UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

 

Long before the 10th September 2018 dawned the excitement of holding the 4th UKBlues Challenge in The Cavern Club, Liverpool was causing a wave of anticipation throughout social media. On the 7th September slowly increasing in numbers a frame appeared on Facebook. People showing their support by having their profile picture framed with I’M SUPPORTING  THE 4TH #UKBLUESCHALLENGE.

The atmosphere was redolent with the past glories that have been played out at the original Cavern. Tourists were buzzing, selfies were being taken as the board of UKBlues Federation set the space up. The bands arrived full of energy and expectation. The sound guys did everything to ensure the sound checks went smoothly. The venue was in the WiFi free zone of the basement dark and already hot. The mood was electric, as the queues formed outside of blues fans who were delighted to be spending a Sunday afternoon with five bands that representing the variety of angles across the U.K today. Bringing the Blues back to the Cavern 60 years on…

The five bands were given thirty minutes to play the music they love and to get the chance to represent the UK in Memphis at International Blues Challenge and in Hell, Norway at the European Blues Challenge; stepping into the shoes vacated by Kaz Hawkins Band who won and went on to fly the flag of modern Blues being played and enjoyed by diverse audiences. The judges were ready and waiting. The six wise listeners who all love the blues as artists, promoters and DJ’s. The Six were, Victor Brox, Connie Lush, Rosy Greer, Kaz Hawkins, Chris Powers and Nick Westgarth.

 

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The five bands now knew the running order

 

The venue was, hot dark and steamy. The audience on the edge of their seats with anticipation as Ashwyn Smyth (Chair UKBlues Federation) opened proceedings. With Elles’ first note the 2018 challenge was underway.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernElles Bailey debut album is aptly named Wildfire. Elles and her band were like a wildfire burning up the stage. They filled their thirty-minute set with a windswept melee of originals. With country Blues rocked up everyone knew that this was going to be a great live session of blues interpreted by a rising star.  The set was polished as the musicians surrounded her with a hug of sound for Elles to bounce from and deliver the lyrics.  First, up is always difficult. Elles used every note to her advantage setting the bar very high.  The audience whooped and cheered they loved the set. The bands following knew that they had to do not their best but their very best were they ready for the challenge?

Next up with a quick changeover, were The Rainbreakers.  This is rocky blues full of panache and UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavernswagger. Ben on vocals and lead guitar was on fire. His rocky blues electrified the audience. Playing with passion, determination and driving the blues home. They were enjoying their moment, as they interspersed the rockier edge with slower numbers showing the deep blues depths that are the undercurrent fueling the Rainbreakers.  Their number Heart of Gold certainly stood out. A performance that the audience really enjoyed as they warmed to this young band from Shrewsbury who left them wanting more.  The performance like Elles Bailey gave the judges plenty of food for thought.

The energy and fantastic performances that all five acts put in were spell bounding. Anyone of the bands could have represented the UK in Europe & USA. The commitment they demonstrate to Blues and live music is astounding, between them they had driven over 1,000 miles to get to the Cavern and had the prospect of the return journey at the end of the event

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernUKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernNext up, were the winners from the eight bands that played at The Great Rhythm and Blues Festival over Bank Holiday weekend as part of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Acts project.  Introducing the band was Paul & Margaret Foxley, Robert J. Hunter had only a couple of weeks to prepare as they brought their urban blues to the Cavern. Like the other bands, they were so excited to be playing at such an iconic venue.  A trio that delivered an authentic modern blues sound.  The vocals at times overpowered the sound which is a small point as the sound they were creating was rollicking fun.  Another act that smiled and delivered the blues and gave the judges something to ponder over.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernThe fourth band of the Challenge was LaVendore Rogue. What a stellar set, Joel Fisk once again demonstrating his skills as a blues guitarist. You can always count on front man JoJo to put on a show and tonight they did. The audience reaction was loud and excited them. They were lapping up the music that the band delivered. Not pure blues but every song has deep roots into the heritage of the blues from Charlie Patton and beyond.  Leaving the stage the judges had another band to consider before the final act that had to follow that barnstorming session.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernLast, but definitely not least was Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion. Stylish, sophisticated blues with a jazzy edge. High-quality authentic blues. The title track of their current album, This Is The Life I Choose captured the life and motivation of musicians who play their music live.  Their performance of Angel of Mercy was one of the best I have ever heard Zoe sing and Blue Commotion were spot on with every note and the crafted spaces. What a rousing finale and I am so glad I was not a Judge.

