Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

 

 

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

 

Back in the O2 Sheffield for the second year HRH Blues III promised with a deep blues infused line-up to be an Easter full of music. They certainly delivered across the two stages, as ever clashes were at times frustrating, demonstrating the wealth of blues in town this weekend.

HRH Blues once again created an ambience, professional on the outside, inside pure unadulterated fun of listening to live music. The two days had a mix of blues from heavy and raw through to delicate and everything in-between. More people this year stepping on the bright blue HRH Blues Train crammed with live music in Sheffield.

With two stages, we heard a total of twenty-two bands and for some Royalty Passes & Media an extra five acoustic acts early on Sunday morning. The one disappointment for many was the missing act. King King had to pull out at the last-minute – now we know it was due to Alan Nimmo having acute Laryngitis.  With the number of King King T-shirts in the audience you could have expected annoyance, but all you heard and saw on social media was empathy, love and get well. The bands that did play filled the gap with extended sets from Simon McBride and Ten Years After and a slightly early Saturday.

Getting the Easter music fest started was Dani Wilde who set the scene with quality opening act it was going to be high quality blues form the first to last note. Highlights in the main stage on Saturday were…

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterFor the vast majority that I spoke to the stand out band of the first day and the festival were Billy Walton Band, they bought fun, blues and music that just gets every one excited.  Following on from the band that wowed the audience and were still being talked about as the festival closed. Why? A full on band who really get that good-time vibe flowing the boys from New Jersey bring that East Coast joie-de-vie. Billy and the band want you want to party all night. With a horn section adding texture and tone they are just very entertaining and totally enjoyable. They were ready to party with the festival a fan supplied an array of hats and they were delighted to play with the donated headgear. The atmosphere was now loud, electric with blues flowing through the O2.

Follow that, well this is HRH nothing safe, nothing out-of-bounds as The Graveltones, a duo took to the stage. Heavy, raucous, energetic and loud they divided the room just as Marmite on toast would! The guitar was raw and the drumming hard with splinters of wood being torn from the sticks. Heavy, hard with complex rhythms and bucket loads of feel, delivering a punchy set that re-defines duos and the blues.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterAll aboard the next station on the blues train journey to Finnish Blues with Erja Lyytinen and her band. For many of her fans the first time we have had the opportunity to listen to the music from her acclaimed album Stolen Hearts. I was definitely excited having given her the full 10-doodle paws. High class set from the renowned queen of the blues slide guitar. In the set is Black Ocean for me a highlight and favourite on the album now a live favourite as prog meets blues under the charms and skills of Erja.  We joined her on the rocking Chair, sang along with Stolen hearts. Then the trained steamed up the hill with her interpretation of Tina Turner’s Steamy windows. This was blues that sparkled as Erja smiled, played and won our hearts.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterThis year with the addition of food stalls and coffee there was no need to leave the arena and miss a single note of blues that was weaving their magic over the audience.  Now we had two stages running parallel always a conundrum what to stay and listen too. Quick run upstairs to catch some of Will Wilde, this was the decision of many as the second stage was rammed and Will’s harmonica playing won him many new fans. For some the band of the weekend having never heard him play before. Will delivers more ‘authentic’ blues almost a match for Erja, a shame about the clash of blues titans. Will is one of the best blues-harp players on the UK circuit. Now we had a festival exploding under the glories of blues in full flight.

Back downstairs for Pig Iron returning for the second year. Describing themselves as Blues Metal this was pounding heavy blues that incorporates some delicate harp playing. Upstairs was Troy Redfern, the Welsh slide guitar troubadour.  With tracks from his current album Backdoor Hoodoo. His rendition of John The Revelator is always a crowd-pleasing winner as it was tonight in Sheffield. The HRH Blues train was now gathering speed and pulling in a wide variety of acts.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterNow back to the main stage for Simon McBride and the headliners returning for the second year Ten Year After. First, a stunning blues rock guitarist Simon McBride. The set saturated with scintillating riffs and licks making Simon’s PRS guitar sing and squeal. An accomplished set strewn with covers to extend the time on stage and numbers from his last two albums.  What a set it was a tone the festival wanted to hear that mix of SRV, Hendrix woven together with McBride magic. The dueling between bass and guitar was magnificent. As he played Good Times Roll, following a McBride favourite Down To The Wire we were definitely having a great Easter Saturday as he closed with Deadman Walking we were all alive with festival fever.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterAfter fifty years of touring with Ten Years After Chick Churchill & Ric Lee are now joined by bassist Colin Hodgkinson and the charismatic Marcus Bonfanti.  Marcus’ vocals are full of power, tonal texture, his guitar playing sharp and the harp adds another dimension to the Ten Year After sound of 2017. No Ten Year After set is complete without The Hobbit, Ric Lee and his drumming acrobatics. A wonderful set blending old stalwarts and new numbers from the forthcoming album A Sting In The Tale out later this year.  The whole set is a perfect platform for showcasing what a great and oft underrated guitarist Marcus is.  Wow moments of the festival with Love Like A Man and Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. Ten Years After strong after Fifty-years and the thrill of a new album. What a Saturday now for Sunday’s delights.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Sunday, started with a Smörgåsbord of acoustic showcases, including Chantel McGregor; Big Boy Bloater, Crow Black Chicken and Dan Patlansky who we would be hearing in full amplified glory during the day. The sets were chilled whilst also demonstrating the varied sounds achievable from the acoustic. This was personified by the difference between Big Boy Bloater and Dan Patlansky, same guitar totally different tone and approach.  We heard hollers, blues and songs given new shapes a perfect slow wake up call to join the main blues train downstairs on stage one. Into the mix the wonderful vocals and charm of Jack Hutchinson a welcomed addition to any blues gathering, with a new band album, Set Your Heart For The Sun, let’s hope he is back electric in 2018.

