Live review: Blues For BB – Cockermouth, Cumbria: 5th July

Posted on: Wednesday, Jul 8, 2015

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On Sunday, 5th July, around 300 people attended ‘Blues for BB’ in Cockermouth, Cumbria,  organised by Andy Hills of Cockermouth Blues, with assistance from long-standing blues fan Graeme McGrory. This not-for-profit event, held in neighbouring pubs The Bush Inn and The Fletcher Christian Tavern, was a huge success. Even the sun came out to play – an unusual occurrence in Cumbria!

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The day celebrated the life and music of BB King and both pubs were busy from midday onwards, with musicians, sound technicians and organisers putting in a great deal of work behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly. The event showcased some of Cumbria’s best blues rock bands and special guest Julian ‘Jules’ Carter travelled all the way up from Knebworth, Hertfordshire, for the occasion. Jules had written a song, called ‘Respect for Riley’, about BB King, which he performed with The Cockermouth Blues Band, a stellar line-up of musicians who all appeared in other bands during the day.

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Workington musician Buzz Elliott had put together a slide show of images of BB King over the years, which provided a poignant backdrop for the bands playing at The Fletcher Christian. The electric bands included The Bullfrogs, Crow Dog, Sidetrack, Secure Unit, South Quay and The Olly Alcock Band; while the acoustic line-up featured Plastic Paddy, Eric Harpo with Buzz and Paul Deegan, the Solway Soul Choir, The Arton Brothers, Buzz Elliott, and Keri Farish with Jed Farish and Andrew Lillico. There were so many highlights.

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In The Bush Inn, South Quay’s Keri Farish sang a stunning version of BB King’s ‘The Thrill is Gone’. In the final jam session at The Fletcher Christian, the Cockermouth Blues Band (with virtuoso saxophonist Roz Sluman and Keri on vocals) performed one of Pink Floyd’s most iconic songs, ‘Great Gig In the Sky’. These are just two examples from a day packed with brilliant performances from all the musicians who generously gave their time and talent to celebrate and remember BB King, King of the Blues.

KELLY DAVIS

(Picture credits: Jan Fialkowski)

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