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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Maryport rocks with the best of the blues

Maryport sang the blues in the sunshine at the town’s biggest music festival.

But it was a tense start to the Maryport Blues Festival when Friday night headliner Eric Sardinas lost his guitar.

He had to borrow an instrument but the slide guitarist went on to wow an audience of more than 600 fans.

Talking before the show, he said the day had been stressful, but in the end it was the music that mattered.

His act was just one of the highlights of the three-day event, which takes over the town every July.

Even when wind blew down fencing at the outside family stage, forcing organisers to close it on Sunday, the show went on as festival-goers moved to the pubs and clubs.

Soul City Walkers, from Carlisle, proved to be among the biggest crowd-pleasers of the weekend when they appeared on a baking hot stage on Saturday and again in the cold, rainy conditions of Sunday.

Organisers said they were delighted with this year's festival, which they said was one of the best in years.

There were larger than usual audiences in the main marquee and huge crowds at the outdoor rock stage – with over 1,000 attending on Saturday afternoon for the Soul City Walkers and headliners The Union.

On Friday, in the marquee, New Mexico’s Ryan McGarvey Band gave a virtuoso performance that belied their youth. The Nimmo Brothers, from Scotland, drew the crowds too.

At the end of their set they presented Christian Pattinson, 21, of Camp Road, Maryport, with a cake to congratulate him on news that he had just been accepted into the police force.

Christian has been involved with the festival since he was aged 11.

Members of the Nimmo Brothers went onto the stage to thank him for his work and present him with the cake.

Christian said he had loved blues music for as long as he could remember.

He said: “I used to go to blues sessions at Maryport Navy Club when I was just little. Debra Park heard about me and got me involved in the festival.

“My first job was to go around and get a guitar signed by all the artists. I was very nervous – shaking in my boots.”

He said he was a big fan of the Nimmo Brothers and when they came onto the stage he thought it was someone’s birthday.

He added: “I was shocked it was for me.”

Saturday saw Coco Montoya make blues accessible with his middle-of-the-road sound.

Danny Bryant, who firstwent to Maryport as a trail artist in 2000, was the final headliner on Sunday, delighting the audience with his sometimes introspective but always exciting sound.

The trail, which consisted of about 30 bands playing around the pubs, clubs, cafes and outdoor stages, included some new stars in town – TJ & The Suitcase and Half Deaf Clatch.

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