Review: The Mold Blues & Soul Festival – Kendrick’s Field, Mold, North Wales: 1st-3rd August
Posted on: Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014
The first Mold Blues & Soul Festival in the North Wales market town, was judged a major success by all after three great days at Kendrick’s Field near the town centre, as the crowd enjoyed the varied bills put together by Charlie Broadhurst of Event Sound Limited and Dave Hill – the Mold Town Centre manager, with backing from The Leader local newspaper group, and many other sponsors. They were superbly aided and abetted by a large team of mainly volunteers.
As ‘a toe in the water’ inaugural event the only thing really missing was more people – but I’m sure this event will take place again next year with a lot more present – indeed a pleasing sight was the large number of local folk who had turned out to witness the music on their own doorsteps!
I was only there on Sunday, and it was a memorable day . . . but more of that later! Word of mouth from people there on Friday and Saturday was that all acts were enjoyed, with special mentions for Anglesey’s Burning Black; the London-based outfit, The David Sinclair Trio, who I enjoyed at two Chester gigs this year; and on the Saturday the blues/rock of The John Verity Band, and more local outfits such as Cold Turkey and Indios Dream were well received; along with the more established ‘bigger names’ of Tom Attah, The Stevie Nimmo Trio and Connie Lush, the multi-award winning and Liverpool-based ‘Queen of the British Blues’.
After braving the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ of the 4S bus from Chester, I unfortunately arrived too late to catch The Mark Henderson Band and Charlie’s own outfit, A Shrewdness Of Apes, but, who apparently both earned nice ovations from the growing crowd. Next up was Colin Hinds & Friends, from Liverpool – including the talented keyboard player Paul Need in the ranks, and they delivered a summery set, including the Stretch hit from way back, “Why Did You Do It?”
The Chester-based 7-piece Encore De Funk provided a high energy funk and soul-influenced set, and they were followed the very enjoyable and rootsy Matt Wolff Band from Stockport, who delivered a really nice semi-acoustic set, fronted by the talented Mr Wolff himself – a fine all-round musician.
With a couple of members being unavailable at the last minute, Forty4 were replaced by a side-project, Heavy Soul – still with guitarists Neil Partington and Paul Starkey from the band, but joined by keyboard maestro Dave Goldberg, and his two sons forming the rhythm section. As ever they delivered a mix of funk, soul, blues and more . . . highlights being a romp through Smiley Lewis’s “I Hear You Knocking”; some classic New Orleans r&b in the shape of Lee Dorsey’s “Give It Up”, and the classic “Whippin’ Post” by The Allman Brothers Band which gave Messrs. Starkey and Partington a chance to stretch out.
With the weather holding out, next up were the duo Rita Payne, namely Rhiannon Scutt and Pete Sowerby from Doncaster, with some foot-stomping acoustic music that went down very well – just one acoustic guitar and two voices.
The penultimate band on stage were the excellent outfit from Birmingham, The Brothers Groove, who have been making waves on the British blues scene over the last year or so with their funky sound, and they featured many songs from their debut CD, “Play The Game” . . . with the interlocking guitars of Shaun Hill and Nigel Mellor to the fore . . . they played a good few numbers from the album, and ‘bookended’ the set with a couple of classics . . . The Meters “Cissy Strut” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”.
Tim Penn & Paul Cuff of The Cadillac Kings
If ever a band were the ideal choice to close a festival that would be The Cadillac Kings, without doubt one of the finest live outfits anywhere . . . and a rip-roaring high energy set had the area in front of the stage full of dancers as the crowd enjoyed the mix of Mike Thomas orginals and r&b classics. Hard to pick out highlights as it was all marvellous, but here goes . . . Barrett Strong’s “Money” which was made famous by a certain band from Liverpool; an orginal tune in “One Step Forward”, with a great Bo Diddley feel; and to close the storming “Lou Ann”. An encore was quickly squeezed in, and guitarist Mal Barclay featured on vocals and stunning guitar on Guitar Junior’s “The Crawl”.
To sum up, a wonderful day, and the overall impression is that festival will be back, even bigger and better next year . . . huge congratulations to all involved – organisers, volunteers, bands and of course the people attending!
(Pictures courtesy of Terry Doyle and email@example.com)