Blues On The Farm 2015

Overview:

A weekend that was crammed with delights for your taste buds anStation House - Saturday BotF - June 2015_0002ld 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.

The Jar Family  - Friday BotF - June 2015_0067lReturning 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  - Friday BotF - June 2015_0068lLayla 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 The Hoax  - Friday BotF - June 2015_0041lyounger 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 FeedingMud Morganfield  - Friday BotF - June 2015_0067l 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.

Ricky Cool and the In Crowd - Saturday BotF - June 2015_0046lBeer 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. Station House - Saturday BotF - June 2015_0015lThey 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 Ben Poole - Saturday BotF - June 2015_0148lsome 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.

Kaz Hawkins - Saturday BotF - June 2015_0102lWho 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 croJive Aces - Saturday BotF - June 2015_0052lThe 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.

Malaya Blue - Sunday BotF - June 2015_0028lWith 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 Cajun Rooster - Sunday BotF - June 2015_0056lthis 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 Rodney Branigan and John Pointer - Sunday BotF - June 2015_0059lfor 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 Brilleaux - Sunday BotF - June 2015_0024lwere 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!

In Conversation with Julian Moores – Blues on The Farm

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Blues on The Farm
Thursday 19th June – Sunday 21st June 2015
The Friendly Festival

 

 

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.

LOCATION
Location
Blues on the Farm
Pump Bottom Farm,
Birdham Rd.
Chichester,
West Sussex, PO20 7EH

Follow FAQ for more information

TICKET PRICES: Can be purchased through website

4 DAY TICKET
ADULT TICKET – £129.00
CHILD Aged 10 to 15 £49.50 ~ under 10’s get in free

THURSDAY 18TH JUNE 2015 TICKET
EVENING ONLY ADULT – 18.30 – 24.00 ~ Two Bands – £28.00
EVENING ONLY CHILD Aged 10 to 15 £14.00 ~ under 10’s get in free

FRIDAY 19TH JUNE 2015
ALL DAY ADULT TICKET – £36.00
ALL DAY CHILD Aged 10 to 15 £18.00 ~ under 10’s get in free

EVENING ONLY 18.30 – 24.00 ADULT – 18.30 – 25.00 ~ Three Bands – £25.00
EVENING ONLY 18.30 – 24.00 CHILD Aged 10 to 15 £12.00 ~ under 10’s get in free

SATURDAY 20TH JUNE 2015
ALL DAY ADULT TICKET – £36.00
ALL DAY CHILD Aged 10 to 15 £17.50 ~ under 10’s get in free

EVENING ONLY 18.30 – 24.00 ADULT – 18.30 – 25.00 ~ Three Bands – £25.00
EVENING ONLY 18.30 – 24.00 CHILD Aged 10 to 15 £12.00 ~ under 10’s get in free

SUNDAY 21ST JUNE 2015
ALL DAY ADULT TICKET – £36.00
ALL DAY CHILD Aged 10 to 15 £15.00 ~ under 10’s get in free

EVENING ONLY 18.30 – 24.00 ADULT – 18.30 – 25.00 ~ Three Bands – £25.00
EVENING ONLY 18.30 – 24.00 CHILD Aged 10 to 15 £12.00 ~ under 10’s get in free

To Buy Tickets click ONLINE or Ticket Hotline: 01243 773828 or 01243 539072
For more information check out Blues On The Farm website http://www.bluesonthefarm.co.uk/

Photo Gallery of 2015 – Liz Aiken Photography

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THE HOAX supported by Well Hung Heart & Federal Charm – The Globe, Cardiff 11th April 2014


The queue waiting outside The Globe for doors to open were full of eager excitement with two bands plus the The Hoax! Getting the three-course live music menu off to a rocky, bluesy start were Federal Charm, this young Manchester based band are winning fans whenever they play. The vocals are good but tonight the acoustics at The Globe were not their friend as the sound was loud but lacked clarity, turning it down does work sometimes, and the sound needs to be adjusted to the size and acoustics of the venue. This is a band with loads of potential and I hope they become more blues based and not go down the rocky road that just tips a hat at the blues. They have a nifty rhythm section, and the interplay between the accomplished a stylish guitarists Nick Bowden and Paul Bowe taking the lead up front is a delight to watch and listen to as they combine this with good vocals. This was a great band to open the evening delivering tracks from their début album The Album including Come on Down; as you listen to the band the influences are wide including Wishbone Ash, Thin Lizzie and The Stones. This is a band that is touring far and wide honing their skills and developing their own charming style.

