All live and direct Here Big shout out to Jason Elliott for co-ordinating this new innovative festival – the first of many to brighten our Saturday’s we hope!
All the musicians playing from [4.30 pm (GMT) Times vary across the regions – until 10 pm (GMT)] are playing for free.
Tonight the first Lockdown Festival organised in a week by Jason Elliot, and Chris Rogers as virtual Stage Manager was a resounding success. A massive thank you to everyone involved and for the artists giving their time free and giving us a peek into their homes. Amazingly Mike Ross by the end of the evening had compiled an album to download. Check out this album from tonight with one track from each artist. Buy it HERE from Bandcamp amazing Value at £12
Opening the event the duo Logan & Manley. With a nervous hi, this was a first they are groundbreakers. Early glitches aside what an accomplished set. The first song Heal, helped us feel better as music heals our inner soul. The guitar percussive opening captured our ears as we connected in a very new way. As was said no-one could see us dancing as we are isolated. What a wonderfully uplifting moment on a Saturday evening. Looking forward to hearing more from this talented and entertaining duo.
The second act of the afternoon Marcus Bonfanti from his flat with some spectacular house plants as his backdrop. Starting out with Layla from Borrowed Time Album, we were hit by the Marcus Vibe that magically combination of Acoustic guitar framing his magnificent voice. Goosebumps had goosebumps within a couple of bars. Then we heard Muddy Waters Champagne and Reefer our thirst solved and we are high on the power of the blues. Then a fitting tribute to Kenny Rogers who died today as we explore, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In). Closing with an upbeat ditty Bittersweet, his music is sublime; when this is over I hope you are back on the road with guitar and band. Marcus asked if you are feeling a donation please visit – The Cares Family
The second, Marcus of the festival, Marcus Lazurus who stepped in at an hours notice to replace Katie Bradley who could not play tonight. Tonight playing solo from his front room. His set with This Life album a true story Black Hand Over The Sun. His blues was cool, narrative-driven and we were glad we were invited to sit on his porch and while away 15 minutes in his delightful company.
Tom Gee, solo in a room alone entertains his fans. His guitar playing is spot on as he opens with the healing power of Jameson and Ginger a celebration on Whiskey and life. With an easy style, he chats to his invisible audience raising a glass we clap and cheer with our emojis as we raise our glasses in comradeship. Slows it down with his next number as part of a great set from Tom without his band.
Yoka & Big Ray bringing from their sofa Blues Yoka with her stunning vocals and flute that sends haunting whispers through the ether accompanied by Big Ray on guitar. The love of blues fans shine through in the comments we may be sitting on our own but we are united by Facebook and music. Closing out with their own distinctive interpretation of Summertime we can all join in with a common hope and pray that Summertime will bring better days were Social Distancing fades into our memories.
Following quickly with slide guitar from Troy Redfern with the opening number, Falling Down, of his short but perfectly formed set. The tone darkens the perfect sonic vibe as the sun goes behind the clouds and we top up our glasses. Very weird not to be standing in a queue with friends. In these times of isolation, we pour our own and say hi to our network of friends virtually. An atmosphere is building as the enjoyment of the music shines through with comments and an array of emojis. Changing guitars with the promise of a new album and a new track Love and War. Dirty Blues from his cool black and white guitar that squeals and wails in blue tones that harness rock and so much more. The album promises to be exciting.
How to follow that immense set? Crosscut Saw Alex Eden lead singer and guitarist for the next slot. The band is a quartet of talented musicians from Leeds/Bradford. The blues are pure electric wizardry, invoking the soul of Burnside et.al. Jose from their latest CD, fast and furious with skilful blues guitar that has won this band new fans far beyond Yorkshire.
Joining us from the USA with her amazing bass Lisa Mann. The deep bass contrasting with her vocals. She is doing okay despite being locked down as she has a roof over her head, guitar and a book. A list of all the things we can be grateful for. It was great to hear a different tone and that her six-string bass provided as she interacted with fans both sides of the pond checked in on her Facebook live feed. As she played she asked to imagine members of her band playing a solo as she lamented the loss of gigs. AS she shouted out a thank you to people working in NHS and medics everywhere. Paulette Davis wrote the lyrics of the next blues song. I Don’t Need No Doctor, the blues is the medicine that this set provided.
