Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival 2013, Colne
The artists booked for the 24th festival so far
Bill Wyman & Rhythm
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
Lil' Jimmy Reed
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
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!!
with Charlie Musselwhite
with Lil' Jimmy Reed
with Wilko Johnson
with Kat Pearson (Kat & Co)
at the Blues Filter Photo Exhibition (presented by
Alan White, www.earlyblues.com)
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 ...
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....
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.
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
[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 ... !!]
All Colne 2012
Photographs © Copyright 2012 Alan White
www.earlyblues.com . All Rights
British Rhythm & Blues Festival 2011, Colne
WOW!! What a wonderful
weekend. The atmosphere and friendliness just gets better no matter how
many people are there.
Here are my highlights:
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.
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
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.
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.
Mavis, Yvonne and Me
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.
Lisa Mills and
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.
Chris, Diane and
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'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.
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.
All Colne 2011
Photographs © Copyright 2011 Alan White
www.earlyblues.com . All Rights
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
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 1¼ 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
March 2009: Magic
Slim not looking a well person
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.
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
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.
Herbie Goins and Me
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
Sharing the opening
Louisiana Red 'knows'
the blues can be 'blue' sometimes
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
Yes love...... I did
nick the curtains from your caravan so I could have this suit
Chris with Eric Bibb
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!
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
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
Sister Monica (signed
Deitra Farr (signed
Colne 2009 here I come....