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Then next onto the stage are ‘Well Hung Heart‘ who toured with The Hoax in 2013; so to many they were not a new phenomenon this is a band that is proud to be different with punk influences and the lead singer from U.S.A they could be described as Ameripunk. Robin Davey is the guitarist, using effects to good purpose and has the opportunity to play lead rather than the Bass he is recognised as being a master of when playing in The Hoax. Greta Valenti on vocals is the energetic, charismatic fronts-woman of the band bringing a lively dynamism to every note she sings, she was at times quite Bjork like, but overall this is a band that is telling their own musical story with style and panache. Making up the trio is Alex Thomas on Drums, Percussion and backing vocals who has just joined the band for the tour so tonight was his second night, it didn’t show as the timing was tight and the interplay and communication between all three meant this was a tight unit of a band delivering authentic live music that was fun to listen to and the closing number demonstrated this perfectly with a unique take on Whole Lot of Love. They went down well with a vibrant sound and an expectant crowd waiting for the main act.

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The stage went quiet and the anticipation rose within the audience as they waited for the drum kit to be dis-assembled and the stage re-organised for The Hoax, who soon were on the stage with a resounding cheer before a note was struck. I am writing this part of the review from memory – why I was so entranced by the band I just never put pen to paper that is what The Hoax does as they punch out the blues driven notes you are enthralled, drawn into the event. Reality takes a break as you live the moment relishing every note struck by the guitarists who have unfathomable depths of talent Jon Amor left of stage and Jesse Davey right of stage flanking Hugh Coltman with his vibrant harmonica playing and stunning vocals that are as clear as a bell. The bedrock of the band that allows the three up front the freedom to bend and shape the songs are Robin Davey laying classy Bass and Mark Barrett on Drums driving the tempo and ensuring this five-piece of individually brilliant and inventive players remain tight and anarchy never comes to the fore. The set was a mix of favourites from the early days of the Hoax including Bones, Groove Breaker and Feedin’ Time when they are renowned for being the most influential Blues Band of the last twenty years that resulted in a cult-like following and when they disbanded left a huge gap in the British Blues scene. Now back playing gigs and festivals here and in Europe they are gaining new followers and delighting everyone who remembers the gigs of the nineties. Every track was played with talent and they delighted in each other’s skills and talents, with Stick Around being played which was ironic as no-one in the audience was going anywhere, they did not want to miss a single note or any of the glorious vocals from Hugh. No wonder they are appearing across the categories of the British Blues Awards 2014, they are back on top of the crest of the wave they departed in 1999 and tracks from their latest album “Big City Blues” were all well received, such as Hipslicker and Give Me a Drink”. The encore did not include the signature event of Jon and Jesse swapping guitars the stage to small but never mind the chemistry between them all is awesome and we wanted them to play on and on the set finished far too soon and many favourites were not given an airing tonight. What an evening of entertainment, disappointingly for a Friday night in a capital city many Cardiff blues fans missed what could be the Cardiff gig of the year.. This is a reflection that there is not a gigging venue in Cardiff that plays the blues regularly… catch them if you can as the tour continues and hopefully they will be back in 2015.

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Rest of the tour:-

17th April – Norwich Arts Centre – The Hoax
18th April – The Picturedrome, Holmfirth – The Hoax
19th April – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham – Federal Charm, Well Hung Heart & The Hoax
20th April – O2 Academy, Islington – Federal Charm, Well Hung Heart & The Hoax