Review: The Great British R&B Festival, Colne – Part 1

Posted on: Monday, Sep 1, 2014





Master of Ceremonies MR PETE CUDDY

Hello Fans of Live Music.


I settled down to hear some live music at the British Stage on Sunday the 24th of August, with music fans from Chorley. The band STUMBLE was up first on the afternoon slot. A fantastic band that I saw at the 1st Preston Rocking Blues Festival last May. They got off to a tremendous start and a rapturous welcome by the hundreds of admiring fans that had come to see this amazing band. An hour of fantastic blues by this very talented band of musicians fronted by the powerful vocals of Paul Melville, with Colin Black on lead and slide guitar, on bass guitar was Cameron Sweetnam, Boyd Tonner on drums, Anthony Scapens on guitar and Simon Anthony on a mighty sax.    The bands original MY LIFE and another cracker was BUS STOP got the crowd by the neck and shuck them with the blues, fantastic. The place was bouncing and the atmosphere was electric. STUMBLE are a force on the electric blues scene and give an audience what they want 100% commitment and cracking music.

The British Blues awards were next please go to the web site for details.

An impromptu performance from the man they call HALF DEAF CLATCH, a man, an acoustic guitar and a stomp. The man aka Andrew Mclatchie he gave a slide and drive, stripped back performance of the blues that any enthusiast would covert. He had appeared in the acoustic arena earlier and was up for an award runner up in the category emerging artist of the year, which found him in the room as they say. Andrew delivered two great songs “Good Ol’ Diablo and Ol’ Death train. One word would not justify his performance, but it’s fair to say he was sensational.


A Derbyshire band that has been playing their blues up and down the Country and celebrating 30 years on the road, a band that oozes professionalism. Frontman, lead vocals and bass guitarist Pat Rowbottom with Rob Barnes on lead guitar and vocals, Keith Bonthrone on drums and vocals and what a voice he has terrific, Joe Orban on keys and guitar and backing vocals. A mix of original material penned by Pat and Rob with covers from Jethro Tull, Cream, and Peter Green, blistering stuff they were magic.


I have heard a lot about this band on the bush telegraph but never had the privilege to hear a live performance; I was in for a treat. The master stroke of all this was to gather these very talented individual musicians under one roof so to speak and perform as a band and thanks to Chris Bevington this happened, and the result was Dynamite. The brass section of the band was a stroke of genius, Jamie Bannister on alto sax with Adrian Gibson on trumpet. The miracle that is George Glover on keys, he was amazing. The rhythm section of Chris Bevington on bass guitar and Andy Carr on drums was a match made in heaven, and Scott Ralph on lead guitar and lead vocals and frontman was to put it bluntly the Detonator, a fire cracker of a performance and no one can forget the singing duo of Sarah Miller and Kate Robinson. The covers they did were fabulous here is just a taster, Dark Side of Love, She’s out there Somewhere, Purple Rain featuring Sarah Miller and Kate Robinson, Don’t Need No Doctor, Crossroads, Bogie Man, need I say more, tremendous.


This young four piece band was new to me and I enjoyed what they did. This band together for only two years is from the Harrogate area, and they like to do their own thing and got to grips with the pop, rock, and blues genres. A combination of talent and strong musicianship from a band that have a place in today’s scene. The writing talents of the band were evident they only did two covers from a set that held seven, one from Joe Bonamassa ”Steal Your Heart Away “and “Bright Lights “ from Gary Clark Jnr, both excellent versions. The bands frontman and lead vocalist and guitar was Johnny Brown, with Paul Randles on lead guitar, Steve brown on bass and Carleton Pape on the drums. Watch this space these guys are Lions and perhaps for longer than a day.


Wow this six piece band knocked my socks off. The band from Liverpool took to the stage and took command from the word go, stage craft is very important. Paul Dunbar the frontman on lead vocal and guitar was exceptional and held my attention from the start. He has a presence that puts the band high on the pedestal. Plenty of energy from him and the band that are not only top musicians but have the writing talents as well, with terrific arrangements. They treated us with tracks off their new c d entitled “Earth Sky or the Raging Sea” just brilliant, the band were, Paul Dunbar, Mike Mc Leod lead guitar, James Orin sax, Rory Ballentyne on trumpet, Chris Pearce bass guitar and Phil Stevens drums. This is soul rock and blues, perfection.


This mighty band that has a tremendous following did us proud and the City of Manchester where the band is based. Franny Eubank lead vocal and harp was sizzling he loves to mix it up and the energetic Tom Attah was ‘at it’ he is an act on his own wonderful. Tom’s guitar skills are becoming legendry, playing at a hundred miles an hour he floored the audience with his fiff’s, a powerhouse indeed. With covers the likes of “Help Me” “Kansas City”” “High Heel Sneakers” the crowd went orbital. The band finished there hour long set with “Got My Mojo Working” the bands Mojo worked, no doubt about that, with Bo Lee on bass guitar and Luke Flowers on drums.


A guitar musician with skills a plenty, he has a great style and panache, and any up and coming guitarist would try to emulate. If there is any one better from Norwich I haven’t heard them yet and they would have to be better than brilliant. The whole band, I have to say were worth a sack of gold. Charlotte Joyce on vocals and keys was tremendous. Charlotte’s vocal range was supreme not only clear but concise and a perfect pitch complimenting Ron on every note. Mr Lance Fickling on a busy bass guitar and Paul Wooden on drums were the rich icing on this perfect confection. Their superb performance ended the third day of this Rhythm and Blues extravaganza.

Keith Blackledge

National & International Music Reviewer        

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