Guinness Blues Festivals
Posted on: Sunday, Jan 18, 2009
Anyone out there remember the great Guinness Blues festivals held in Dublin in the nineties? I went over twice and had a simply great time – paying gigs with big names were only about £6, but the pub trail was the main attraction – dozens of free gigs, with staggered starting times (and staggering punters by the end!).
Can’t remember the exact years without digging out the old flyers, etc., but think I went around 1996 and 1997. Highlights of many included walking into Thomas Read’s pub with The Harpbreakers in full flow, and Nigel stopping and proclaiming, “All right mate, hey their’s a lad from Chester here!”; Simon Hickling and band in the ornate Turk’s Head, playing in a most unusual place; Steve Blackstone and the Anglesey lads, The Baloo’s Band, playing a near four-hour set in the Temple Bar pub, fuelled by masses of the ‘Liffey water’ of course!
Also saw some remarkable acoustic gigs – a stunning set from Alvin Youngblood Hart, and also outdoor shows from Kent DuChaine and Corey Harris, but perhaps best of all, the duo of the late Rock Bottom, with Roy Bookbinder – Roy quipped how he was waiting for his band, only for a rather large gent to arrive, sit on a beer crate and start blowing some rather fine harmonica – Rock Bottom himself!
Happy days indeed, a great pity that Guinness did not keep it going for a few more years.