Five Acts, raffle tickets about, prizes handed out and the success of the Minute auctions. The final votes had been counted and verified.

The Winner is: …….. As Dave Raven and Ashwyn Smyth handed over the responsibility of presenting the trophy to last year’s Challenge winner Kaz Hawkins.  The baton, well stylish trophy really, was presented to LaVendore Rogue. They now will be representing the UK in Memphis and Hell.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

Closing the challenge with a party feel was a mighty jam. The stage was filled with the winning band, joined by Connie Lush, Kyla Brox, Kaz Hawkins and the mighty voice and trumpet of Victor Brox. What a resounding end to a challenge that will be long talked about as the blues sung out loud live at the Cavern once more.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge. Who are the five excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakers ; Elles Bailey  and Robert J. Hunter. The fifth band added to the list rose to the Jessica Foxley unsigned challenge having played on the main stage at  Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.   

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeTell us what it means to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

 ZSBC: Firstly, the fact that the number of our peers nominating is so large gives real credibility to the artists involved, so we are also proud about that.    We are also proud to be nominated as we see it as a recognition of our original music, concept and style.  We don’t write the songs to any kind of formula or to fit in with any cliche or pre-conceived ideas of what defines blues in 2017. Read more…..

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation. Read More …

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from the scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states! Read More….

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night. Read More…

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Robert J. Hunter Band to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RHB: We are a struggling band on the blues scene, if we are even on the blues scene is up for debate. We work very hard and we are playing the long game, enjoying every step of the way. But to have an opportunity like this is an absolute honour, we have been given a chance and we promise we won’t disappoint. Thank you to JFU and UKBlues Federation for believing in us.. the opportunity to be able to play somewhere called Hell is exciting on it’s own. Read More…

More about The UK Blues Challenge

What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?

An annual event organised by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) at a different location in the UK at which a number of bands/acts compete in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum. The winning band/act is invited to represent the UK at the following year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis and European Blues Challenge (EBC) which is held in a different European country each year.

The International and European Blues Challenges are organised by, respectively, the Blues Foundation  and the European Blues Union (EBU)

We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017 starting at 16.00. More details can be found  and how to buy a ticket for the event HERE. UKBlues is excited to be bringing the blues back to the Cavern sixty years on!

How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?

As an Active Member of the EBU meeting the EBU’s laid down criteria (see EBC rules here) and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation, UKBlues are honoured to be invited to create and manage the selection process to choose the band or artist who will represent the UK at these prestigious events each year.
The first stage of the process this year saw a panel of more than 250 people from across the blues spectrum in the UK which included members of UKBlues, all UK based Active Members of the EBU, members of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, festival and gig promoters, writers (both online and print media), musicians, fans and blues supporters etc. being invited to submit the three UK acts that they felt would best represent the UK at the EBC and IBC.

Members of this panel were asked to place their choices in order (first, second, third) and points were awarded according to the position in which the acts are placed by you.

The 4 top scoring available acts after this process was complete were invited to participate in the UKBC where the contestants will perform in front of a panel of judges who will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as are used at the EBC and IBC.
In a new departure this year, a fifth band will be invited to participate which will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend –  These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.

The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.

The winner of the UKBC will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2018 EBC and IBC.

What are the selection and judging criteria?

When making their selections, the members of the panel are asked to bear in mind the following EBC rules which apply:

  • The leader of the band must have the nationality of the country he/she represents.
  • At least 50% of the members of the contestant bands must reside in the country they represent.
  • Acts who participated in a previous edition of the EBC, but did not win, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which half or more of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which less than half of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 2 years.

Contestants at the UKBC, EBC and IBC are expected to perform at least 50% original music in their set and they are awarded points using the following criteria as laid down by the EBU:

  • Originality
  • Instrumental talent
  • Vocal talent
  • Stage presence
  • Blues content

You can read the full EBC rules here

This process is the same as that which has been used in previous years and is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

 

 

UKBlues Federation are delighted to announce that following their outstanding performance at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne over the weekend Robert J. Hunter Band are the fifth and final piece of the jigsaw for the 4th UK Blues Challenge.

Robert J. Hunter Band described as ‘Dirty rhythm and blues from the depths of Alderney, based in London.’ Born on Alderney, Channel Islands but now based in London, Robert J. Hunter combines his gruff and powerful voice with the wild thud of overdriven blues guitar. Read more over at The Federation’s NEWSLETTER

The Line Up for 4th UK Blues challenge is:

Elles Bailey

LaVendore Rogue

Rainbreakers

Robert J. Hunter Band

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

 

Bluesdoodles looks forward to chatting to the fifth piece of the Challenge jigsaw puzzle Robert J. Hunter Band. In the meantime check out what the other four bands have said – HERE.

