Friday, January 19, 2018

Great British Rock & Blues Festival 2018

Butlin's, Skegness. Friday 19-Jan-2018 to Monday 22-Jan-2108.

After the memory of last year's chilly conditions had faded, Mary persuaded me to return for this year's Rock and Blues Festival. This time we chose accommodation slightly closer to the central facilities hence less chance of frostbite walking to and fro.

1 °C, Heavy Snow.
This is warmer than last year!

This year, instead of self catering, we went for the inclusive dining package. There were two restaurants with similar quality, pub-like food; part self service, part carvery style buffet and an all-you-can-eat deal. The wine list choice was reasonable. The staff were all really friendly and eager to help, you can tell that is the ethos of the place.

Again there were three venues (Jaks, Reds, Centre Stage) and a stage in the main foyer (Skyline) for up and coming acts. This year they swapped Reds and Centre Stage back to the arrangement used prior to last year with blues acts on Centre Stage.

This is the full list of the acts we got to see, * for acts we liked, ** for acts we really liked, *** for the acts we really, really liked, x for dire acts.

As someone pointed out, guitars and drums don't age but the human voice does. The two dire acts were vocalists whose tonsils unfortunately hadn't stood the test of time: Roger Chapman ex Family and Edgar Broughton ex his eponymous Band. Oh dear.

Friday 19th:
Deep Blue Sea (Skyline)
Tom Walker Trio (Centre Stage) *
Sari Schorr and The Engine Room (Centre Stage) *
Atomic Rooster (Reds) ** (MSM)

Atomic Rooster may be a getting on a bit but they still belt out good ole rock'n'roll. Nothing says "ageing rocker" more than leather trousers and a shiny top over a bit of a paunch.

Atomic Rooster

Alvin Youngblood Hart (Centre Stage) *

Alvin Youngblood Hart

Saturday 20th:
Rebecca Downes (Centre Stage) ***

Rebecca was the first of two female blues singer who really impressed, Connie Lush being the second.

Rebecca Downs

Thorbjorn Risager (Centre Stage) *
Joe Anderton (Skyline)
Storm Warning (Skyline) **

A nice feature of the festival is the Skyline stage where lesser known bands get three quarters of an hour to show what they can do and be voted for. The most popular acts are then invited back the following year to open on one of the main stages. We liked these guys and hope they make it.

Storm Warning

Yoko and The Sugabeets (Skyline)
The Ryk Mead Band (Skyline)
Bernie Marsden (Reds) **
Jo Harman (Centre Stage) *
Roger Chapman (Reds) x
Earl Thomas (Centre Stage) ***

Earl Thomas was a flamboyant performer. A good voice and a real entertainer.

Earl Thomas

Sunday 21st:
Edgar Broughton (Reds) x
Greg Coulson (Centre Stage) **
Rob Tognoni (Centre Stage) *
Connie Lush Band (Centre Stage) **

The second blues songstress to make an impression. She was joined by Rebecca Downes for a duet on one song.

Connie Lush Band

Lucky Peterson (Centre Stage) ***

The rented organ that Lucky Peterson was due to play malfunctioned and, like a true professional, he switched seamlessly to some fine slide guitar while the technicians scurried about fixing the rig. His band were adroit in adapting to the ad-hoc set list picking up as soon as he started to play.

Lucky Peterson

Dr Feelgood (Centre Stage) **

We've seen these guys before and again they bashed out a rocking closing set.

Dr Feelgood

Elles Bailey (Jaks) ** was on late at the Jaks stage. Having seen and enjoyed her act last year we popped in briefly but it was crowded, the acoustics are poor, it was late and we were tired after the full on weekend so didn't stay long however she didn't disappoint.

Monday was another full English breakfast and a four-hour drive home to recover.

No comments: