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Darlington Marketplace (Free) Rhythm ‘N’ Blues Festival

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Yeah, once again Darlington Town Council, along with Mike Prendergast & Darlington R’n'B Club did the town proud with yesterday’s free Blues/Rock festival.

The Atlantic Soul Messengers get the proceedings underway way at 1pm in the Market Place with a heady mix of Soul standards, and their horn section singled the start for other bands to kick off in various pubs and bars around the market square. As ever, a day of something for everyone; from the acoustic stylings of our ol’ mate and forum member Gary Grainger to the heavy 70’s rock of Tom Atkinson. Really, if you couldn’t find something you liked, then you weren’t trying, even with the traditional “legends” set, this year from The Pretty Things. As John mentions, so many bands on in so many places, it’s almost impossible to catch everyone, but even just the ones I caught brief snatches of, were giving it their all, so my apologies for not name checking everyone.

Main even for us though was Aynsley, and get the grumbles over, he was only given an hour, but in his first appearance in the town since December 2007 (said he, speedily checking the archive…....), Aynsley & the band came out swinging. The set, as expected was centred round the new album, but Hyde, Home, Sugar, Inside Out and Possession went down well with the gathered crowd along side a couple of Aynsley “standards” like Big Sleep and Early Morning Dew and an impromptu acapella Fly Me To The Moon. With the Darlington festival, you know you’re good when you stop the casual Sunday shopper in their tracks; you’re something special though when you can pull folks out the surrounding pubs and bars; and they stayed to listen, despite the dirty trick the weather played, as Bluebell mentions above. Well, that last appearance in town was a sold-out show, so maybe Darlington has a good memory too. The weather wasn’t the kindest, Aynsley keeping his coat on until the last possible moment while Andre resolutely wouldn’t remove his parker, looking like he was auditioning for The Stone Roses…. Only Steve and Boneto didn’t seem to mind the cold - too much.

As Bluebell says, there was really nasty, squally downpour that scattered all but the die-hards (including forum old-guard Britbabe), but I was just working out last night - had the change-over gremlins not appeared and Aynsley’s set started at the listed time, then it would have happened in time for the opening bars of set closer Purple Rain. Slight irony, after the change-over and The Pretty Things’ set got underway, the clouds parted and bathed Darlington in glorious autumn sunshine.

Post set, again as Bluebell said above, we enjoyed a warming (and reviving) cuppa with Aynsley & Steph and Aynsley’s daughter who’s already proving to be a whizz on the merchandise stand. Glad you got back alright Joy, sorry I slightly overshot the station (Oops!) - shows you how often I use the train. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the day - look forward to seeing your vids. In all, a good day out to catch up with friends, old and new.

Unusual what you were saying about flyers John - was that just outside? Previous years, I never had a problem in the bars that were hosting bands, landlords permission granted.

     

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Hope Bluebell doesn’t mind; here’s a couple of her clips:-

Broke & Possession
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdTGBg3pgLw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdTGBg3pgLw

Big Sleep
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDki8jQrQcM

Inside Out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pI3n113pFI

     

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I don’t think this has its own Thread, I found a Darlington Free festival from 2013 and Mike always mentions in in yearly festival updates, but if any fest deserves its own ‘Title’, this one does. 23rd yrs I think this year. At a time when Councils are cutting back on everything from bus services to Christmas lights, the Darlington Council have kept their faith in this Jewel in the Crown Festival. All the Farmers/ German/ French Markets in the world, don’t draw people in from all over the North East like this does.
I even clone myself just so can be everywhere at once, or that’s what I’ve been accused of!

Here’s the line up, nicked fro Mikes page

SUNDAY 16th SEPTEMBER
MARKETPLACE STAGE
FRANKIE MILLER’S FULL HOUSE 4:15pm to 5:30pm
NINE BELOW ZERO 3:00pm to 4:00pm
CONNIE LUSH BAND 1:45pm to 2:45pm
MIDNITE JOHNNY BAND 12:30pm to 1:30pm

New for 2018 - THE RIVERSIDE STAGE [behind Town Hall]
THE GROOVEAMATICS [5:00pm - 6:00pm]
PAT McMAHON BAND [3:30pm - 4:30pm]
MOJO HAND BAND [2:00pm - 3:00pm]

FRINGE FESTIVAL

THE DOLPHIN CENTRE [Market Square]
The Emma Wilson Band [1:45pm - 3:30pm], Soul Addiction [5:00pm - 6:45pm].

