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Alan White.
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Chris Powers.
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The 24th Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival 2013, Colne

The artists booked for the 24th festival so far are:

Bill Wyman & Rhythm Kings
Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion
Joe Louis Walker
Chicago Blues Allstars - all American spectacular (details TBA)
Chris Farlowe & Norman Beaker Band
Paul Lamb & The King Snakes
The Pretty Things
Nine Below Zero
King King
Lil' Jimmy Reed
Dr. Feelgood
The Swing Commanders
The Jive Aces
Steve Phillips & The Rough Diamonds 
Climax Blues Band
Chas Hodges Band
plus more .. details soon.

(The full list and timings are available on The Festivals Guide on www.earlyblues.com )

Yes, it's gearing up to be a good one once again.  This will be my 18th festival and I'm looking forward to catching up with the 'faces' that regularly attend.  See you there!!

 Copyright 2014 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
with Charlie Musselwhite


 Copyright 2014 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
with Lil' Jimmy Reed


 Copyright 2014 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
with Wilko Johnson


 Copyright 2014 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
with Kat Pearson (Kat & Co)


 Copyright 2014 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
at the Blues Filter Photo Exhibition (presented by Alan White, www.earlyblues.com)

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The 23rd Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival 2012, Colne

Festival number 23 was, as usual, well organised but there wern't as many punters in the Muni - but I had a good time, as I always do, and meeting up with some of the regulars is always a big part of the event.

As usual we opened with the "now part of the Festival"  "Land of Hope and Glory"

Sing you buggers, sing ...

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

The highlight for me was, with being a bit of a STAX man, the appearance of Booker T. Jones with his own crack band. After his set he signed my STAX jacket on the opposite shoulder to where Steve Cropper signed a few years ago. Talk about a happy bunny....

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

Prior to Booker's appearance Sunday evening opened with probably the best performance I've seen and heard from The Stumble. Good for them to share the evening with a true Rhythm & Blues great.

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

Monday night brought us one of the U.K.'s favourite song birds, Connie Lush, complete of course with Blues Shouter. They have brought in a new drummer and we all hope they can now settle down with a consistent line up. Connie did her usual - engage the audience and entertain - always good value.

My review of this year's festival is maybe a little shorter than usual - possibly due to not as much as "Rhythm & Blues" as is normally on the bill...!?!

Nevertheless, as is always the case, this is a "friendly" festival with a wonderful spirit that filters through, from the main organisers right through all the staff.

Here's to 2013 - I'll be there - hope you will be too.

[Hold on Chris, there's just one photo I had to add..... Zoot Money and Chris Powers ably demonstrating the "behind the scenes" Rock N'Roll lifestyle ... !!]

 Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

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All Colne 2012 Photographs Copyright 2012 Alan White www.earlyblues.com . All Rights Reserved.
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The 22nd Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival 2011, Colne

Steve Cropper  Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

WOW!! What a wonderful weekend. The atmosphere and friendliness just gets better no matter how many people are there. 

Here are my highlights:

Friday

As expected there was a big turnout to see Jack Bruce and he didn't disappoint. Like a lot of us he's knocking on a bit but his delivery and control of his fellow musicians was there for all to enjoy.

Hamilton Loomis opened proceedings and he gets better and better - did his usual walkabout but decided not to jump off the balcony - probably a wise move.

And Wilko, well Wilko's Wilko.

Top stuff.

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Jack Bruce

Saturday

The return of Steve Cropper backed by the Animals was a start to the proceedings that was guaranteed to 'pack-em-in' - and it did - what a humble chap he is and went through his "this was co-written by me" catalogue effortlessly. It's always a joy to bring him on stage. Will we see him again in the UK. I certainly hope so.

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Steve Cropper

It must be six years since Jolly Jumper and Big Moe were here, and overcame the technical problems with the electronic keyboard equipment to finally settle for a grand piano for Daniel, a recent addition, to ply his trade - magical. What a professional performance they gave and showed us all that rootsy blues music has a firm footing in Norway.

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Jolly Jumper

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Big Moe

Saturday night and Mavis Staples with her full All American line-up was, for me, the highlight of the weekend. At the gospel end of the Rhythm and Blues umbrella, she, her band and her trio of backing singers gave a stirring performance that oozed style and passion without being too choreographed. I will never forget it.

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Mavis Staples

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Mavis, Yvonne and Me

Sunday

Sunday had the festival's surprise in store. Although known by some of the knowledgeable followers of the style of music on show each year at Colne, Lisa Mills was new to a lot of us. What a consummate professional she is. Her stage presence and the way she easily won the audience over showed any "wannabe's" how to do it. A note perfect voice and clear diction - all we are left with is how soon will it be before she's back at The Muni, accompanied of course by the ubiquitous Ian Jennings.

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Lisa Mills

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Lisa Mills and Ian Jennings

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Lisa and Me

Prior to Lisa's evening performance the afternoon had a good variety on offer but sadly didn't attract the full festival ticket holders.

Evergreen bob Hall joined in with Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley to round off the afternoon session with Diana continuing the "femme" theme of "songbirds" being the highlights of the festival for me.

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Diana Braithwaite

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Chris, Diane and Me

In the evening Lisa Mills was sandwiched between Giles Robson and Mud Morganfield - yes, what a tasty butty it was.

Ian Jennings on slap bass was there for each of the 3 acts - showing his determination in wanting to earn as much as Al Gore ....

Monday

Monday's schedule was disrupted with delays incurred with the arrival of Sharrie Williams and The Wiseguys. For those who managed to catch her set she was better than her previous outings at The Muni  and showed why she is such a favourite with so many of the Colne festival goers.

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Sharrie Williams

 Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Sharrie and Me

Apart from Sharrie, Monday was a bit of a Rock/Blues extravaganza with loud noise being a substitute for musical content - but that's the beauty of Colne - there's always something for everyone.

