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Sunday, 31 August 2014

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VIDEO & PHOTOS: A perfect end to Maryport Blues Festival

It was a perfect end to Maryport Blues Festival.

SUNDAY

The acts for the last day in the marquee at Maryport Rugby Club on Mealpot Road was judged perfectly by organisers.

It was opened by the insanely talented Bluesbeaten Redshaw - who at only 19 years old has already appeared at Glastonbury and festivals across Europe.

He was one of our highlights of the entire blues festival.

Unfortunately, his audience was small - the marquee sadly never appeared to be filled to its capacity - but appreciative.

He was followed by the Dove and Boweevil Band, with an electrified swamp blues/roots sound.

They have been performing for years and were a treat to hear and a great support to the afternoon session headliners Albany Down.

The contemporary blues rock band brought the house down with their on-stage energy and adrenaline-fuelled sounds.

The evening session was opened by Blue Swamp, featuring Johnny Williamson and Mike Bowden.

I would pay money to see these guys every day of the week.

Witty in their choice of songs and the audience banter, a cracking rendition of I Heard It Through The Grapevine and a great gospel number - Jesus Walks On The Water But I Crawl On The Wine - got the biggest cheer of the night.

They were prime encore material, but there wasn't time.

The crowd was steadily growing and up next was Pat McManus.

Not really my thing, lots of twiddly guitar work, but an ideal second-to-last act and I did enjoy his fiddle work.

Headliner was Ian Parker, whose raw emotion touched the by now large crowd and brought the festival to a stunning close.

Meanwhile, Maryport's pubs and clubs were jumping to the sound of the trail bands, which went down extremely well and the outdoor stage, with its alternative programme of Cumbria's Got Talent entrants, Fireball, Committed 2 Rock, La'al Big Band and Soul City Walkers, was marvellous according to the audience there.

It was a classic year for Maryport Blues Festival and if you missed it, you missed out.

SATURDAY

Rock took over Maryport Blues Festival.

The festival's outdoor stage, off Irish Street, became rock central yesterday as local bands 13 Stars, Eocene, Stealer, The White Trash Circus and Slagbank played before the mighty Quireboys headlined.

An inspired move by festival organisers - after all, most rock is influenced by the blues so it wasn't a big leap to offer rock as part of the programme - the outdoor stage jumped all day and hit the 450-capacity early on.

All the bands - bar Slag Bank - won battle of the band competitions earlier this year to perform.

As the sun shone down, The White Trash Circus opened proceedings with their own brand of dirty rock.

Lead singer Telf oozes eau de rock star - both on and off stage - and the Whitehaven band kicked off in style with their pick of lesser-known covers that suit them down to the ground.

The crowds kept coming as Stealer took to the stage. The most traditional "blues band" on the bill, the three-piece formed in 1996 and have played festivals across the country.

After a brief time away from the stage, 2013 is their comeback year and it's like they've never been away. Great to see them rocking again!

Eocene were up next - this Cumbria/north east hybrid ramped up the rock content of the day - the boys obviously enjoy what they do and do it well.

They were followed by 13 Stars - the Cockermouth group that you can't quite pigeonhole.

Blues, country, rock - their songs incorporate elements from them all and wrap them in a feet-tapping package.

Slagbank has to easily be West Cumbria's best cover band.

With years of experience racked up between them, Tony, Buzz and Mark get on stage and belt out those classics - as one person said "It's like having a live jukebox."

If you haven't seen them - put them on your list!

Special mention must also go to Pecker Woods, who compered the event and managed to wangle a couple of guest singing spots with Eocene and Slagbank!

But what everyone was waiting for was The Quireboys.

They bounded on stage and their set was so electric, it didn't matter that the stage had no lights.

Organisers could have doubled the capacity of the space when The Quireboys came on and it still probably wouldn't have been enough!

Absolute class.

 

FRIDAY

It was a homecoming fit for one of the area's best music festivals.

The decision to reintroduce a marquee for the main stage of the 15th Maryport Blues Festival paid off for organisers.

They judged the size of it correctly too - big enough to scream festival but small enough to remain intimate and make you feel part of a special crowd.

And the new location - Maryport Rugby Club on Mealpot Road - made the festival's two parts of marquee and trail feel closer than ever.

As tradition dictates, the festival was kicked off by the sublime Solway Deltas.

The five-piece local band, who describe themselves as part of the furniture, could be mistrued as a traditionalist blues group, but their wicked off-stage sense of humour comes across in their songs, especially their new single I'm Full and Need a Place to Widdle.

They were quickly followed by the Lewis Hamilton Band.

Led by the 19-year-old Lewis Hamilton, who shows a maturity beyond his years, the group showed the slowly-growing audience why they've had three successful albums already!

Crowd numbers were growing for Blues 'n' Trouble's appearance.

The award-winning British blues and boogie outfit have forged a well-deserved international reputation over their 30 years together.

Headliner Aynsley Lister bounded on stage and gave the by now almost full marquee a closing act to remember.

His brand of blues rock was an ideal choice to close the first night of the festival, which continues today and tomorrow.

Today, Bernie Marsden headlines the marquee, while an outdoor stage, off Irish Street, hosts The Quireboys plus several local support acts.

On Sunday, the marquee will be headlined by Ian Parker and performers on the outdoor stage include the La'al Big Band and the Committed 2 Rock choir.

Plus, on the blues trail around the toen's pubs and clubs there are dozens of bands playing across the weekend.

Tickets are still available.

Have your say

Great Sunday afternoon entertainment on the outside stage , the sun shone and the music played highlights were committed 2 rock choir who's voices and enthusiasm were amazing led the the charismatic Cathy Marcangelo , hope they have them back next year, fireball were great too amongst others well done to the organisers for bringing in such variety .

Posted by Johno on 1 August 2013 at 15:05

The Blues Festival was a brilliant weekend, a lot better than last year in The Wave. Long may it go on!

Posted by Blues Girl on 31 July 2013 at 19:49

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