THE BOOT ‘N’ SHOE [Market Square]
Oil City Shakers [2:30pm - 4:15pm].

THE HOLE IN THE WALL [Market Square]
Kindred Spirit [2:30pm - 4:15pm].

THE PENNYWEIGHT [Market Square]
Steve Dixon Band [2:00pm - 3:45pm], Mojo Roller [5:15pm - 7:00pm], George Shovlin & The Radars [8:00pm - 9:45pm].

JOSEPH PEASE BAR [Tubwell Row]
Gary Grainger [4:30pm - 6:15pm].

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

HOSKINS BAR [Blackwellgate]
East Coast Mainline [6:00pm - 7:45pm].

AVALON [Blackwellgate]
The Graham Henderson Experience [8:30pm - 10:15pm].

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

VOODOO CAFE [Skinnergate]
Trevor Sewell [3:00pm - 4:30pm], Dean Newton Trio [5:30pm - 7:00pm], Outside In [8:00pm - 9:30pm].

BAR NUMBER ONE [Skinnergate]
D V D [7:00pm - 8:45pm].

THE WOOLLEN MILL [Feethams]
Two Blue Band [7:00pm - 8:45pm].

THE QUAKERHOUSE [Mechanics Yard]
Tom Killner Band [2:00pm - 4:00pm], Jack J. Hutchinson All Stars [5:00pm - 7:00pm], The Boneshakers [8:30pm - 10:30pm

And here’s a little interactive map for you too!
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1lziv7tWOxqNnhDmKHIHiKeDXk2y3M_Gd&ll=54.52525976795853,-1.5581595173317737&z=17

     
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Nice one John; blimey was it 5 years since I last gave Darlington Free festival it’s own dedicated thread? Emphasis on “free” there as if all you’re paying is parking and beer, you can’t complain at 28 crackin’ bands over 12 hours (officially 10 hours, but…...) for nowt!!!

Good thinkin’ on including the map too….

And as John points out; at a time when Darlington Council is cutting back left, right and cent… (can’t afford rest of the word), the fact that a 2nd outdoor stage is back for the 1st time in years, shows what a jewel in the town’s crown this even has become. And for that, hats off to Mike P, Ian and the team at Darlington Blues Club for the graft and dedication they put in, each and every year.

Should remember too that though Sunday is the big blow-out of the festival, it sort of officially gets underway on Friday (14th) evening when the R’n'B Club at the Forum host the Malone-Siburn Band (tix £12) while on the other side of the Market Place, The Quakerhouse have on The Blueswater and Jed Potts & the Hillman Hunters..

On Saturday The Quakerhouse host music from Erik & The Vikings and later the ever popular Lewis Hamilton Band.. Not actually part of the festival, but a short drive away at Mickleton, there’s also a chance to catch Sari Schorr.

     

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September 13th - 15th 2019

This year’s Market Place event will be headlined on Sunday 15th by John Coghlan’s Quo and kicking off on Friday 13th with Ray Stubbs’ R’n'B All-Stars in The Forum.

More details to follow….

     

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The Darlington Rhythm & Blues Festival returns to Darlington town centre from Friday, September 13th, 2019 until Sunday, September 15th, 2019.

Organised by the Darlington RnB Club in conjunction with Darlington Borough Council and Gasto Promotions, the family-friendly festival takes place in a number of venues across the town, including the Market Square, The Pennyweight and The Quakerhouse.
This year’s festival will be headlined by John Coghlan’s Quo.
For further information about the Darlington Rhythm & Blues Festival, visit the Darlington RnB Club website.
Darlington Rhythm & Blues Festival
Please note: All events are correct at the time of posting and are subject to change.

