Warrington Rhythm & Blues Festival – The Pyramid, Warrington

Posted on: Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

Saturday, 8th September, 2012

Tickets: £20 in advance or £22.00 on the door

Main Stage

The Producers

Festival headline band The Producers are amongst the leaders of the current blues phenomenon in the UK. Regarded by many observers as one of the most exciting and stylish new wave bands on the blues circuit, we are pleased to welcome them back for their first concert in Warrington for over ten years.

The Cadillac Kings

Festival favourites the Cadillac Kings are regarded as one of the very best blues, jump jive and swing bands both in the UK and in Continental Europe. This six piece outfit will provide the festival audience with a high energy set that is guaranteed to fill the dance floor from the start.

The Firebird Smith Blues Band

The Festival is pleased to welcome the nine strong Firebird Smith Big Band to Warrington for the first time.Recently featured on Radio Lancashire and City Radio the band will provide us with a unique blend of modern blues, soul and funk that no other outfit in the UK currently offers.

The Escape Committee

The Escape Committee are considered by many locals to be one of the very best blues bands based in the North West of England. Inspired by the music of Eric Clapton, Neil Young and the Allman Brothers, the band will be making its third straight appearance on the festival main stage.


We are pleased to welcome Forty4 who will be making their first appearance at the festival. This 5 piece outfit from Liverpool and Wirral will provide us with a great opening set that mixes blues, roots, Americana and New Orleans funk to create some seriously good .Rhythm and Groove’ music!

Acoustic Stage

Tommy Allen and Johny Hewitt

Johhny Hewitt, harmonica player and vocalist with Smokehouse, recently teamed up with top guitarist Tommy Allen to form a Chicago style acoustic blues duo which is now attracting a lot of interest throughout the UK and abroad. We are pleased to welcome them to headline the festival’s acoustic stage this year.

Colin and Joe Walker

Colin Walker, well respected guitarist with the Backwater Blues Band makes his first ever appearance at the festival alongside his son Joe. Expect some high quality vocals and superb guitar work from them both during this much anticipated set on the acoustic stage.

Blues Boy Dan

At 20 years of age ‘Blues Boy’ Dan Owen is already making waves on the blues circuit and beyond. A recent festival review stated that ‘he possesses a voice to kill for. A little bit of Tom Waits with a touch of Ian Siegal and a spot of Joe Cocker for good measure. Come along and see what we mean!

Llew Garner and Dave Ball from Radio Warrington have kindly agreed to compere the festival, and they will also provide us with some great music during the session intervals.




August 29th, 2012 at 20:38
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I was really looking forward to the line up being announced for my home town festival – there have been some great blues festivals up down the country this summer – sadly Warrington isn’t going to be one of them. Come on give us some excitement! There are so many bands to choose from, who organises this?



August 29th, 2012 at 21:06
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Hiya edgedinblue.

Thanks for the comment. I don’t know too many details of the festival so I can’t really point you towards the organiser.

What kind of acts would you have preferred?

Maybe the acts that you like are outside the budget.


Pete Evans

August 29th, 2012 at 22:43
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Got to comment. Having organised 17 festivals I feel qualified to make some points here.

I do know the organiser and I think he has put together a very good BLUES line-up without having to resort to bringing in a rock element which seems to be creeping more and more into our UK festivals.

The acts chosen are a good cross section of UK acts including some excellent local bands and to put together 8 acts for £20 represents excellent value for the budget available.

As Ken asks, what sort of line-up would you have preferred?
I’m not criticising you as it’s always good to have feedback (not the amplifier variety!!!)



August 30th, 2012 at 21:03
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Thank you for replying to my post – I don’t deny that the ticket price is excellent and I realise that you cannot please all of the people all of the time. I have to admit that I am very much a guitar band blues fan and it would have been good to see at least one of the acts appearing of the type of Mitch Laddie, Nimmo Brothers, Aynsley Lister, Danny Bryant etc.
I realise that these artists would cost a lot to bring to Warrington but I also think that these kind of artists also appeal to younger fans who are needed at blues events to keep the blues alive.
In the review of the festival it actually says the Cadillac Kings play ‘jump jive and swing’ – Firebird Smith – ‘soul and funk’, you say that you feel this is a good BLUES line up without the rock element but you have artists performing these other styles. I am sure you are well aware of the excellent festivals put on by Ray and Barbara over the years. A good mix with something for everyone.



August 31st, 2012 at 09:35
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Having seen the majority of the bands on the bill. I think that it’s fair to say that there will be a lot of blues guitar on the bill. There are some great players in the show.

However for an out and out blues rock fan I can understand that there is no big rock blues name on the bill.

Personally, I don’t really like the majority of the rock blues acts. The blues is a broad church, that is one of its strengths.


Pete Evans

August 31st, 2012 at 20:47
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Some good points Edgedinblue – let’s keep the debate going. The description of the two acts you mention does describe blues as well as “jump jive and swing” and “soul and funk” and indeed both bands feature a great deal of blues in their set list.
I do believe that a blues rock band should always feature in any festival and I have always tried to include one in my festivals. Indeed, when it comes to blues/rock, I helped produce all 3 of Tommy Allen’s Trafficker albums. However, I readily acknowledge that the last album was a pure rock album and barely touched the blues.
Aynsley, Danny and The Nimmos all paid their dues to the blues in their early days but rarely nowadays do the first 2 feature any blues or even blues/rock. They are inclined more to rock than blues/rock. The Nimmos are what I would still classify a blues/rock band and only having seen Mitch briefly at Colne a few years ago, I can’t comment on him.
I suppose I’m being ultra defensive and perhaps behaving like a boring old fart, however, I get annoyed that so may blues festivals now rely entirely on posturing over amplified Stratocasters and old “past their best” rock bands. If it’s a blues festival then expect blues and if it’s a rock festival then call it so.
It is important, as you say, to encourage the younger generation towards blues but I don’t think it will happen through a blues festival. I think that will happen through a rock festival that features a blues act – e.g. Seasick Steve.
If you do decide to come please can I recommend you listen to Blues Boy Dan. This young lad is 19 years old and plays an old battered acoustic Gibson. He has a voice to kill for and has already come to the attention of a London based “non blues” agency. If I was to bet who would have the best chance of spreading blues to the younger generation, it’s this young lad.



September 1st, 2012 at 21:06
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Obviously JB was unavailable . . .