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ROCK AND BLUES FESTIVAL
Butlins, Skegness, 29-31 January 2010
Friday 29 January 2010
some hellraising times in the last year at Hard Rock Hell and the
Hammerfest, I have now realised what fun there is to be had at a holiday
camp when great rock music is on the entertainment agenda.
The Rock and
Blues Festival at Butlins Skegness has now been running for over fifteen
years. With little need to advertise,the vast majority of punters
return year after year.
This was my
first visit to this festival in what was to be another action packed fun
filled weekend watching some great veteran bands and surprisingly some
young ,very talented and uprising stars.
a trouble free journey on the way up here, as soon as we entered Skeggy,
the skies darkened and we were met with one of the thickest blizzards of
snow I've ever seen, resulting in a inch of snow laying within minutes.
Mix that with the North Sea chill blowing in and one could be thankful
for remembering to pack some winter woolies.
entering my accommodation for the weekend, I soon realised how
prejudiced I was about the idea of coming to Butlins for the weekend.
Butlins have modernised and so too had the chalets, or in our case, self
living room with colour TV on the wall and heating in every room.
One could easily just rewind and not venture out at all, which nearly
happened on the first night as my photographer for the weekend Mr
Buckley and I decided to start on the JD.
our senses, it was time to watch some action. My only complaint of
the whole weekend was that on the two main stages the acts went on stage
almost exactly the same time, meaning the sometimes you had to watch a bit
of this and then a bit of that, however this was understandable as both
venues were full with some 2,000 people in each.
reliable Blues Band was my first band of the weekend fronted by
the ever youthful Paul Jones. Their harmonic blues set the tone for the
weekend. I was most impressed by the size of the stage, the
lighting and the state of the art sound. Something each subsequent band would
Moody Band actually featured two Micky Moody's, the other being his
son on the drums, played a enjoyful heavy blusey set including a great
version of Edwin Starr's '25 Miles'. Some felt short changed that
no Whitesnake material was included, but as I later found out when i
interviewed Micky, he is planning on doing a Whitesnake tour featuring
ex members very soon.
lips were sealed, and I doubt that Coverdale would be involved, there are
certain other Deep Purple members available (One's that he has played
with at charity bashes recently too ... watch this space Whitesnake
Sideways, Down is one way you could describe the lenghty career of
The Yardbirds. A band with a rich heritage, only Chris Dreja
and drummer Jim McCarthy remain from the original line up. With
more line up changes recently with John Idan leaving to be replaced by
youngster Andy Mitchell who did a sterling job in the vocal department
showing us the shapes of things to come. A mixture of old and new
numbers, the highlight being the original version of 'Dazed And
Giving us a
Friday night special were Skinny Molly, who are a band I've seen
a few times over the last few years and improve with every performance.
Fronted by the cool Mike Estes who was a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd during
the 'Endangered Species' period.
The band now
feel more confident in playing more of their own material which sounds
great on the big stage tonight. 'High Price Of Low Livin' from the
debut 'No Good Deed' stamps it's own identity but it's a storming 'Freebird'
that gets a standing ovation tonight. With a forthcoming release
'Haywire Riot', it looks like another busy touring year for the Skinny
By now it
had gone one in the morning as the main halls started to empty, but
there was still entertainment to be had in the Jaks Bar for those who
wanted to party on into the wee hours, and it was time to go looking for
some female talent.
found this in the shape of Helen Turner, who was fronting the Bare
Bones Boogie Band. Turner was the best looking blonde haired
babe I've seen all day who possess one of those Joplinesque-don't mess
with me boys kind of voices. Pwoarh, not 'arf. With Iain
Black laying down some cool Free-ish licks, it was an entertaining set
to end the evening.
In the early
hours, it was time to brave the cold and take a hike back to our room
through the snow and ice. It was at this time I experienced my
first case of deja-vu.
you that read my Hard Rock Hell report may remember my rock and rolling
photographer Noel Buckley coming home caked in mud after doing a drunken
somersault, and true to form he performed the same trick here, this time
in the snow.
but twice, and on both occasions, as he got up he went straight back
down twice as quick. I was very concerned and went over to check
everything was still in working order. I'm glad to report the
camera was fine.
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