Next Up – Mike Ross, with a stylish backdrop creating a live set feel. From his first solo album, Fixing The Die, we have some acoustic slide adding some fabulous tonal depths. With sound sharp and fresh Mike, was as ever the tonic putting some fizz back in our soul. Despite Marcus playing this earlier we now had Mike’s version of Kenny Rogers My Conditions complete with sunglasses and Red Chilli Pepper lights. For his last track donning flashing devil horns, from the first RHR album. A stunning set Blues, devil horns and chilli pepper lights…
A short break time to replenish the bowls of snacks and open another bottle of Red Wine. Next up the duo Kyla Brox and Danny Blomeley Kyla bringing soul to the blues as she sings with purity and majesty. Sitting beside her husband she is relaxed and the power of the vocals pour out over the acoustic guitar to complete a duo of sounds with layers of tones. Title, track of her recent album, Pain and Glory. As many noticed the irony of as the drink of choice on their stage was Corona! the beer from Mexico. Thank you, Kyla, we hope you enjoyed your first Facebook live experience as much as we did.
Following the chilled-out soulful and uplifting set from Kyla and Danny is Beaux Gris Gris in trio form from the sofa. A true apocalyptic sound. The vocals from Greta Valenti, Robin Davey on a small guitar or he has become a giant! No, it is a beautiful six-stringed mandolin. Completing the trio Brandon on Bass. The second song in with Watching the Wall Fall Down, Greta’s voice has a gentle purity reflected back through the accompaniment. The final number on this far to short set with the line “Don’t let bastards drag you down” so apt… With two bands USA version and UK version and with a new album forthcoming there is no excuse not to listen to this amazing band often.
The tempo changes as Catfish as a duo Matt on Acoustic and Paul Long on Keys taking the festival into the night… OPening with Broken Man a firm crowd favourite. As people join together not broken but LOckdown from New Zealand, Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and across the world united through music. From Burning Bridges we get to hear Big Pictures; what a pleasure to listen to an acoustic version of numbers that we know soo well with the full band. Closing with a song never played before, Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”.There can be no argument that the fans were moved and loved this rendition of a song we know so well.
Bex Marshall Skint from the current album, Bootlace. The final song dedicated to the drama and chaos in Supermarkets, as she changes her guitar to a dobro as the wolves collide with the jungle out there the guitar, lyrics and vocals reflected the mayhem of the world we are trying to navigate an unknown path through. Bex’s music certainly entertained beautifully played for our collective Saturday night in. As we got an extra song a virtual encore sharing the love.
Foolish Hearts, from A Road I Call Home sings Elles Bailey here road may have changed and now a static place with four walls thankfully the music is still her unique mix of country meet blues fused with Americana. Sitting at her keyboard in her stage finery Elles is determined to entertain across the airwaves as if we are all in a venue with her. Elles without her band is so different she is missing them as much as we are. The songs have a different dimension and tonal feel more introspective as shown on a beautiful live version of Twilight. A hauntingly beautiful song dedicated to Joe Wilkins her band’s guitarist. Closing out with Elles number that she has never performed on her own with a piano dedicated to Howlin’ Wolf we have some Howlin’ and the moon perfect.
Hooson Maguire, opening with Brighter Day, we can rock out with some tasty energetic blues. Our night is definitely brighter. The heat from the energy they deliver is spreading across the world tonight. There own song Winter Sun dedicated to someone who would have so loved this event. Missed by everyone who ever heard him play the guitar. That said Paddy’s Telecaster was played as a beautiful backdrop to the emotionally drenched singing from Jenna. The only irritation was whoever was texting them through the mobile phone they were streaming in Matthew Long’s words “sounds like a duck. Closing out with A Little Help From Friends – we are all going to need this over the coming weeks and months.
Finale, of the first Lockdown Festival, is Ian Siegal. We are quickly all aboard with Ian on The Train. Stephen Foster’s Hard Times, perfect lyrics from a different time and place when life was a trial for many. The sound may have been a bit dodgy but remember this the first lockdown festival every artist playing remotely with no crew to manage the sound desk. This is blues raw and the sound reflects the times not perfect but the depth of emotion when playing and his country blues. A song played with bands in various guises is now stripped back as a solo acoustic. “Fear in Your Soul that everything is out of control”. Ian as ever captures in clever lyrics what we all feel but never can articulate. Thank you for playing The Fear. Thank you for your blues, interpreted in a way that only you can. As ever a pleasure to hear and see Ian perform.
Loving some of the quotes, “Lockdown is the new Live Aid” then there is the banter about who is buying the next drink or comments “always a tall person in front of me”. People celebrating birthdays and the crowd from Flowerpot, Derby. ” Sorry, I’m late. I was giving our daily applause to the health workers here. (Spain)” or “Someone stole the hand sanitizer by act #7” plus“This has been the most phenomenal night – well-done everyone – truly epoch-defining!!” Hopefully when we can get back to seeing gigs as a result of this festival many of these acts will be invited to new venues.
Check out this album from tonight with one track from each artist. Buy it HERE from Bandcamp amazing Value at £12