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Festival Season 2017;

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Darlington Market Square R’n'B Festival 2017

SUNDAY 10th SEPTEMBER

THE BERNIE MARSDEN BAND [ex Whitesnake]
4:00pm to 5:20pm


EDDIE MARTIN BAND
2:30pm to 3:30pm

TERESA WATSON BAND
1:00pm to 2:00pm

FRINGE FESTIVAL

THE DOLPHIN CENTRE [Market Square]
The Hookahs [1:45pm - 3:30pm], Tim Green Band [5:00pm - 6:45pm].

THE BOOT ‘N’ SHOE [Market Square]
Chris James & Martin Fletcher [2:30pm - 4:15pm].

THE HOLE IN THE WALL [Market Square]
The Miles Gilderdale Band [2:30pm - 4:15pm].

THE PENNYWEIGHT [Market Square]
Midnite Blue [2:00pm - 3:45pm], The Regals [5:15pm - 7:00pm], Broken Levee [8:00pm - 9:45pm].

THE QUAYS [Tubwell Row]
Lee Bates & Billy Newton [5:00pm - 6:45pm].

THE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN [Bondgate]
How Askew Band [6:00pm - 7:45pm].

HOSKINS BAR [Blackwellgate]
Hot Coal Blues Band [6:00pm - 7:45pm].

AVALON [Blackwellgate]
Andy Gunn Band [8:30pm - 10:15pm].

JOES BAR [Grange Road]
Sundance Plays Hendrix [6:00pm - 8:00pm].

VOODOO CAFE [Skinnergate]
Trevor Sewell [3:00pm - 4:30pm], Auld Mans Baccie [5:30pm - 7:00pm], Alex Fawcett Band [8:00pm - 9:30pm].

BAR NUMBER ONE [Skinnergate]
Erik & The Vikings [7:00pm - 8:45pm].

THE WOOLLEN MILL [Feethams]
Andy Power Band [7:00pm - 8:45pm].

THE QUAKERHOUSE [Mechanics Yard]
The Blues Water [2:00pm - 4:00pm], The Boneshakers [5:00pm - 7:00pm], Dan Burnett Band [8:30pm - 10:30pm]

 

     

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Spent a few happy & moist hours at a little shindig in my “backyard” at the week-end, the 4th Shildonbury “Party In The Park”.

Not really a strong contender for mentioning in the Blues/Rock context; being a community event I guess the have to cater more mainstream & popularist tastes, though that didn’t stop a crackin’ early evening set by the Northeat’s very own “supergroup”, Groove Train, featuring Mitch Laddie on Guitar, Joh Dawson on bass & Ian Halford on drums & vocals, Michael Lavery & Angela Newbrook sharing vocals; James peacock o keys and Danny Allen on sax duties - superb blend of soul & funk.

Openers, The Breakfast Club were a very good 80’s cover band, ranging from Adam Ant to Visage. I was quite impressed by the 2nd band, ZuZu Cats guitarist, a jangling 1960’s sound, though the set lacked variety and dragged a little. Missed the next two bands due to the weather and the fact I like to be warm and dry in my old age, but ventured back in time to catch Shildon locals Central Parade who crystalised a sound like The Jam meets The Small Faces. Need some work in places, but there’s a good new band in there.

As for the headliners, well, Heatwave are one of those bands who’s hits you don’t realise you knew, until you hear them; shame the never really managed the transition from Disco to RnB. And the main headliners; do I dare mention them on here? Well, if you can’t stand the heat…. Yes, I was down the front, my camera never lies though you’d think I was in the land of make believe… No, NOT Bucks Fizz; they can’t call themselves that anymore, stricktly speaking, they’re now The Fizz. Pop saccharine aside, they still have great 4 part harmonies, but really, they’re a bit of fun, which is what Shildonbury is all about, and for £15 for 10 hours of live music, who isn’t going to shake off their leg warmers…...

     

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Once again Darlington was served proud by it’s annual free Blues festival which climaxed on Sunday with a feast for great music.

Getting things underway on the main stage was the North-East’s own Teresa Watson and her band who served up a fine platter of standards and covers to whet the appetites of the growing crowd. While down the side of the Market Place, side dishes like The Hookahs The Blues Water & Midnite Blue were being served up.

You would call Eddie Martin the “Fish” course in this meal of Blues, the set was far too “red meat” for that, a great serving of Texas & Mississippi beat slide Blues that managed to crack the sky for some sun to shine. While on the side servers we were tempted by Trevor Sewell and Miles Guilderdale and if you could get near, Chris James & Martin Fletcher..

Most definitely the entrée though was Bernie Marsden with his ol’ mate from ‘Snake days Neil Murray on Bass and former Magnum drummer Mickey Barker. Clearly no gluten free, lactose intolerant, veggie option here; this guy has more classics than a table serving has spoons for. Fool For Your Loving, Till The Day I Die, as well as Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City spiced with a little Marsden anecdote about meeting the song’s writer Bobby Bland. It wasn’t a show that leant on the hits though, like his late contemporary Gary Moore, Bernie has a depth of feeling for the Blues and several staples were given a re-vamp, and served steamin’ as well as a handful of solo songs proving he’s still a writer of no mean credit. One thing was certainly apparent though, Bernie was thoroughly enjoying himself and he held a packed Market Place from start to finish, delivery one of the best, if not THE best set I’ve heard there in the years I’ve been going.

After such a serving, it’s a bit difficult to move on to the sweet trolley, especially with tempters like The Regals and Tim Green Band in easy reach and no doubt there were some hardy souls who made it to the brandy & cigars with Broken Levee and Alex Fawcett Band

A great menu, and thanks again to all involved; Darlington R’n'B Club, Gasto promotions, Darlington Council for laying it on.

     

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Hopefully in time to squeeze in some more festivals; sorry about the short notice to this one:-

Kent Blues Rock Festival   Sat. 23rd Sept. 2pm - 11:30pm £20
Leo’s Red Lion
Crete Hall Rd
Gravesend DA11 9AA

The Boom Band; Kirk Fletcher; Big Boy Bloater; Kris Barras; Catfishl John Verity; Lewis Hamilton;
Jack J Hutchinson & Tom Brundage


5th Leek Blues & Americana Festival - 27th Sept - 1st Oct.

5 days, 15 venues, 50+ bands inc;Kirk Fletcher; Slaid Cleaves; Chris Bevington Organisation

Its Back! - Carlisle Blues Rock Festival.  29/30 Sept.
Friday - The Venue, English Gate Plaza; Carlisle
Saturday - Crown & Mitre Hotel; Carlisle

Bernie Marsden; Boom Band; Thorbjorn Risager; Sari Schorr; Del Bromham’s Blues Devils; Catfish;
Gerry Jablonski; Eddie Martin; Kaz Hawkins; Redfish;

     

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If there’s a Highway to Hell but only a Stairway To Heaven; it speaks volumes about the predicted traffic flow..