 

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterWhat a stunning set once again from the mighty Sean Webster with his new band The Deadlines. Having heard Sean many times he never disappoints, unsurprisingly he was the find of the weekend for many. His rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind moved many to tears with the raw, intense emotion he puts into every word sung and note played. Sean has the winning combination of a superb blues voice and plays the guitar with lightning blue touch.  Now living in Netherlands, Sean is the enigma of the British Blues scene never reaching the heights his playing should be taking him. Let’s hope the station stop on HRH Blues Train will be the launch pad for a renaissance of Sean the bluesman. Following on from Sean, in a bright red dress is Chantel McGregor always a firm favourite with her many fans. The set was a mix of favourites and her latest album. Anyone hoping for some new material would be disappointed, though there was a new drummer in the band. The set was safe, definitely rockier than the early days of   Chantel. She still smiles with warmth and affection and Freefalling was a guitar blazing delight as were the other guitar improvisations. Her rhythm section gives her a solid platform, bassist Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterColin Sutton and Ollie Goss on Drums. The mischievous Chantel was ever present with ‘Aving A Giraffe a fun out take celebrating the April the Giraffe giving birth the story that Chantel has been following on Social media. The set overall felt a little flat, come on Chantel lets have some new McGregor gems soon. This is the nuances that makes live music fun a have to be there moment. British Blues celebration continues with Laurence Jones with his new band.  Laurence is maturing the new band seems to fit his style and the addition of Bennet Holland on keys certainly adds some textures to the music complementing Laurence’s stinging guitar. We are enjoying this stop on the train. Yes, this is British blues-rock personified; what is great to see Laurence continuing to grow in stature, developing his sound and staying fresh. The longer lead breaks played with growing confidence adds interest and variance in the live sound. Fantastic audience participation during JJ Cale’s Cocaine, conducted with vigour and winning smile from Laurence more Cream and Clapton than Cale. That is no bad thing in a stalwart of the blues circuit who wins fans whenever he picks up his guitar and plays. .

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Quick sojourn to Stage 2 for StoneWire a band from the South coast that I had heard about. This is a five-piece led by a big voice. Another great female vocalist out front shaping the StoneWire sound.  Whilst on stage one, young gun Aaron Keylock, was completing the very British Blues opening to the day.  Solid set as this man’s stage presence grows. He is full of potential and the setlist was a perfect showcasing opportunity for Across The Grain his debut album. The slide guitar was over loud and the vocals slurred but every time you hear him there is improvement, Spin The Bottle a set residence that suits this young man who is truly motivated and shaped by the blues.  Not to be missed, if you get the opportunity another HRH Blues festival favourites are definitely Black Crow Chicken. The sound is earthy, dirty blues. Every song has a colourful story as they take the blues train down an Irish lane as roots blues collide with Irish Tradition through the amplifier. The humour is dry and all-encompassing that follows through into the strong lyrics. With Jonestown and a tribute to Pat Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterMcManus from Pariah Brothers, the latest album. This is a band I could have listened to for longer. A definite bring back next year request.  With Big Boy Bloater following, his acoustic set was superb so we were looking forward to electric Luxury Hobo. The sound was too loud for the small stage area and that meant the music lost its edge. That said what a rendition of bloater blues pushing them to the limits and he knows how to entertain the crowds vital for any set and sometimes missing. The superb track from his album Luxury Hobo, It Came From The Swamp won him many fans another strong contender for stage one 2018.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterNow back to Stage 1  for South African, Dan Patlansky who always delivers fireworks from his Strat.  Tonight, with a band of session players from Germany we were treated to a stand out set of guitar acrobatics. Old Red is the signatures Strat of Dan, and is off for a refurb after this UK tour.  With his latest single from Introvertigo, Sonova Faith given a live airing we hear the clever improvisation that is part of the live show. Never expect to hear the songs the same, chords and lyrics are a constant but the interpretation every time is a certainty. Dan can rock his blues, and then with an application of the blues breaks will slow it right down. Then you listen with care as it is as good as it gets. Dan Patlansky is a showman. He brings Laurence Jones back to play Bright Lights, Big City that sees a guitar dueling that sparked with jaw dropping intensity. Closing the set, instrumental My Chana is a majestic exploration of the every sound a strat can make. As he experiments with feedback, ringing single notes. The audience are spellbound, a collective holding of breath with wonderment. No one wanted the moment to end. Sadly, it did one more act Stan Webbs Chicken Shack and 2017 HRH Blues fell silent.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Easter Sunday, this year more music that chocolate. What a tasty day once again HRH train ride was full of blues hooks, licks and riffs, laughs and friends the perfect festival journey.

HRH Blues III blues train was full of exciting stops along the complex musical map that incorporates The Blues. The festival does not rely on have the same favourite acts returning each year. Weaving into the acts surprises and variance in the sound of blues.

With such an array of blues it is unsurprising, with not a single act announced HRH Blues IV; 14-15th April 2018 is already over eighty percent sold. People want to come back, reserving there spot for when the HRH Blues train leaves the station once again in Sheffield 2018. HRH Blues a definite for Blues lovers diaries.

 

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Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

HRH Blues 2016 was superb read what we said HERE

 

New Jersey’s Billy Walton Band join King King, Ten Years After, Stan Webb, Simon Mc Bride & Dan Patlansky to complete the cycle 3 line up of HRH Blues.

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

Bernie Marsden

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 HERE  or by ringing Lisa on 0207 097 1521

 

 

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend Blue

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend Blue

HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend Blue

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

Pontus Snibb unplugged WM-9391 HRH Turning Sheffield Weekend Blue

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

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

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

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

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

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