Get your tickets now for what promises to be a great celebration of Blues in the UK.

Doors will open at 15.30 with the first band on stage at 16.00. It is anticipated that the event will finish by about 21.00 and will close with a set from the winners and, we hope, feature some top guests who will be at the event.
Bluesdoodles invites you to share this news, help support UKBlues in what it is doing. Visit our website – UKBlues to read about membership benefits and to join

UKBlues Federation supporting the 4th Challenge

“Bringing the Blues back to The Cavern 60 years on….”

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UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

 

Who are the four excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakers and Elles Bailey. There will be a fifth band joining the quartet of superb bands. The fifth band will be announced shortly after the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival taking place at Colne 25th-27th August. The Jessica Foxley Unsigned bands who will be playing on the main stages have now been selected. From these Eight bands one will be chosen to join the bands already announced to take part in the Challenge on the 10th September. Find out who the eight bands that are in with a chance HERE.   

While we all wait in anticipation as to which band are joining the four who have already been nominated read about the bands and what they said when Bluesdoodles spoke to them.

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFour Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeTell us what it means to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

 ZSBC: Firstly, the fact that the number of our peers nominating is so large gives real credibility to the artists involved, so we are also proud about that.    We are also proud to be nominated as we see it as a recognition of our original music, concept and style.  We don’t write the songs to any kind of formula or to fit in with any cliche or pre-conceived ideas of what defines blues in 2017. Read more…..

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFour Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation. Read More …

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeRainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from the scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states! Read More….

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night. Read More…

More about The UK Blues Challenge

What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?

An annual event organised by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) at a different location in the UK at which a number of bands/acts compete in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum. The winning band/act is invited to represent the UK at the following year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis and European Blues Challenge (EBC) which is held in a different European country each year.

The International and European Blues Challenges are organised by, respectively, the Blues Foundation  and the European Blues Union (EBU)

We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017 starting at 16.00. More details can be found  and how to buy a ticket for the event HERE. UKBlues is excited to be bringing the blues back to the Cavern sixty years on!

How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?

As an Active Member of the EBU meeting the EBU’s laid down criteria (see EBC rules here) and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation, UKBlues are honoured to be invited to create and manage the selection process to choose the band or artist who will represent the UK at these prestigious events each year.
The first stage of the process this year saw a panel of more than 250 people from across the blues spectrum in the UK which included members of UKBlues, all UK based Active Members of the EBU, members of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, festival and gig promoters, writers (both online and print media), musicians, fans and blues supporters etc. being invited to submit the three UK acts that they felt would best represent the UK at the EBC and IBC.

Members of this panel were asked to place their choices in order (first, second, third) and points were awarded according to the position in which the acts are placed by you.

The 4 top scoring available acts after this process was complete were invited to participate in the UKBC where the contestants will perform in front of a panel of judges who will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as are used at the EBC and IBC.
In a new departure this year, a fifth band will be invited to participate which will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend –  These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.

The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.

The winner of the UKBC will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2018 EBC and IBC.

What are the selection and judging criteria?

When making their selections, the members of the panel are asked to bear in mind the following EBC rules which apply:

  • The leader of the band must have the nationality of the country he/she represents.
  • At least 50% of the members of the contestant bands must reside in the country they represent.
  • Acts who participated in a previous edition of the EBC, but did not win, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which half or more of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which less than half of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 2 years.

Contestants at the UKBC, EBC and IBC are expected to perform at least 50% original music in their set and they are awarded points using the following criteria as laid down by the EBU:

  • Originality
  • Instrumental talent
  • Vocal talent
  • Stage presence
  • Blues content

You can read the full EBC rules here

This process is the same as that which has been used in previous years and is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

 

4th UK Blues Challenge Announced At The Cavern Liverpool

 

 

UKBlues Federation are delighted to announce Tickets for the 4th UKBlues Challenge, which will be held at the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017, are now on sale via the Cavern Club’s website – HERE They are priced at £10.00 in advance, £12.00 on the door.

Members of the UK Blues Federation can enjoy a reduction of £2.50 per ticket (maximum 2 tickets per member). This discount will be applied when they next renew their membership after 10th September 2017. Join the UK Federation Today

The bands/artistes appearing are, in alphabetical order

Elles Bailey

LaVendore Rogue

The Rainbreakers

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

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4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern LiverpoolThe fifth and final band for 2017 is an exciting new addition to the Challenge.

