliant electric guitarist, Trenton Ayers.
An instant Edinburgh favourite at last year’s Festival, Singer/pianist, Davina Sowers, is back from Minneapolis, with her high-energy band, for another set of rocking blues, New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages. Not strictly a blues act, but her rollicking piano playing and singing is soaked in blues, as well as swing, and boogie, early rock n’ roll, and traditional N’Orleans.
The rolling sounds of New Orleans, blues, funk, and jazz are what piano player, Dom Pipkin, and his great band play to perfection. They make every night into a relaxed party with good time-music from the Crescent City, just like the Doctor (John) and Professor (Longhair) and Fats (Domino) would have liked.
In 1960s Edinburgh, a young blues band shone out. Not surprising, because they featured a guitar player who would become one of the most respected and sought after guitarists in the industry, Ian Bairnson. Just for tonight, three of the original members, Bairnson; vocalist, Jimmy Nellis; and bassist, Kenny Ellis, have reformed the band.
featuring GILSON LAVISwith special guest MARC ALMOND and guest vocalists RUBY TURNER, LOUISE MARSHALL & MABEL RAY plus support The undisputed king of boogie woogie, swing and r’n’b is dazzling audiences of over 500,000 a year. No wonder.
Three distinctive female blues singers offer an afternoon of rocking and soulful sounds. Opening up is Edinburgh’s own singer / harmonica player, Dana Dixon, with her Texas, Chicago, and west coast jump blues plus rockabilly and 50s R&B. Then there’s the unforgettable voice of one of Britain’s foremost blues divas, Connie Lush, back with her powerhouse band.
“A bazooka assault of foot-stompin’ blues and slow-burnin’ knee-bucklers” (Chicago Sun-Times). Fiery, flamboyant hard-rocking blues out of Chicago. This is music to get parties going: incendiary slide guitar and rough, passionate singing from Lil Ed, with the Blues Imperials cooking like mad alongside him. For lovers of serious blues – and good time fun!
First time in the UK for “The Mississipi Blue Child” and 2014 International Blues Challenge Winner. The guitarist and singer from McComb, Mississippi is steeped in gospel music and only switched to playing blues full time recently. Yet he won the prestigious Memphis Blues competition last year ( in a field of c.250!). He’s an infectious character, a natural entertainer, and a powerful and emotional exponent of traditional electric Mississippi blues. This is the real thing!
The blues-rock supergroup make their Festival debut. Their soul, funk and jam band roots, conjoins two southern USA music dynasties: vocalist, Cyrille Neville, and guitarist, Tyrone Vaughan, plus young blues guitar sensation, Bart Walker, and award winning rhythm team of Charlie Wootton and Yonrico Scott. White-hot musicianship with incendiary guitar duels and soulful vocals.
In a sensational double bill Mr Sipp (“The Mississipi Blues Child”) delivers his soulful and gritty music combining guitar excellence and vocal power, he cries out Mississippi blues with every note he plays.
Chicago’s leading blues drummer and vocalist fronts an all-star band featuring ex Blues n Trouble guitarist. Alan Jones and Richie O’Donnell get together with the Memphis harp sensation, Santini; then we feature the great, soulful singer and guitarist, Grainne Duffy, with her hard rocking band. Also featuring one of Scotland’s leading bands, The Jensen Interceptors, led by singer and harmonica player, Gary Martin.
Grossman studied fingerstyle blues with the originals – Rev Gary Davis, Mississipi Fred McDowell and Son House, and in the 60s he brought his guitar to Britain influencing and playing with a range of musicians from Bert Jansch and John Renbourn to Eric Clapton. Stefan Grossman is not a local, he’s from New York, but he studied and played with the masters of country and folk-blues – notably the Rev Gary Davis – and he’s now probably the most influential player of the old finger-picking style of guitar playing and a great singer and raconteur too.
Three great bands kicked off by the ever popular Jensen Interceptors fronted by harmonica player and vocalist, Gary Martin. Guitarist and singer, Ben Rice, from Portland, Oregon is a young man making big news in the States with his twisting, soulful west coast blues.
Terry’s the real deal. He learned authentic country blues from his forebears and now he plays them all over Mississippi and Tennessee. Guitarist, Harmonica player, vocalist, and very special guy! Bringing Juke Joints to Edinburgh!
Chicago blues drummer extraordinaire (and a classy singer too) is touring the UK with a great band featuring guitarist, John Bruce, plus James Ohara (guitar,vocals), Ali Petrie (keys), Clinton McFarland (bass). Catch one of the blues world’s legends.