13 September
The Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars
19:30 The Forum Music Centre

13 September
Russ Tippins
21:00 The Quakerhouse

14 September
The Cold Jackets
21:00 The Quakerhouse

15 September
Trafficker
12:30 Market Square

Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo
13:45 Market Square

The Bullfrogs
13:45 Dolphin Centre

The Dust Raisers
14:00 The Pennyweight

Midnite Blue
14:00 The Joseph Pease

The Hot Coal Blues Band
14:00 Riverside Park

Emma Wilson Band
14:00 The Quakerhouse

The Hokum Hotshots
14:30 The Boot And Shoe

The Whole Hog
15:00 Hole in the Wall

Sari Schorr & The Engine Room
15:00 Market Square

Luke Doherty Band
15:30 Riverside Park

John Coghlan’s Quo
16:15 Market Square

The Dana Ali Band
17:00 Dolphin Centre

The Panthers
17:00 Riverside Park

The Head Hunters Blues Band
17:00 The Quakerhouse

Blues Mojo
17:15 The Boot And Shoe

The John Angus Blues Band
17:15 The Pennyweight

How Askew Band
18:00 The Hoskin’s

Stoney Broke
18:00 ORB Micropub

Eli & The Blues Prophets
19:00 Number One Bar

The Hookahs
20:00 The Pennyweight

Barking Billy & The Scrapyard Dogs
20:30 Avalon

The Boneshakers
20:30 The Quakerhouse

     

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mcraggs27 - 12 June 2019 12:03 PM

The Darlington Rhythm & Blues Festival returns to Darlington town centre from Friday, September 13th, 2019 until Sunday, September 15th, 2019.

Organised by the Darlington RnB Club in conjunction with Darlington Borough Council and Gasto Promotions, the family-friendly festival takes place in a number of venues across the town, including the Market Square, The Pennyweight and The Quakerhouse.
This year’s festival will be headlined by John Coghlan’s Quo.
For further information about the Darlington Rhythm & Blues Festival, visit the Darlington RnB Club website.
Darlington Rhythm & Blues Festival
Please note: All events are correct at the time of posting and are subject to change.

13 September
The Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars
19:30 The Forum Music Centre

13 September
Russ Tippins
21:00 The Quakerhouse

14 September
The Cold Jackets
21:00 The Quakerhouse

15 September
Trafficker
12:30 Market Square

Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo
13:45 Market Square

The Bullfrogs
13:45 Dolphin Centre

The Dust Raisers
14:00 The Pennyweight

Midnite Blue
14:00 The Joseph Pease

The Hot Coal Blues Band
14:00 Riverside Park

Emma Wilson Band
14:00 The Quakerhouse

The Hokum Hotshots
14:30 The Boot And Shoe

The Whole Hog
15:00 Hole in the Wall

Sari Schorr & The Engine Room
15:00 Market Square

Luke Doherty Band
15:30 Riverside Park

John Coghlan’s Quo
16:15 Market Square

The Dana Ali Band
17:00 Dolphin Centre

The Panthers
17:00 Riverside Park

The Head Hunters Blues Band
17:00 The Quakerhouse

Blues Mojo
17:15 The Boot And Shoe

The John Angus Blues Band
17:15 The Pennyweight

How Askew Band
18:00 The Hoskin’s

Stoney Broke
18:00 ORB Micropub

Eli & The Blues Prophets
19:00 Number One Bar

The Hookahs
20:00 The Pennyweight

Barking Billy & The Scrapyard Dogs
20:30 Avalon

The Boneshakers
20:30 The Quakerhouse

Tip from me, check out the Dust Raisers

     
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Time once again for the memories of a free festival…. and what a cracker it was again, Darlington R’n'B Club and Darlington Council pulling together and in defiance of what started a slightly dreek day curated as diverse a selection of bands from up and down the country (as well as a couple for the US) as the crowds diversity.

Again, almost 30 bands over more than a dozen venues; officially things kicked off on Friday evening with The Forum and The Quaker House hosting and then a second gig on Saturday at Quaker House as well as a small stage at the DL1 complex, they’re the appatizers, it’s Sunday afternoon that’s the main meal, arond the core of the Market Place. There it kicked off with a rousing, rocking set from Tommy Allen’s Trafficer closely followed on stage by Mike Vernon’s Mighty Combo who delivereed a lively set of of old school, jumping blues that kept the crowd warmed and let’s face it,thhe only things an old stager like Mike Vernon doesn’t know is tattooed on John Mayall’s bones…

Taking a chance to wonder round the fringe events that were kicking off round this time, my ears were taken by sound of Hot Coal Blues Band, down behind the Town Hall,  The Bullfrogs, playing at Dolphin Centre, Hokum Hotshots at Boot’n'Shoe and Dust Raisers at The Pennyweight. Sadly didn’t get near to catching Trevor Sewell or Emma Wilson.