As recently announced, they will be joined by the young band chosen by representatives of Jessica Foxley Unsigned at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival at Colne 25th – 27th August.

 

 

Get your tickets now for what promises to be a great celebration of Blues in the UK.

Doors will open at 15.30 with the first band on stage at 16.00. It is anticipated that the event will finish by about 21.00 and will close with a set from the winners and, we hope, feature some top guests who will be at the event.
Bluesdoodles invites you to  share this news, help support UKBlues in what it is doing. Visit our website – UKBlues to read about membership benefits and to join

UKBlues Federation supporting the 4th Challenge

“Bringing the Blues back to The Cavern 60 years on….”

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

LaVendore Rogue Darkening The Live Stage

LaVendore Rogue Darkening The Convent's StageLaVendore Rogue Darkening The Live Stage

The Quintet delivered music it is enthralling and delves into the darkness with rocking majesty. At the heart of LaVendore Rogue is the soul of Hokie Joint the band that always defied pigeon-holing. Up-front JoJo Burgess, with a vocal range and texture dexterity that defies comparison he delivers the lyrics with style, cynicism and more than a hint of menace. Joining him from Hokie is the guitarist Joel Fisk whose licks, slide and ability to make the guitar howl in answer to JoJo always adding that little bit extra. The third and definitely not the least at the back is Stephen ‘Cupsie’ Cutmore on drums picking up the beat from dark and hidden places and shining the light onto the rhythm that like a strobe light pierces the melody seeking attention as Rob “Tank” Barry picks up the bass line. Completing the quintet on keys Warren Lynn, whose keys adds an extra textural layer into the complexity that is LaVendore Rogue. The band has one foot in the music of Rolling Stones, Paul Rogers and the other exploring the array of contemporary rock and Rhythm n’ Blues.

LaVendore Rogue Darkening The Convent's StageLa Vendore Rogue, is a complete band borrowing the best from Hokie Joint but never shrouded or swamped in the mantle as they create music that is roguish and has a textural interest that beguiles the listener wrapping the audience in the LaVendore sound. The album Light Up With, introduces the sound which continues to develop and take on a roguish shape a band visual exciting the music is dark, entertaining and tells a good story through lyrics and melodic lines.

LaVendore Rogue Darkening The Convent's StageJoJo is the charismatic front man, full of dramatic gestures augmenting the lyrics of old favourites Chocolate Cake, when celebrating Charlie Patton’s, Oh! Death with lyrics reflecting the stage tonight in front of the altar at The Convent. As JoJo sings, Just look what the Lord has done, Lord I know, Lord I know I’m coming home… Then the latest sound Gangsters, Thieves and Villains from the debut album, Light Up With along with Dead Man’s Chest. This is a quintet that wants to make waves, to be listened to and taken seriously as they create a sculptural sound that tells a story, evokes emotions and connects.

Tonight, LaVendore made an impression as they wowed the audience and will delight and continue to delight with a sound that is live and full of mystery. Spanning genres they are themselves true to the music they want to create and you want to listen too.

Closing with Mrs Jones, revamped and full of energy we listened on the edge of our seats as JoJo unveiled Mr Jones walking upstairs to see Mrs Jones in the afternoon. LaVendore Rogue catch them at a venue or festival whenever you can they will never disappoint and always entertain with fantastic music.

 

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Saturday 23rd January 2016 @ Rock and Blues Skegness

Saturday 23rd January 2016 @ Rock and Blues Skegness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bluesdoodles – Pick Of The Bunch 2015

Pick Of The Bunch 2015 ~
The order is random all are brilliant and in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2015..

These are from the albums I have listened to and reviewed throughout 2015 – this is my subjective collection happy for others to disagree. Bluesdoodles wants to thank every artist who has submitted music to be reviewed I listen and will always be honest and fair

