Review: The Great British R&B Festival, Colne – Part 2

Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT BRITISH RHYTHM AND BLUES FESTIVAL COLNE

 MONDAY 25/AUGUST/2014

THE BRITISH STAGE

The crowd was building and so was the atmosphere inside this arena. I was ready to be entertained.

The first band up was BROTHERS GROOVE a band from the Birmingham area. This is the band that put’s the funky groove in the blues, with a heavy bass guitar line from Deano Bass and a pincer movement involving the two lead guitarists, Shaun Hill and Nigel Mellor, sharing the load and on the drums Jim Simpson who has played with Bonnie Tyler, Magnium and U F O. This is the music that gets your head nodding and your feet tapping and your fingers snapping; as far as the groove goes I haven’t heard anything this good since the early days of Brand X.

The band’s first studio album entitled “PLAY THE GAME” is followed by a live album entitled “LIVE AT THE CROSSING”. These guys are exceptional musicians; it’s hard to ignore the brother’s groove.

STEVE FULSHAM BAND.

This rocking trio from Hull certainly hit the spot. They do what it says on the tin, classic hot and fast rocking blues. Steve Fulsham front and centre on lead vocals and lead guitar, with Jon Whinham on bass guitar and a very impressive drummer by the name of Sean Clough. This band gave us original music penned by Steve, “Say Bye Bye”; “Tell the Truth”, “Shufflin’ Feet” a tribute to Rory Gallagher.

SKY VALLEY MISTRESS

This exciting new band from the Blackburn area is what live music is all about, fresh, edgy, and a little bit of an attitude that lets rip. A mix of original material and covers to sharpen their teeth on. New blood is vital for the music scene; we all have to have this learning curve which is essential to any fruitful existence in the business. They have a future and they are grabbing it with both hands. The band fronted by the” Hell Kitten” herself Kayley Davies on lead vocal, aided by lead guitarist Squire and on bass guitar Russell and on the drums the powder keg that is Maxwell Harvey William Newsome the third. Buyers beware they may bite, but they will certainly claw their way up.

SLACK ALICE and Friends

This legendary band has nothing to prove and it’s always a pleasure to see a good band that has done it’ apprenticeship, helped others along the way, and still enjoy playing to a crowd. Some would say that its bands like Slack Alice that inspires others to pick up an instrument and join the music industry and be a success like them. Cliff Stocker and his associates are the industry, the nuts and bolts of it. The band that is Slack Alice is Cliff Stocker on lead vocals, Chris Preston on guitars and mandolin, Colin Redman guitars and vocals, Paul Nuttal on keys, Liam Barber on drums and Alan Sager on bass guitar, his solo was tremendous. The guest musician with this great band was a young lady of 12 years old called Maddie G on saxophone; she has just been awarded a scholarship at the Giggleswick College of Music, and was a little cracker of a performer.

RED BUTLER

This is another young band that has had some success already having had air play on Paul Jones’s radio 2 shows. I’m sure we will see and hear a lot more of this lively band who have a rock/ blues agenda. Fronted by Jane Chloe Pearce on lead vocals, she has a voice and a gutsy approach to the music they play. Alex Butler on lead guitar plays above his years and in my humble opinion will be a name in the future as I predicted when Aynsley Lister started out on his musical career. Mike Topp on bass guitar a very accomplished musician, Charlie Simpson was a star on the drums.

THE COUNTRY BLUES BAND

Over the years the members of this band have been there and done it and are still doing it. I refer to of course Johnny “Guitar” Williamson on lead guitar and vocals. Yes the very same man that played with the Animals and Titanic and Skeleton Crew, he is truly a gifted player and it was a pleasure to hear him play and sing. On lead vocal and guitar was Peter Barton, marvellous vocals, ex Animals,and the great Wayne Fontana band. On the drums was Wally Day ex Lipstick and Shady. On bass guitar and vocals the deep vocal tones of Chris Allen currently front man for The Troggs and ex Denny Laine band and LT Pidgeon.

With marvellous harmonies from these giants of popular music, nothing short of a supreme performance by these totally professional musicians. The Country Blues Band covered, Proud Mary, I Put a Spell on You, Run through the Jungle, Justify My life (Williamson) and a great version of I Heard it through the Grapevine, and many more, just brilliant.

Keith Blackledge

National & International Music Reviewer

 

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