Monday had an obscure John Mayall connection. It started with young axe man Oli Brown, who is to tour with him in October and November and the festival closed with Buddy Whittington, one time guitarist with Mr Mayall ... will the lad from south Manchester play the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival  ... maybe for number 25 ... but don't hold your breath.

See you next year.
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All Colne 2011 Photographs Copyright 2011 Alan White www.earlyblues.com . All Rights Reserved.
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The 2010 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne

The weather was kind and the crowds came and Friday and Sunday were sold out.

Apparently about 30% of the punters were newcomers to the festival which all bodes well for the future.

As usual I enjoyed every moment and my personal highlights were the following acts.

The Saturday afternoon acoustic set featuring Magic Slim, Omar Dykes and Danish superstar Nalli.... what a wonderful 1 hours.


Now there's a lived in face... and Nalli looks as though he's been around a bit

The opportunity to see US artists is always something to look forward to and Magic Slim & The Teardrops followed by Omar & The Howlers on Saturday night didn't disappoint. Magic Slim was really on the money and was on better form I thought than the last time I saw him some 18 months previous - but maybe with him being in better health this time had something to do with it.

Every picture tells a story......

 Copyright 2009 Chris Powers. All Rights Reserved.
March 2009: Magic Slim not looking a well person

 Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
August 2010: Magic Slim seemingly a lot better

Plenty to please all the punters on Sunday with my highlight being The Pretty Things - full of energy and good to hear those "3 minute in length" tunes pretty close to what we heard on the 45's.

Monday was my highlight of the weekend. Larry Garner the Baton Rouge tunesmith, giving another seemingly effortless performance in the afternoon although his cameo appearance with Chris Farlowe and Herbie Goins in the evening did appear to be Guinness enhanced.

Monday night was packed with class starting with ex Mike Sanchez and Blue Harlem songbird Imelda May and her hubby led band. Although the musical content was right on the extreme of the Rhythm & Blues umbrella (you choose which side) they were as tight a band as you could wish to hear. Imelda herself has honed her stagecraft and is getting close to the complete article. Onwards and upwards as they say.

 Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

It was then time for the "Flamingo R&B" session. Georgie Fame with his two sons gave a polished set, but seemed to have left the groove/British R&B tunes back at the Flamingo and concentrated on standards vearing towards his love of jazz. Possibly some of the audience were disappointed. For me he can do no wrong.

The finale was wonderful with Chris Farlowe and Herbie Goins on top form ably supported by "never let you down" Norman Beaker's horn augmented band. And it all finished with a full stage plus Kyla Brox (that was nice) to belt out Stormy Monday Blues, even though it was Tuesday morning - just.

Yes another great weekend and so on to 2011 and festival No. 22.


Chris Farlowe, Herbie Goins and Me

 Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Chris Farlowe

 Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Herbie Goins

Kyla Brox  Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Kyla Brox

 

The 2009 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne

The 20th festival once again brought quality British and American acts to the 'Muni'. Value for money was paramount and the six bands a day didn't disappoint. For 35 a day it was a 'steal'.

As usual it was a treat to bring on stage the weekend's performers. Highlights..... well one (or two) has to be opening and closing the festival with the Best of the North West. Starting with Connie Lush and Blues Shouter at 7pm on the Friday and finishing the festival with The Stumble at 11pm on the Monday.... great stuff. Highlights for me apart from the above..... the 'real deal' performance of Louisiana Red with Michael Messer..... the sheer professionalism and all round 'good time' entertainment of The Blues Band..... and the spellbinding 'coolness' of Eric Bibb.

Here are some photos for the memories:


Here we go again.... ready for the opening in patriotic mood

 Copyright 2009 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Sharing the opening with Connie

 Copyright 2009 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Louisiana Red 'knows' the blues can be 'blue' sometimes

 Copyright 2009 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Yes..... this confirms it..... Alison Goode, the Festival Organiser will let anybody sit on her knee


Getting ready for my next stint on stage..... sweeping it


No wonder Joanne Shaw Taylor has got her back to me


Eat your heart out Sinbad


Yes love...... I did nick the curtains from your caravan so I could have this suit made

 Copyright 2009 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Chris with Eric Bibb 'Cool Dude'

 Copyright 2009 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Chris with Paul Lamb & The King Snakes.... they were there at the 1st festival and still going strong....
Does that glint in my eye mean Paul is going for my left breast?

Can't wait for 2010!

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The 2008 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne

The 2008 event was my 13th consecutive year of EMCEEING at this festival and has fond memories for me.

The more time passes, the more special it becomes.  For many people it is an annual pilgrimage.  The purists are drawn to Colne by the top line artistes that appear on the International Stage whilst others came for the buzz around the fringe and roadhouse venues.

Since the festival began it has continued to grow and evolve but the key essence that makes the Great British R&B Festival so special has remained: the people.

The friendships I have made combined with the "banter" and many happy faces make this festival, without doubt, unique.

Memories of Colne 2008

Some of my favourite photos from this festival are featured below.
 

Quote from Alison Goode, Organiser of The Great British R&B Festival, Colne (Pendle Leisure Trust):
  
"Chris Powers - the ultimate professional!  The most dynamic and flamboyant DJ and MC on the circuit today  One who always commands the stage and audience with his presence. 
Chris has been a regular at the Great British R&B Festival in Colne for a number of years as MC of the main International Stage - this festival would not be the same without his presence."

 


Zora Young, Deitra Farr and Grana Louise, 2007
 

 Copyright Brian Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Pinetop Perkins
 


Sister Monica (signed photo), 1999
 


Deitra Farr (signed photo), 2003
 


Big Joe Turner, 1997


Colne 2009 here I come....