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Fish – A Feast Of Consequences
Joel Fisk & The Breakdown – The Well
Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves
John Mayall – A Special Life
Giles Hedley – Rain Is Such A Lonesome Sound
Lisa Mills – I’m Changing re-mix
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman – Tomorrow Will Follow Today
Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam
Dani Wilde – Songs About
Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova
Guy Tortora – Bluesman In A Boneyard
Danny & The Champions of the World – What Kind Of Love
Gill Landry – Gill Landry
LaVendore Rogue – Light Up With
Mark Pontin – Textures
Aynsley Lister – Home
Samantha Fish – Wild Heart
Little Devils – The Storm Inside
Erja Lyytinen – Live In London
Beth Hart – Better Than Home
David Phillips – If I Had Wings
Karen Lovely – Ten Miles of Bad Road
Micke Bjorklof & Blues Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet
King King – Reaching For The Light
Devon Allman – Ragged and Dirty
Joe Louis Walker – Everybody Wants A Piece
Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane
Layla Zoe – Live at The Spirit of 66
Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live
Chantel McGregor – Lose Control
Babajack – Babajack Live
Jar Family – Family First
Craig Finn – Faith In The Future
Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar
Delta Deep – Delta Deep
Kaz Hawkins – Get Ready
Groanbox – Groanbox
Jimbo Mathus – Blue Healer
Eddie Martin Big Red Radio- Live in Tuscany
Mike Zito & The Wheel – Keep Coming Back
Connie Lush – Renaissance
AndersonPonty Band – Better Late Than Never
Walter Trout – Battle Scars

CD review: LaVendore Rogue ~ Light Up With

LA Vendore Front

 

LaVendore Rogue
Light Up With
Independent

 

 

There is no argument there are generous spoonfuls of Hokie Joint magic distilled into the debut album by LaVendore Rogue, Light Up With; unsurprisingly as up front we have JoJo Burgess with his distinctive vocals and Joel Fisk stylish guitar with the award-winning Hokie drummer keeping the rhythm section under control Stephen Cutmore. Joining them on this exciting new venture is Rob ‘Tank’ Barry on Bass and the addition of keys from Warren Lynn.

The opening track Dead Man’s Chest, sets the market stall out with strong guitar quirky lyrics, huge sound and a story that unfolds as JoJo’s vocals draw you into the sound and you have been hooked, lined and sunk like any pirate with a bottle of rum would want to achieve. The next track The Maze as a sound that is new with more control and more mature with gentler vocals that lead you through the musical maze being set as the keys, guitar and gentle cymbal create a backdrop that is rocky and definitely one to get you energized and dancing.
The opening of Animal is gentle and beguiling with gentle keys and the swirl of cello, JoJo starts the story to be told a poem set to music sculpting the horror around the corner and then the tempo and character of the song changes and wow this is my favourite so far.
Half way through the album and you just want to shut out the world and immerse yourself, Riot is another tale that is more than a song it is a tale of society and reflects the riots that happened in London, the tempo and production is quiet, calm and measured with anger shimmering in the vocals and the measured tempo of almost funeral drumming. Joel’s guitar playing is elegant with licks that act as a punctuation to what is always important to this band the words are what counts the music is the powerful medium to showcase the message they are sharing.
The quality of Warren’s skills on the keyboard is apparent on A.S.A.D accompanying the haunting voice of JoJo as he builds the debate about drugs and the power of money and the tambourine is elegant and then there is a death and the message changes what a powerful track redolent of so much in the news today. Tattoo has an acoustic feel from guitar and the beat is modern with the undertones of Rock n Roll of the 1960’s there is certainly a feel of the Rolling Stones and JoJo’s vocals are jaggeresque.
The last track is the only cover choosing Warren Zevon’s, Play It All Night Long there is a frivolity in the playing the end of the party which belies the words as the irony of Sweet Home Alabama is played upon with the grim reality of life, then the notes fade away. La Vendore Rogue are a complete outfit building off each other’s talents, they will never be boxed in they just write, play and produce quality music you want to listen to again and again
Throughout the album there is a balance of tones and a symmetry between all the musicians so that the band has control of the material and JoJo has the freedom to play with the microphone so that every word has meaning and emotions are developed through the wonderful range of his warm voice at times deep and dirty and others teasing and gentle.
The album is independently minded in the construction of the lyrics the blending of tones and the vocals that have been moulded to suit the mood, and shape of the music poems that are never too long so the message doesn’t get lost in a clutter of chorus lines or unnecessary lead breaks.

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

TRACK LISTING*
1. Dead Man’s Chest
2. The Maze
3. Animal
4. Honey Murder
5. Riot
6. Gangsters Thieves and Villians
7. A.S.A.D
8. Siesta Resistance
9. Tattoo
10. Day It All Night Long
* All tracks written by LA Vendore Rogue with the expection the final track; Play It All Night Long which was written by Warren Zevon.

BAND
JoJo Burgess – Vocals
Joel Fisk – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Stephen Cutmore – Drums
Rob ‘Tank’ Barry – Bass
Warren Lynn – Keys.