Liz at Bluesdoodles had a wonderful conversation with Julian Moores about this year’s Blues on The Farm festival delivering music from Thursday 17th June through to Sunday evening 21st June; a perfect way to celebrate mid-summer and the delight of live music in convivial company.
Bluesdoodles: What has 24th year of Blues on the Farm to offer this year to stand out from the crowded festival calendar?
Julian:Every single band from the opening act Kokomo from 7.30pm on Thursday 18th through to the last act of the weekend Brothers Groove on stage from 9pm Sunday 21st until the crowds let them go; every act has a musical story to create the jigsaw of styles that makes this the friendliest festival in Britain and keeps the festival fresh and full of energy that keeps people coming back every year..
Bluesdoodles: You mention every band is chosen with shaping the festival – tell everyone about how each day works across the weekend.
Julian:We try to give each day a feel that suits the audiences from experiences gained from the feedback we get every year the majority is positive and we always welcome constructive criticism so we keep improving the experience for festival goers, musicians and team Blues on the Farm.
THURSDAY 18th June: we have tried lots of formats ranging from meet and greets for the campers to local bands; this year is a departure from the norm. We have two bands that are a mix of Blues/funk/soul to get things going; lots of people love this style bringing back memories of many bands including Average White Band. The format for the evening is a good time for everyone who arrives on a Thursday often after a long journey and for people living locally appealing to the many people locally who love the ale we serve and this style of music on a summer’s evening and so makes it a standalone gig as well.
FRIDAY 19th June:This year we have six bands that will bring blues music that excites included in the mix are Jar Family back by popular demand after delighting the festival last year on a warm Sunday afternoon, their blues with a steampunk attitude hit the right spot. We also welcome back the ever popular band The Hoax and the return of Mud Morganfield who brings the spirit of Muddy Waters into the festival, on his only visit to U.K. this summer. Into the mix we have a young and talented band Stark and Owen & The Mockingbirds an act from the South Coast plus the power of Canadian firebird Layla Zoe Friday is a day of wall to wall music delivered with passion.
SATURDAY 20th June:Today is party day, we all want fun music, dancing and a feeling that the festival and time out from our daily routines will go on and on, hence why we end the day with a feel good band The Jive Aces. We also will delight everyone who loves blues guitar with Ben Poole who with his band always impresses the crowds, Kaz Hawkins & Her Band O’ Men we think is the hidden gem of the festival she will be a new act to many and her vocals are awesome. Sam Kelly’s Station House will once again bring his blues rhythm to a Saturday that has a musical zing from beginning to end.
SUNDAY 21st June:We always say Sunday is a day for good quality happy music and as ever is a mixed bag of music that is family friendly for all ages to enjoy and have positive memories of the Friendliest Festival in Britain today. Opening with a drum workshop delivered by the great raconteur Sam Kelly, he loves to share his knowledge and has a lovely calmness about him as he promotes live music. Into the mix we have some Cajun from The Roosters back in the saddle with his Cajun reggae is Champion Doug Veitch, Brilleaux from New Zealand named after Dr Feelgood’s Lee Brilleaux; and closing with Brothers Groove who put down a good groove as people drift away and return home. Counting down the days until Blues on the Farm 2016 our 25th anniversary.
Bluesdoodles: Blues On The Farm definitely delivers the music, what else is there that makes this a festival to remember and keep returning
Julian:We have camping facilities for tents and motorhomes; these are in the many fields never far away from the action, with the spaces divided by mature tree breaks creating the feel that you are in your own private space. The safety of our campers is assured with our Security Stewards will be on patrol 24 hours and any emergencies at night can be referred to them.
Refreshments: The beer tent is always popular with a range of ales (up to 20 to choose from) and ciders; along with non-alcoholic beverages. We also have a range of food stalls to suit every ones tastes and plenty of tea and coffee.
Bluesdoodles: What keeps you motivated to keep going to the festival every year; when you set the bar higher and higher as each year builds on the previous festival?
Julian:The enthusiastic response from people at the festival; so many people stop and tell me how they love the music, and the atmosphere. We want to make this a real holiday experience for people who come for the weekend building a rapport with people that return ever year they are the real friends of the festivals. Then there are the letters, messages on Facebook and the flowers that Cath gets sent as a thank you we really appreciate the personal connection people have.
The feedback we get is amazing from bands who have said BOTF artist are valued to the dedicated who collect the memorabilia of the event, tickets, programmes and T Shirts every year; we have become part of festival attendees summer calendar, we love meeting and greeting everyone. To me it is delivering a fabulous festival that lives up to its name the Friendliest Festival in Britain. As the marque comes down, the litter cleared we start the booking of bands for 2016.
Blues on the Farm
Pump Bottom Farm,
West Sussex, PO20 7EH