Pick of the Year – Rosy Greer
Posted on: Thursday, Dec 27, 2012
The highlights, for me, of some of the British Blues Festivals of 2012…there were so many.
A great wintery start in February for a brand new blues festival in Shrewsbury …’Theatre of Blues’. What a success and it’s all happening again in 2013 folks…but this time in April! Highlights were Rhythm Zoo with their guest Blues Boy Dan.
I also have to mention the Jon Amor Blues Group who took the festival by storm.
May saw the beginning of the festival season proper, with Burnley Rock and Blues Festival’… one of the best in the North West! Class line-up on the main stage including a favourite in Hokie Joint, and if you ventured out and about on the trail you may have been lucky enough to see one of my favourite bands from the North West, Forty4, always a highlight for me!
Hebden Bridge Blues Festival in June….what can I say. Voted the ‘Best British Blues Festival’ they certainly deserved the accolade. Magic moments on the Picture House Stage were for me, Burnley lass, Lucy Zirins, who captivated the audience in the huge auditorium with self penned acoustic songs and sang with the voice of an angel. Her new album is on its way!
Also an amazing performance from another exceptional band from the North West, Fuschi4….they just get better and better!
On the Blue Horizon Stage, of course, I have to mention Marcus Bonfanti and Paddy Milner . . . .
. . . . and the brilliant Paddy Maguire Midnight Jam Sessions… certainly a memorable experience!
A busy July with the freeUpton Blues Festival at Upton-on-Severn. The acoustic stage did it again for me with Marcus Bonfanti doing a fantastic acoustic set and of course the amazing Babajack, who we had a job to see as the courtyard was rammed…I think that says it all!!!!
Later in July was Maryport Blues Festival…. so many ‘highlights’! On the trail Russ Tippins Electric Band…Wow!
(the clip is not from Maryport, but the essence is there!!)
On the main stage was there was an outstanding performance from the young Ben Poole and his band and an historic performance from Chris Farlowe.
Towards the end of August we found ourselves again at Colne…another great North West blues festival, as the Great British R & B Festival hit the town again. I have to say we didn’t visit the International Stage this year…but no loss… the British Stage surpassed itself. The highlight for me was Kyla Brox and her band and the impromptu visit of her guest – Victor Brox…just amazing!!
(clip from 2011)
Poorboy from Leeds also provided a memorable experience and on the Acoustic Stage and on the trail, the brilliant, award winning Babajack had the audience spellbound!
Our first visit to the Newark Blues Festival will not be our last. A glorious sunny weekend in September, in the fabulous castle grounds, provided the backdrop for the British Blues Awards. The most memorable moment for me, was Blues Boy Dan….what an amazing young acoustic blues artist.
November, and the last blues festival for us this year at Carlisle Blues and Rock Festival. Apart from the brilliant Ian Siegal, and Jon Amor Blues Group, the North West’s own Bowden and Williamson …superb blues duo(but a trio on this occasion 0, played an outstanding set.
I shall now look forward to the joys to come at the festivals of 2013.
ROSY GREER (Lancashire Blues Archive)