For me though, Sari Schorr “owned” the Market stage, she just delivered her full force of nature which blasted open the clouds and made the weather think twice about deteriorating. Some changes to her band since her Mickleton appearance last year, Dave Devlin now holding down the guitar spot. Again, a quick wonder and good to see Luke Doherty making good on the promise he showed a few years ago down at Doncaster, and while timings on the main stage went slightly awry, also managed a bit of The Panther‘s rock’n'roll stylings.

One guy I particularly wanted to catch, and rounded the day off nicely for me was Stoney Broke up at the Orb Micropub. Well, I’ve heard of micro-breweries but never a micro-pub, but it’s an apt description. managed to last out the first half ofwhat was shaping up another sublime Stoney set, and my unsublime, “stoney” seat so regretably I had to take my leave. However, eearly evening (around 7pm) and Darlington was still jumping; the Voodoo venue was rocking, Paul Rodger’s Story was shaking Hoskin’s bar and I heard snatches of Hideaway from somewhere on Blackwellgate. Meanwhile they were still clearing up the after effects of Coglan’s Quo “slightly” later than billed Market Place closer. What a treat they were though I only managed a few songs, not solely relying on Quo’s big hitters, but gems like April Spring Summer & Wednesdays, from Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon…

Yep, all in all, another successful event; can’t believe that this is all free - aside from £1 all-day parking (if you know where, maybe even cheaaper…) and the cost of any drink… I’m still wondering if I should have braved the goat curry on offer - maybe next time.

     

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And a thought for the sound crew, 5 am start and they still had the stage to dismantle when I passed at 9 pm. Yes I thought Sari was the best of the main stage, and I’m not her biggest fan usually. Perhaps another female singer next year perhaps , ahem.

Enjoyed new bands (to me)  Eli and the Prophets and the Shooters. Old favourites The Hookahs and The Dust Raisers and the Head Hunters were great too.

And my Sunday Dinner in the Dolphin Centre, eaten to the sound of the Bulldogs was most welcome

     
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Among the sea of predicted Quo T-shirts, I still think my Lincoln Durham was the coolest, closely followed by a couple of “Just Rock” Aynsley ones….

     

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mcraggs27 - 16 September 2019 12:08 PM

Among the see of predicted Quo T-shirts, I still think my Lincoln Durham was the coolest, closely followed by a couple of “Just Rock” Aynsley ones….

if I wore tee shirts and had money, no to both, I would have liked a Shooters tee, all the way from the midlands, deserved a merch sale or two
(Van died on Saturday so a few gigs at risk! )

     
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While the dust is settling - here’s to next year’s 25th Festival and who’ll be playing and headlining… Any votes for Wishbone Ash?

     

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mcraggs27 - 16 September 2019 09:07 AM

Yep, all in all, another successful event; can’t believe that this is all free - aside from £1 all-day parking (if you know where, maybe even cheaaper…) and the cost of any drink… I’m still wondering if I should have braved the goat curry on offer - maybe next time.

By way of a PS, found the Carribbean Kitchen van on Newcastle Quayside yesterday, so I tried the Goat curry; dee-lic-ious!! Subtly spiced rice also tasty. Mind, the sweet rum dumplings i could have inhaled all day; brittle crust outside, sweet & fluffy inside, like crispy balls of angel breath…

     

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Sadly it was announced that Darlington Market Place’s Free Festival in September has been shelved for 2020. A lot of work had already gone in from the Darlington Blues Club team, so it hasn’t been an easy decision to make, but in the light of conflicting long-term advice it’s been decided not to risk the health of bands and supporters alike.

So, bide your time, keep supporting live music in the town when it returns and remember 2021 will be the events Silver Anniversary….

     

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