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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Bands get ready to do battle for Maryport Blues Festival

Bands from across West Cumbria will get the chance to play on the same bill as 1980s rockers The Quireboys at this year’s Maryport Blues Festival.

slagbank 0802
JUDGES: Slagbank, from left, Buzz Elliott, Tony Steel and Mark Coles will pick the winning bands

They will have to perform in a series of battle of the bands contets judged by Workington music veterans Slagbank – Buzz Elliott, Tony Steel and Mark Coles.

The band, formed about three years ago, has a top pedigree when it comes to music.

Vocalist Buzz and drummer Tony played with Hammerhead and the Bullfrogs for many years and bassist Mark has been on the music scene for several years in Cumbria and London.

One of Mark’s London bands, Red Road, recorded an acoustic album that was picked by the management of The Who and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

He said: “Entering their offices in London’s Camden Town was a surreal affair.

“We expected booze, drugs and undesirables; instead we encountered herbal tea, vitamin supplements and treadmills!”

This month, Tony and Mark have played with the Paul Raymond Project in London.

Mark became friends with the former UFO keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Raymond four years ago.

Mark met him through his wife, who is originally from Workington.

Mark said: “I’d told him that what he really needed was a good rhythm section behind him.

“He agreed but couldn’t afford such a luxury so settled for Tony Steel and me!

“There are plans for more gigs with his band later in the year but, in the meantime, he has three months of UFO dates across Europe to fulfil.”

Buzz is popular on the local scene and co-owns Workington Music Store, on Oxford Street.

They will be tough to impress.

Buzz said: “As well as quality in the musicianship, we will also be looking out for other aspects such as attitude and style. Some bands may choose to play covers, and others may play their own material – all these factors will be considered.”

Maryport Festivals Limited, which organises the blues festival, has expanded and revamped its annual battle for local groups to win a support slot at the event.

Four spaces are available on the bill and battle of the bands competitions will be held at the Workington’s Circuit Bar next Friday and March 22 and Royal British Legion on March 29 and Maryport’s Grasslot Welfare Club on March 8.

The four top bands will be play on an outdoor stage on the Saturday of the festival, held over the last weekend in July, supporting The Quireboys, whose biggest hit was Hey You.

To enter the competition, bands should call 07922406437.

Have your say

Lots of contradictory information around here. Circuit Bar tonight - T&S says £3 in this weeks paper, Facebook says free entry.

Posted by Loadsa Money on 15 February 2013 at 11:05

Shame you have to pay to get in to the BOTB. You don't mention that in your article.
Hopefully everyone will have £3 spare.

Posted by E Scrooge on 13 February 2013 at 15:22

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